Farage says Newsnight 'little more than a televised version of The Guardian' which should be 'put out to grass'

Nigel Farage has backtracked on a proposal to "exterminate" Doctor Who, instead saying Newsnight should be "put out to grass".

The UKIP leader, who has accused the BBC of not giving his party the "respect" it deserves, described BBC Two's flagship current affairs programme as "a televised version of The Guardian".

This statement came after Farage appeared to suggest on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday that entertainment programmes like Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing should be scrapped, saying: "I don't think [the BBC] needs to do entertainment". But he later praised them as the corporation's "crown jewels".

Farage said in a statement: "When it comes to political bias, it is obvious to most people that the metropolitan and establishment backgrounds of so many of its journalists is a problem.

"For instance, Newsnight has become little more than a televised version of The Guardian, with its journalists moving to and fro between it and Channel Four News at frequent intervals.

"I think it is time for Newsnight to be put out to grass and a new flagship current affairs and news analysis programme to replace it."

On the Andrew Marr programme, Farage suggested the "whole debate" over the future of the BBC could be completed during the forthcoming licence fee review.

He criticised the pressure placed by BBC websites on local press, suggesting it was "beginning to obliterate other voices in the media".

Farage said: "The whole debate about the BBC licence fee and its role is coming up over the next two to three years and I want UKIP to have some input into that.

"I mean the other problem is that UKIP was judged by Ofcom to be one of the four major parties in British politics and, frankly, the BBC have not treated us like that during this general election campaign."

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