Emily Maitlis' Unfortunate Slip Of The Tongue On Newsnight Is So 2020

“I’m never going to recover from that now am I?”

Emily Matlis had a very unfortunate slip of the tongue during Tuesday night’s Newsnight.

The presenter was introducing former health secretary Alan Johnson who was appearing via video link from Hull.

Mr Johnson, who was also Hull West and Hessle MP for many years, was on the current affairs programme to give his reaction to the latest restrictions introduced by Boris Johnson to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Except Emily didn’t introduce him quite as he was expecting.

“Former Health Secretary Alan Johnson joins us down the line from hell [laughs] Hull.

“I’m never going to recover from that now am I?”

In May, Emily was at the centre of a row over an opening section of Newsnight where she addressed the backlash that Dominic Cummings received after it was revealed he’d taken a 260-mile trip to his parents’ house in Durham during lockdown.

The following day, the BBC ruled that Emily’s comments breached their impartiality guidelines, with staff being sent a “reminder” about the broadcaster’s stance on neutrality.

It was later revealed that the corporation received a total of 23,674 complaints about the episode in question, from viewers who felt that Emily showed “bias against Dominic Cummings and/or the government”.

The corporation added that the complaints came “after invitations to complain were posted online”.

Emily Maitlis
Emily Maitlis
David M. Benett via Getty Images

Amid the controversy over her opening speech, Emily asked for “the night off” from Newsnight, with Katie Razzall taking her place on the episode that followed.

Emily later revealed Dominic Cummings had sent her a message of solidarity after her Newsnight monologue.

Speaking to Tatler magazine, she said: “It was peak surreal getting a message of support from him in the middle of all the crazy stuff.”

Emily also said she was overwhelmed by the public support she received amid the controversy.

“I think that was the biggest I’ve had – more than Andrew, more than anything. I was overwhelmed by it,” she said.

“I wasn’t expecting such a flood of warmth.”

Newsnight airs weeknights at 10.45pm on BBC Two.


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