Since RadioTimes.com revealed last week that Robert Peston was set for a move to ITV, it’s been among the worst kept secrets in British TV. And now the former BBC economics editor has confirmed that he is indeed leaving the corporation for a post with the commercial broadcaster.
Writing on his BBC blog, Peston admitted “I am off to another place” but called BBC News “the high point of my working life.”
“Its unrivalled commitment to objectivity, seriousness and relevance is a beacon,” he said. “And its journalists, editors, producers and cameramen are world class.
“Television is a team game,” added Peston. “I want to thank all my brilliant colleagues who for the past 10 years have routinely, through their thorough professionalism, transformed my pig’s ears into almost-silken purses.”
A statement from ITV confirmed that Peston will become its political editor and will host a new weekly programme, Peston on Sunday, which, depending on the exact timing, could be a direct rival to Andrew Marr’s own Sunday-morning show on the BBC.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com before the announcement, Marr responded to the possibility with “Bring it on!” but added that he thought a clash would be a case of “strange logic” on ITV’s part.
“I think it’ll be a bit of an odd thing at the very time ITV is protesting about there being two news programmes on at 10 o’clock on weekday nights to say, ‘But we’re going to put two political interview programmes head-to-head on Sunday morning.’ There’s a strange logic there – or illogic.”