“Robert’s a very different guy to Andrew. There’ll probably be a bit more business [on the Peston show]. I don’t know how much of a turn-on that will be for audiences,” Burley said on the Media Masters podcast.
“People enjoy the mix of our show. We have a good audience. Will Robert Peston offer the breadth of subject matter around arts? I’d be surprised, but you never know.”
Tensions between the broadcasters increased when the ITV show poached Vicky Flind, an established BBC politics producer, to work on the Peston programme. Flind, who has edited the BBC1 politics show This Week for the past 13 years, is the wife of BBC newsreader Huw Edwards.
Burley was bullish. “We remain in pole position on Sunday morning. We have structural advantages,” the editor said. “We’re on at 9am, we set the agenda. It’s up to them if they want to put it out at the same time as us.”
The BBC editor also praised Emily Maitlis, the Newsnight presenter who has stepped in for Marr when he is absent. Maitlis was “hugely impressive. Her interviews are fantastic. She’s one of the best I’ve worked with,” said Burley, who used to work on Newsnight.
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years. After a two year stint on local newspapers in the mid 1990s, he spent more than 5 years as the broadcast reporter at the Stage newspaper. Following that he enjoyed staff reporting positions at the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times breaking stories and writing features before settling as a full time freelance writing for an array of newspapers and magazines - but mainly for the Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.