BBC dealt major ratings blow as masses switch off Kuenssberg after Marr replacement

Laura Kuenssberg

Laura Kuenssberg fronts the BBC's Sunday morning politics show

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 04/09/2023

- 12:11

Updated: 04/09/2023

- 12:32

The BBC's Sunday morning politics show has suffered a ratings dip this year

Former BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg took over from Andrew Marr in the Sunday morning slot 12 months ago.

Marr left the Beeb after over two decades to join rival company Global, citing he was tired of "self-censoring" himself.

Kuenssberg led the channel's flagship Sunday morning politics show soon after but her time hasn't been without its controversy.

On her debut show which aired last year, Kuenssberg and the BBC came under fire when left-wing comedian Joe Lycett was booked on as a guest.

Lycett sarcastically heckled then-PM Liz Truss during her interview on the show.

Kuenssberg's return after a summer break this past weekend was similarly derailed by a disruptive guest as she had to cut off Piers Morgan when he launched into a rant about Prince Harry.

Laura Kuenssberg and guests

Laura Kuenssberg returned to front the show on Sunday, September 3


Now, the latest figures from UK TV ratings body BARB show Andrew Marr's tenure on the show regularly drew in an audience of 1.9 million each week.

Kuenssberg's turn as the host hasn't been living up to Marr's bar, however.

Ratings remained close to 1.5million towards the end of last year but this has since dropped to 1.2million, according to the Daily Mail.

This means after just one year of Kuenssberg being at the helm, the BBC has lost around 700,000 viewers since Marr departed.

However, the BBC has defended the viewing figures and insists it remains satisfied with Kuenssberg's show.

A spokesperson told the Daily Mail: "These aren’t the right figures, as they don’t take into account the many people who watch on screens, phones or tablets and on iPlayer catch up, bringing the actual average to 1.5m...

"(This) broadly compares to Andrew Marr before the pandemic – it’s meaningless to use the extraordinary period of the pandemic as a comparison.

"We’re very pleased SWLK [Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg has become the weekend’s agenda-setting programme."

Andrew Marr

Andrew Marr was replaced by Kuenssberg last year


Upon her return to the show on Sunday, September 3, Kuenssberg welcomed the chancellor Jeremy Hunt MP, shadow secretary of state for education Bridget Phillipson MP, actor Timothy Spall and cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason MBE as her guests.

She was also joined by a panel consisting of Morgan, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and the children's commissioner for England Dame Rachel de Souza.

Meanwhile, GB News' own political show The Camilla Tominey Show has continued to excel in the Sunday morning slot - outperforming Sky News during its entire 90-minute run this past weekend.

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