Stewart Purvis: The challenges of Brexit on political coverage

Our Next Prime Minister (Credit: BBC)

In May 2018, the top two UK parties, as measured in opinion polls and real votes cast in elections, were Labour and the Conservatives. A year later, they had been displaced by the Brexit Party and the Liberal Democrats.

One man’s journey during just three of those 12 months helps to illustrate this wacky new world of UK politics. In March 2019, he left one party to help create another, which started with one name, changed to a different one and then changed back. He then joined a third party, saying that he should probably have gone with it in the first place.

Gary Gibbon’s TV Diary

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

Parliament is “a sick house” right now. That’s not a comment on the politics of the place but a diagnosis by Philippa Whitford MP, the Commons’ most senior medical figure. The SNP politician has a long career as a cancer surgeon behind her, and MPs aware of her medical background have been bending her ear to tell her of their anxiety issues.

Whitford says sleepless nights and persistent stress are rampant and she’s had MPs telling her of their inability to process information as a result.

The Brexit conundrum: It's impact on UK's broadcasting and production industry

Brexit Flag

Emerging from the Christmas fug of too many late nights, too much mulled wine and – at least for me – a strictly non-vegan feasting period, we all have to stare 2019 squarely in the eye, pull our socks up (a nice present that you appreciate with the passing years) and utter the dreaded word that so far has not made it into my festive games of Scrabble – Brexit.

If, like me, you were suffering from Brexit overload before the Christmas break, then the Westminster news blackout over the holiday period was a welcome respite.

Krishnan Guru-Murthy hosts Brexit: What The Nation Really Thinks for Channel 4

Krishnan Guru-Murthy (Credit: Channel 4)

The discussion will take place in Birmingham, the most evenly split city in Britain in the EU referendum, and cover a range of issues such as immigration, the economy and Northern Ireland.

As the Brexit deadline nears, many are calling for a second referendum to give the public a final say on Britain’s future relations with the EU.

The programme will present and explore Channel 4’s exclusive Survation poll on the public’s opinion on Brexit’s key issues.

BBC orders Years and Years from Russell T Davies

(Credit: BBC)

Years and Years follows the Lyons, a busy Mancunian family. There’s Daniel who is getting married to Ralph, Stephen and Celeste worrying over their children, man-eater Rosie and estranged Edith. At the head of the chaotic family is Gran, the regal Muriel. When their lives all converge on one crucial night in 2019 the story is propelled into the future following the lives and loves of the Lyons over 15 years in a Britain rocked by volatile political, economic and technological advances.

Grayson Perry invites viewers to help with Brexit-themed artwork

Grayson Perry at the RTS Programme Awards (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

Grayson Perry: What Britain Wants (working title) will follow Perry as he uses art to explore Brexiters' and Remainers' perspectives on British national identity. 

Perry believes that these are the two great tribes of our time, and wants to compare their hopes, fears and aspirations for the country.

Perry is appealing for the public to get in touch with ideas, images, phrases and photographs, with which he intends to decorate two enormous pots: one for each political camp.

As of now, Perry is accepting contributions on Facebook and Twitter.

Wife Swap returns for a Brexit special

Wife Swap Brexit

RDF Television has been commissioned to make the one-off special for Channel 4.

The show will see couples swap households for one week, as they live with families from an opposing side of the Brexit debate.

Wife Swap was first shown on Channel 4 in 2003 and since then has spanned the globe with various takes on the UK format.

Daniel Fromm, Executive Producer of RDF said: “With the Brexit debate dominated by politicians and journalists it will be fascinating to hear the voices of two ordinary families grappling with the issue.”

Snapchat to open European HQ in London


Snap Inc. which is the company’s new name, have announced that it will be setting up its main international hub outside of the US, in London.

The company already has offices in Soho, but plans to open a new site close by to head up its European operations.

The news comes amid fears that Brexit will negatively impact the UK’s technology industries, however the company says it chose the London base because of the UK’s “strong creative industries [which] make this a great place to build a global business.”