Andrew Marr: BBC’s most disliked?

Andrew Marr leaves the BBC Broadcasting House in central London after presenting The Andrew Marr Show on 18 October, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

I love it when the Jocks complain.

The BBC fortnightly report from their complaints service has three big ones and Andrew Marr’s disgraceful interview, with the First Minister, using inaccurate statistics to badger her, came top:

On the day, I made two complaints (below) and encouraged readers to also do so. I wrote:

I haven’t complained for a while. It’s usually demoralising. Please use this to make you own:

So far, I’ve had two apologies for delay in their response. I’ll post mine here when they do get round to it.

9 thoughts on “Andrew Marr: BBC’s most disliked?

  1. Oddly (or not so oddly)—I have read in the press about complaints referencing Strictly and Have I got.
    Not a peep about Marr.

    What was that about supporting newspapers during the pandemic?
    Source of honest, accurate and unbiased news? Aye right!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Here’s my complaint,

    Andrew Marr’s use of selective statistics to the point of lying in his cross examination of Nicola Sturgeon, was a gross misinterpretation of the facts.
    Why is Marr trying to politicise the covid-19 pandemic?
    Please get Mr Marr on the carpet as soon as possible and I personally would like to see him sacked from the BBC. 

    I’ll post my answer when it arrives.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi All
    Here is my reply from the BBC – I have replied to their reply asking for an explanation how at the end of “week 49” they consider “weeks 43 – 46” meets the “LAST FOUR WEEKS” I will post that reply

    Dear Mr Maclean
    Thank you for contacting us with your concerns about BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, broadcast 29 November.
    When speaking to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Andrew Marr highlighted data sourced from the Office for National Statistics and the National Records of Scotland, which suggested the recent Covid-19 death rate in Scotland was higher than in England.
    Andrew was explicit that he was looking at the last four weeks, and the data on screen was clearly sourced as being from week 43 to week 46.
    We would never deliberately mislead viewers for any purpose or intentionally deceive our audience in any way. We are committed to covering every aspect of the pandemic with impartiality and accuracy.

    Nevertheless, we appreciate your concerns, and with that in mind we have made your comments available to the programme team and senior management across the BBC.

    Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t agree on this explanation I have to say.

    we’re sending this response to everyone. We’re sorry we can’t reply individually, but we hope this will address most of the points raised.

    The First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon was closely questioned on topics such as her handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the attainment gap in Scottish education, and we heard Ms Sturgeon respond at length.

    We don’t agree that the approach taken was biased or unfair.

    When scrutinising the First Minister’s performance during the pandemic, Andrew Marr referred to two distinct periods in his questioning, the first wave in the Spring and the second this Autumn.

    In the first question he asked ‘when you look at the data, isn’t the truth that Scotland has the third worst record in deaths from Coronavirus of any country in Europe in the first wave?’ This is a reference to the ONS, 30 July 2020: “By Week 22 (week ending 29 May), the four countries with the highest cumulative excess mortality saw the respective rcASMRs: England (7.55%), Spain (6.65%), Scotland (5.11%), Belgium (3.89%).” (ONS Comparisons of all-cause mortality between European countries and regions: January to June 2020)

    The First Minister accepted ‘the number of deaths in Scotland has been far too high’ but makes the point that it is not a competition, there are a range of factors at play and that ‘at the moment there is a lower prevalence’ in Scotland than in England and Wales.

    In Andrew Marr’s follow up question he asked Ms Sturgeon ‘If you look at the last four weeks’: the audience is shown the four most recent weeks of comparative figures between the ONS and the National Records of Scotland and Andrew reads these out to the First Minister. The First Minister responded by saying that the death rate per million in Scotland during the pandemic has been lower than England and Wales.

    At the time of the interview the best and most up-to-date data we could use to make a comparison between England and Scotland only went up to week 46 (the ONS data for week 47 was not published until the Tuesday after the programme).

    There is a clear acceleration in mortality from week 43 to the present week so it is a reasonable time by which to compare the mortality impact of the second wave.

    At no point did Andrew Marr suggest this data referred to the entire pandemic.

    Viewers were clear that the programme referred to an assessment of the first wave earlier in the year before moving onto examine the most recent data available.

    The Andrew Marr Show is known for its rigorous and in depth interviews in which politicians and others in positions of power are held to account. The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was asked a range of challenging questions as were the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, and the Shadow Foreign Secretary, Lisa Nandy. Every interview is different but we believe all three showed the scrutiny, detail and due impartiality the audience expects.

    Thank you again for your feedback, which is highly valued.

    Kind regards,

    BBC Complaints Team


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