Friday, June 14, 2024

BBC presenter pulls out of Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer debate in shake up

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BBC news presenter Sophie Raworth has been forced to step down as the host of the upcoming Prime Ministerial Debate between Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer after fracturing her ankle. Mishal Husain has been announced as her replacement.

Despite her injury, Sophie will still be seen on screens as she will continue to present BBC News bulletins. She will also still be involved in the BBC’s general election night coverage as she will present the second day’s broadcast.

In an official statement released by the BBC Sophie revealed: “The injury I picked up at the London marathon has now been diagnosed as a fracture in my ankle. I was only told this last week during the D-Day commemorations. I’m now on crutches, in a boot and non-weight-bearing for some time.

Mishal Husain is a fantastic presenter and will be brilliant at moderating what is a really important debate for both the two leaders and the BBC. I’m delighted she is doing it.”

Her replacement Mishal paid tribute saying: “Sophie has been remarkable in the pace and the way she’s worked in recent weeks, despite her injury. I can’t see myself ever stepping into her running shoes but she can count on me for this, as the two prime ministerial candidates face each other for their last television encounter.”

Speaking of the shake-up Jonathan Munro, Deputy CEO of BBC News said: “These debates are a key moment in the campaign – giving voters the chance to ask questions of their future prime minister.

“Mishal did an outstanding job on Friday – the BBC is very fortunate to have such a wealth of talent to draw upon.

“We’re wishing Sophie a speedy recovery; it seems it’s not only football managers who need to worry about foot injuries!”

The duration of the head-to-head debate between Mr Sunak and Sir Starmer has been extended and it will now run for an hour and 15 minutes.

Following the debate Laura Kuenssberg and Clive Myrie, the hosts of the BBC’s election night coverage, will present reaction and analysis live from the debate venue for thirty minutes.

This is just the latest shake-up to the BBC‘s pre-election coverage. Earlier today (June 11) it was announced Nigel Farage’s BBC Panorama interview has been delayed from tonight due to a diary mix-up.

The Reform UK leader’s grilling from journalist Nick Robinson was scheduled to air at 10:40pm, but it has now been postponed to a later date.

The Prime Ministerial Debate will be broadcast on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 8:15pm-9:30pm on Wednesday 26 June.

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