Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Alexandra Topping

Carol Vorderman quits BBC show saying she will ‘not be silenced’ by social media rules

Carol Vorderman
Carol Vorderman, who has been critical of the UK government, said she was not prepared to lose her voice on social media. Photograph: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Carol Vorderman has quit her weekly BBC Radio Wales show, saying she will “not be silenced” by the corporation’s new social media guidelines.

Vorderman, who has hosted the Saturday morning show for five years, said BBC Wales management had decided she “must leave” after she continued to express forthright opinions, often about the government’s running of the country, on social media.

In September the BBC updated its social media guidelines to include a strengthened “Lineker clause”, in an attempt to stop high-profile presenters expressing strong views on party politics.

Vorderman, who earlier this year called the government “a lying bunch of greedy, corrupt, destructive, hateful, divisive, gaslighting crooks”, said she respected the BBC’s social media guidelines but was “not prepared to lose my voice on social media, change who I am, or lose the ability to express the strong beliefs I hold about the political turmoil this country finds itself in”.

In a statement on X, formerly Twitter, Vorderman wrote: “The BBC recently introduced new social media guidelines, which I respect. However, despite my show being light-hearted with no political content, it was explained to me that, as it is a weekly show in my name, the new guidelines would apply to all and any content that I post all year round.

“Since those non-negotiable changes to my radio contract were made, I’ve ultimately found that I’m not prepared to lose my voice on social media, change who I am, or lose the ability to express the strong beliefs I hold about the political turmoil this country finds itself in.

“My decision has been to continue to criticise the current UK government for what it has done to the country which I love – and I’m not prepared to stop. I was brought up to fight for what I believe in, and I will carry on.

“Consequently I have now breached the new guidelines and BBC Wales management have decided I must leave. We each must make our decisions.”

She said she was sad to leave “wonderful friends” at Radio Wales and wished her listeners “all the love in the world”, adding: “But, for now, another interesting chapter begins.”

Gary Lineker caused turmoil within the BBC this year when he refused to apologise for tweets about the language used by the home secretary, Suella Braverman, to describe asylum seekers. The BBC’s director general, Tim Davie, suspended Lineker, only to reinstate him after a staff rebellion.

The guidelines state that presenters on flagship shows must not endorse or attack a political party, criticise the character of individual politicians in the UK, or take up an official role in campaigning groups.

Lineker last week questioned the home secretary’s decision to label a pro-Palestine march planned for Armistice Day as a “hate march”. Organisers have said they will not go past the Cenotaph, while the Metropolitan police said protest groups are not planning to march on Remembrance Sunday.

Braverman wrote on X that it was “unacceptable to desecrate Armistice Day with a hate march through London”. In response, Lineker wrote: “Marching and calling for a ceasefire and peace so that more innocent children don’t get killed is not really the definition of a hate march.”

Reacting to Vorderman’s decision to quit the BBC, a spokesperson for BBC Wales said: “Carol has been a presenter on BBC Radio Wales since 2018. We’d like to thank her for her work and contribution to the station over the past five years.”

Vorderman’s punchy posts

September 2023

“Rishi Sunak lies. Eating meat tax doesn’t exist. New flying tax doesn’t exist. Compulsory car sharing doesn’t exist. Mandatory insulation upgrade doesn’t exist. Mind you, a recycling bin each for Dozy, Nasty, Sweary, Dodgy, Greedy, Shouty & Bully at GE is a grand idea.”

August 2023

Responding to Penny Mordaunt’s call to bring back national service:

“Bring Back National Service” cries Penny Mordaunt. What a pile of utter nonsense. She also spouts that Tories alone believe in personal responsibility and looking after others. WOW! Current Tories care only about themselves and their snouts in the troughs of power and money. FACT”

June 2023

“The Tory Gov has now lost around half of those who voted for them in 2019. Why? Cos they’re a lying bunch of greedy, corrupt, destructive, hateful, divisive, gaslighting crooks. No need for a focus group’ll just tell you the same…”

December 2022

On Jeremy Clarkson’s comment about Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex:

“NO Jeremy Clarkson. Not on any level, in any circumstance, is it ok to write this stuff about any woman & absolutely NO to ‘everyone who’s my age thinks the same’. No no no. We absolutely do NOT think the same. Listen to the noise Jeremy. The crowds are chanting ‘shame on YOU’.”

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.