Victoria Derbyshire Show journalists say BBC decision to take it off air is 'gutting' and 'devastating'

Journalists working for the Victoria Derbyshire Show have said the BBC’s decision to take the award-winning news programme off the air is “gutting” and “devastating”.

The morning show, which has won a Bafta and two Royal Television Society awards for its star, faces the axe in fresh cuts to news services at the BBC. The corporation has had to find £80m a year in savings since 2015.

But the decision has prompted an outcry from both journalists and politicians, with some labelling it “crazy” and “ridiculous”.

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The BBC has so far refused to comment. Derbyshire herself has yet to address reports, but her colleagues have confirmed the news in tweets.

The show’s senior producer, Emma Ailes, said: “Sitting here putting together tomorrow’s [Victoria Derbyshire Show].

“Three other journalists on the team here with me, all young, female and so talented. And busting a gut to make it as brilliant a programme as ever despite devastating news today.

“I’ve never worked on a team that cared so much.”

The shock news comes just days after BBC director-general Tony Hall announced he would be stepping down this summer.

The Victoria Derbyshire Show launched in April 2015 and airs simultaneously on BBC Two and the BBC News Channel for an hour from 10am on weekdays, with highlights shown at the weekend.

It attracted 2m viewers across both channels in its first week.

Jim Reed, a reporter for the show, tweeted: “Absolutely gutting decision from BBC bosses today about Victoria Derbyshire programme.

“We’ve worked ridiculously hard for five years to get issues out there that rest of the BBC doesn’t cover. Had big impact, quoted everywhere, won awards, huge digital views. Such a shame.”

Sharing a statement on Twitter, show reporter Anna Collinson said: “It’s gutting this could mean the end of a young, talented, diverse team who are led by strong, female editors and a fantastic female presenter.

“It’s gutting for our viewers.The BBC is constantly criticised for failing underserved audiences. The same audiences we were proud to serve and served well. I have already heard from interviewees who are devastated by this news.

“We are a scrappy, feisty and passionate bunch and always did our absolute best to hold those in power to account. Whatever happens now, I will forever be proud of working for this award-winning programme and will never forget everything it taught me.”

Reporter Michael Cowan tweeted: “We are absolutely devastated. Our remit is to produce exceptional original journalism and investigations, represent the marginalised in our society, and reach audiences the BBC struggles to get to… we do that, every day.”

Labour MP Jess Phillips, who recently pulled out of running for the party leadership, tweeted: “This is really sad to see, political programming that reached a largely working class audience.

“Without their work on family courts I really believe that we would not have got the Government to agree to the review, which is just one example of the good journalism done by the team.”

Picture: BBC

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