BBC's Stephanie Flanders: dates with Labour leaders do not affect my reporting - Press Gazette

BBC's Stephanie Flanders: dates with Labour leaders do not affect my reporting

BBC journalist Stephanie Flanders has said that past dates with Labour leader Ed Miliband and shadow chancellor Ed Balls do not affect her work.

The BBC's high profile economics editor, 45, went out with both politicians in the 1990s, when she was in her 20s.

Miliband revealed in July that both he and Balls previously dated the journalist, but insisted that the relationships were ''a long time apart''.

The TV journalist said that she hated to see stories about her own past make the headlines.

Asked whether she minded when her life became the news, she told the Radio Times: "I hate that. And I'm rather amazed that people should be interested in things that happened a long time ago.

"If people think about their own lives and people that they might have gone out with briefly in their 20s, and what role those people play in their lives now: I think they would realise that it really does not impact on my day-to-day work."

The mother-of-two, whose partner is the journalist John Arlidge, also said that she is "particularly nervous on budget days" because of the pressure to reach judgments on figures without the time to digest them.

"I live in fear of getting it wrong. You're live on TV and you pretty much have to respond almost as the Chancellor is speaking. And you're supposed to be tweeting, doing live commentary and writing a blog at the same time," she said.

The broadcaster, whose father was the performer Michael Flanders, said that she had not inherited his talents, telling the magazine: "I'm not as funny as he was: I'm funny for an economist, but that's not saying very much!"

She added: "I sometimes get rather envious of people I meet who went to see my father's show in the 1960s because it had finished before I was born. After he died, friends of his used to come to parties and sing the songs and I obviously grew up with the records, but I never saw him perform them live."

Miliband, who later went on to marry Justine Thornton, previously told Now magazine: ''We did both date her but there was a long time apart between me and Ed.

"Stephanie and I don't have any problems running into each other now.''



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