BBC director apologises for Blair cut-off
BBC Two viewers missed out on the closing stages of former Prime Minister Blair's final speech to the House of Commons when the channel abruptly dumped out of The Daily Politics at around 12:35pm for two trailers advertising Rome and Jekyll before handing over to Sue Barker who spent 25 minutes introducing tennis coverage that started at 1pm.
Andrew Neil, who presents The Daily Politics, is understood to have been angered at the scheduling decision. In a blog post this evening, Boaden said:
"Sometimes bad mistakes happen on the worst possible day. And that's exactly what happened this afternoon.
"I saw it myself: I was watching coverage of the absolutely riveting final PMQs... with Tony Blair on The Daily Politics when it suddenly cut away in the middle of his valedictory statement to a couple of trails and the tennis.
"As a consequence, we only learned later that we had missed Mr Blair talking about his fear of the House of Commons, and a unique moment when both sides of the House gave him a standing ovation. A lot of you were taken aback and upset by the switch - and certainly Andrew Neil and the production team were deeply disappointed not to share this with you after the care and passion they put into the programme on such a special day.
"After looking into this, I can at least reassure you that this was cock up rather than conspiracy. A wrong scheduling decision was taken for which the BBC can only apologise. Believe me, no one involved would have wanted you to miss any part of this important event. Thankfully, News 24 was also covering PMQs live so we hope viewers were able to switch there."