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Andrew Neil is a publisher, editor, writer, broadcaster, public speaker and business consultant on media matters working out of London, New York, Edinburgh, Dubai and France. His knowledge of global political and economic affairs is recognised as foremost in the reporting world.
Andrew Neil is currently Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Press Holdings Media Group, publishers of The Spectator, Spectator Australia and Apollo, the world-renowned art magazine.
Until recently he was a member of the International Advisory Board of Al Jazeera, international news channel based in Doha, Qatar and was publisher of The Scotsman Group in Edinburgh for 10 years.
Andrew Neil presents three editions of the Daily Politics on BBC2 each week as well as the Sunday Politics on BBC1 plus This Week on BBC1 on Thursday nights. He anchors BBC2’s Politics Europe, which is broadcast on BBC2, BBC News Channel and on BBC World.
His first job (1971-72) was as political adviser to the Secretary of State for the Environment in Edward Heath’s Conservative Government in London. He then became a correspondent for The Economist in 1973, where his first major assignment was to cover the Ulster “Troubles” from Belfast.
Andrew became American correspondent of The Economist in 1979, working out of New York and Washington. He covered the Iranian hostage crisis and the 1980 presidential election as White House correspondent for the magazine and also wrote on Wall Street and US business. He returned to London in 1982 to become UK Editor of The Economist.
In 1983 he became editor of the prestigious Sunday Times of London and remained in that post for 11 years (until end-1994). He developed the newspaper into the undisputed 10-section market leader (which it remains today), breaking many scoops and putting the paper into the midst of many controversies in the process.
While still editing The Sunday Times, Neil presided over the successful launch of Sky Television, the new satellite service that brought multi-channel TV to Britain. Within a year Sky had already reached 1m homes. Today Sky, now BSkyB, is one of the most successful television ventures in the world. His task of launching Sky and seeing it through its first difficult year completed, Neil returned to being a full-time editor. He had been Executive Chairman of Sky from 1988 to 1990. Then, in the summer of 1994, Neil was seconded to New York to become executive editor of Fox TV’s first tentative steps into network news.
In late 1994, with Fox uncertain of its plans, he resigned from both The Sunday Times and Fox Television to begin a new career as an independent broadcaster, writer and media consultant.
While at The Economist, Neil began appearing regularly on British television and radio. In 1975 he presented the first network documentary special on North Sea oil for BBC TV. This led to presenting “Tomorrow’s World”, a BBC TV network science and technology series, the “Risk Business”, a BBC award-winning documentary series about business, and “Look Here”, a weekly media show for the ITV network. Neil also commented regularly on economic and political matters for a variety of programmes, including BBC TV’s “Nationwide” and BBC Radio 4’s “Today”.
As The Economist’s UK editor, Neil also began broadcasting to America from London, appearing regularly on the breakfast shows of all three US networks – CBS Morning, ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today and ABC’s “Nightline”. He also became London correspondent for PBS’s “Inside Edition”, a weekly US show on the media.
In 1991 he launched his own Sunday morning talk radio show for London Broadcasting (LBC), while still editing The Sunday Times. It became the highest-rated show on LBC.
Since 1994 he has anchored the “Midnight Hour” (now called “Despatch Box”), a daily network political show for BBC TV and, between 1997 and 2001, “Late Night Live”, a topical talk show for ITV.
In January 1995 he launched the “Andrew Neil Show”, a three-times-week interview programme simulcast domestically on BBC2 and internationally to more than 100 countries on BBC World, the global cable and satellite news service.
In the autumn of 1998 he started the Andrew Neil Breakfast Show for BBC Radio Five, a network Sunday morning news programme that became the highest-rated news show on the station.
Since 1996 he has presented live prime-time special reports for BBC2 every autumn from all three British party political conferences; in the 1996 US presidential election year he also covered the San Diego and Chicago conventions; in 2000 he broadcast live from New York on US election night for BBC radio; in 2001 he anchored a daily BBC network news show on the British general election. On British election night he commented on the results for CNN.
He continues to appear regularly on TV on both sides of the Atlantic and has been a consultant to NBC News. Recent US broadcasts have included CBS’s “60 Minutes” and NBC’s “Dateline”. Included among the many world leaders he has interviewed are Ronald Reagan, Mrs Gandhi, Tony Blair, Jimmy Carter, Margaret Thatcher, Henry Kissinger and Boris Yeltsin. Back in the UK, he interviewed Conservative leadership candidates Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson on 12 July 2019.
In 2002 his nightly BBC2 Despatch Box finished. In the New Year 2003 he began a new network political show for BBC1 on Thursdays: This Week with Andrew Neil, which ran until 2019; and a new afternoon political programme on BBC2 covering events at Westminster.
In October 1996 Macmillan published his autobiography “Full Disclosure”, on his Sunday Times and Sky TV years, which sold almost 60,000 copies in hard and paperback.
As a business consultant, Neil has been involved in European digital television developments and advising on the acquisition and development of a number of publications, as well as the launch of a new business daily for Asia in 1996 called “Asia Times” and a new magazine, “Asia Inc”.
Andrew Neil is much in demand worldwide as a speaker lecturing on British, American and European politics/economics, the future of the euro and the dollar and the impact of information technology on business, with special emphasis on the opportunity and challenge of e-commerce, on which he has spoken to most of the world’s major IT companies.
In early 1998 he presided over the launch of a new broadsheet Sunday paper, “Sunday Business”, renamed The Business in January 2002, which has already become a critical and circulation success
In the summer of 2000 Neil decided to relaunch The Scotsman newspaper, Scotland’s most prestigious newspaper, which had been in decline for two decades. As a result of the relaunch, The Scotsman became the country’s highest-selling broadsheet with the biggest circulation in its distinguished 180-year history. Indeed, The Scotsman outsells the combined sales of the Scottish editions of all the London broadsheets.
In April 2016 a poll of Members of Parliament voted Andrew Neil the ‘best political journalist in the country’.
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