Who will replace Andrew Marr at the BBC?
Four of bookies' top five favourites to fill his shoes are women
Andrew Marr will become chief political commentator at The New Statesman after leaving the BBC at the end of the year, the magazine has announced.
A former editor of The Independent, Marr was the BBC’s political editor from 2000 to 2005, and has presented his own interview-based Sunday morning programme for the broadcaster since 2015.
The high-profile journalist announced two weeks ago that he was quitting the corporation, saying he was “keen to get my own voice back”. After signing to The New Statesman, he said: “I have been looking for partners who won’t be leaning on my shoulder as I write – and it seems I have found them.”
The magazine “saw off competition from bigger titles to secure Marr on an almost exclusive basis”, according to Press Gazette. However, he will also have sidelines presenting own shows for LBC and Classic FM and writing a regular column for the LBC website.
As Marr prepares to leave his current Sunday morning show gig, speculation is hotting up about who will take his place. Here are bookies' top five favourites, plus other possible contenders.
The presenter of BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour has also anchored BBC Two’s Newsnight, as well as doing stints on LBC and BBC Radio 5 Live. Bookmakers have her as the favourite to take over from Marr, at 7/2.
The Scot first joined the BBC in 1976. She is best known for her years as the presenter of Newsnight and has also fronted Newsnight Review. Her odds of taking over from Marr are currently rated at 8/1.
Northampton-born Husain, on odds of 9/1, has filled in for Marr in the past. One of the main presenters on BBC Radio 4’s Today, she is also often in the chair on the broadcaster’s News at Ten.
The only man in the top five, Mair has occasionally presented Newsnight and has his own weekday afternoon show on LBC. He made headlines when, while filling in for Marr back in October 2019, he asked Boris Johnson if he was “a nasty piece of work”. Mair, who hails from Dundee, is being given odds of 12/1.
Tying with Mair on odds of 12/1, Newsnight anchor Maitlis has covered elections for the BBC in UK and US. The widely revered broadcaster has won a string of awards, including the Network Presenter of the Year gong at the RTS Television Journalism Awards for her explosive interview with Prince Andrew.
Despite failing to place in the bookies’ top five, The Guardian said that the BBC’s political editor is “likely to be among the front runners” to take over from Marr. However, it has previously been reported that Kuenssberg was stepping away from her current role to join the Today programme.
The media veteran could potentially be available to return to the BBC, having walked out on GB News in September. Neil has hinted that he is keen to land another job in TV, saying: “I don’t want GB News to be the full stop in my broadcasting career.” The Times reported that the “bruised” journalist met BBC director-general Tim Davie weeks after “dramatically” quitting the right-leaning news channel and that the pair were believed to “have enjoyed a constructive conversation”.
The host of BBC Global Questions and Hardtalk, Badawi has filled in on Marr’s show before, so she would be a familiar face to his core audience.