Plug pulled on BBC presenter after interview

BBC Radio Scotland arts broadcaster Brian Morton has had the plug pulled on him by BBC bosses two months before he was due to leave the station after announcing his resignation.

The BBC’s decision to ask Morton to leave immediately came after an outspoken interview in The Herald in which he detailed his professional dissatisfaction with his colleagues and his show.

BBC chiefs, headed by John McCormick, the controller of BBC Scotland, and Maggie Cunningham, head of Radio Scotland, had discussions with Morton and it was decided he should leave his post immediately, instead of working for another two months.

Morton said: “The situation is that I won’t be on air again. The show is at an end,” adding that he was a “little bit shell-shocked”.

His original decision to quit came only weeks after his nightly arts programme was cut back by 30 minutes to accommodate increased news coverage.

One of the key elements leading to Morton’s departure was the repercussions from events in his private life last year.

The News of the World printed an article which detailed the break-up of Morton and his long-term partner Pamela Collins, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, and his romance with a BBC announcer – Sarah MacDonald.

Morton said he felt that one or more people at the BBC had spoken to the tabloid and was disappointed with the lack of support from his colleagues over the incident.

By Hamish Mackay

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