BBC defends itself amid criticism over interviews with ‘Mizzy’ and Andrew Tate

Mizzy takes Kirsty Wark’s water during Andrew Tate debate

The BBC has defended its decision to broadcast a number of controversial interviews over the past two days, amid accusations that the output has been “Cringeworthy”, “humiliating” and undermined their Public Service Broadcaster remit.

Over the last two days, the BBC has covered the revelation that a Tory-hating Twitter account pretending to be an anonymous Tory MP is run by a Tory-hating pro-EU personal trainer; interviewed “thug” TikTok ‘prankster’ Mizzy; and platformed controversial influencer Andrew Tate.

Today, the Express revealed widespread condemnation of the BBC’s editorial decisions.

Senior Tory MP Simon Clarke said the broadcasts were “about as far from the Reithian ethos as it’s possible for the BBC to stray.”

Fellow Tory Andrea Jenkyns told the Express: “By affording a platform to attention-seeking Tory trolls, such as the Secret Tory Twitter parody account, the BBC inadvertently amplifies their views, casting a shadow on the integrity of their journalistic standards.”

Baroness Claire Fox said: Bad enough having Mizzy on Newsnight, he ran rings, mocking BBC News for inviting him on and accused the broadcaster of fuelling Andrew Tate’s fame by doing a long interview with him”.

“Mizzy and Tate may ‘do’ notoriety for clicks/fame; What’s the BBC’s excuse? Cringeworthy/humiliating.”

The Express can now reveal the BBC is refusing to shy away from its editorial choices.

It refused to directly answer criticism which has been levelled at them today, nor defend the specific output being condemned.

In a statement, a BBC spokesman told “The BBC has reported on a huge range of public interest stories over the past 24 hours – including the tragic deaths in Bournemouth, the rail strikes, the cost of living crisis and the upcoming Covid inquiry”.

Former Downing Street Chief of Staff Nick Timothy, who advised Theresa May at the Home Office, slammed the interview with TikTok prankster Mizzy, who is currently on bail after recording yet more videos, in a breach of his court order.

“He is a thug and a criminal who terrorises his neighbourhood, so why exactly is the BBC treating him like a sage or spokesman?”

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Yesterday was the 77th anniversary of the BBC introducing the licence fee – an effective tax on anyone who watches live broadcast TV.

MPs used the milestone to call on the telly tax to be scrapped, in a new era of multi-channel broadcasting an on-demand subscription services like Netflix.

Tory MP and GB News presenter Philip Davies told the Express the BBC licence is “completely anachronistic” and has “no place” in a modern society when there is so much choice for viewers and listeners.

He said: “It cannot be right that people are forced to pay for the BBC whether they want to watch and listen to it or not, just as it would be unacceptable to force people through the criminal law to buy a Sky subscription against their wishes.

“It is time for the licence fee to come to an end.”

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