Andrew Neil's Biography

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Andrew Ferguson Neil was born on 21 May 1949, the son of an army officer.

Andrew Neil attended Paisley Grammar School and the University of Glasgow. He graduated in 1971 with an MA (Hons) in Political Economy and Political Science.

After a short stint working for the Conservative Party, Andrew Neil joined The Economist. He had a variety of roles there before becoming UK editor.

Andrew Neil was appointed editor of The Sunday Times in 1983 and held the role for 11 years. In 1988 he was also made Executive Chairman of Sky.

Whilst at The Sunday Times, he met Pamela Bordes (exposed by the News of the World as an expensive prostitute) in Tramp nightclub in March 1988 which led eventually to Andrew Neil bringing a libel action against Peregrine Worsthorne for an article he wrote in The Sunday Telegraph. Neil won £1000 and costs. One upshot in passing was that apparently Bordes revealed his hair-dye stained the pillow-cases.

Since leaving Rupert Murdoch's media empire, Andrew Neil has had a variety of roles in the media. He helped the reclusive Barclay Brothers develop their media interests, including The Sunday Business, The Scotsman and The Evening News (Edinburgh).

As well as presenting on Radio 5, Andrew Neil has fronted many shows (mainly political) on BBC Television including The Midnight Hour, The Daily Politics, Sunday Politics, and This Week.

In 2005, he became the chief executive of The Spectator.

In 1997, Andrew Neil wrote an account of his early career entitled Full Disclosure.

In 2008 Andrew Neil led a group of investors in buying the talent agency PFD.

In July 2008 Media Guardian reported that Andrew Neil would no longer be involved in the day-to-day running of The Spectator, moving from chief executive to chairman of Press Holdings, and meanwhile becoming chairman of PFD.

On 8 August 2015, he married Susan Nilsson, a Swedish communications director, who was the director of communications at the Waterman Group.

In August 2016, Andrew Neil told The Radio Times:

“ ... I do five or six programmes a week when parliament’s sitting and none when it isn’t. We came down to our house in Grasse, in the south of France, in July and I’m not back until Prime Minister’s Questions on 7 September.”

In July 2017, the BBC revealed that Andrew Neil earned over £200,000 from licence fee revenue in their financial year 2016/7.

In 2019, his long-running politics show This Week on the BBC came to an end. It was first broadcast in 2003. Michael Portillo was a regular panellist.

In the same year he hosted The Andrew Neil Show on BBC Two as well as interviewing party leaders in advance of the 2019 General Election.

However, in July 2020, the BBC announced the end of The Andrew Neil Show.

In September 2020, The Guardian reported that Andrew Neil had quit the BBC to launch a new opinionated rolling news channel GB News which aimed to start broadcasting in 2021 as a rival to the BBC and Sky.

In the event, in September 2021, Andrew Neil resigned as chairman and lead presenter of GB News, just a few months after the channel had launched.

He has a dog called Molly.

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