The Mash Report: BBC satirical comedy cancelled after four years

image captionComedian Nish Kumar hosted The Mash Report

BBC Two's topical comedy show The Mash Report has been cancelled after four series.

The BBC said it had needed "to make difficult decisions" in order "to make room for new comedy shows".

The Sun welcomed the cancellation of the series, which it said was "preachy, self-righteous [and] left-wing".

But fans and comedians complained, saying it was "the best UK topical comedy show for decades" and "genuinely held the government to account".

Its supporters included Richard Herring, who said it was "a very bad decision to axe it".

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Actor and writer David Schneider said it was "a show that dared to satirise the government", while Jolyon Rubinstein of BBC Three's The Revolution Will Be Televised said it had been "too good" at "highlighting the absurdity of the political climate".

TV critic Toby Earle said it was "a platform to many new voices both in front of and behind the camera".

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But the show has attracted significant criticism since its 2017 debut.

The Spectator's Tom Slater said: "The Mash Report broke new ground for liberal sanctimony and woke hectoring... It was comedy that only works if you agree with the sentiment being expressed, and even then isn't actually funny."

TalkRADIO presenter Kevin O'Sullivan tweeted: "Oh happy day! Maybe some comedy instead?"

'All perspectives'

The BBC said in a statement: "We are very proud of The Mash Report but, in order to make room for new comedy shows, we sometimes have to make difficult decisions and it won't be returning.

"We would like to thank all those involved in four brilliant series and hope to work with Nish Kumar, Rachel Parris and the team in the future."

Some press reports linked the decision to BBC director general Tim Davie's promise to "renew our commitment to impartiality".

When he took up the job last September, Mr Davie signalled the commitment would extend beyond news to comedy programmes, in an effort better represent all sides of the political divide.

He dismissed reports that he could axe comedy shows that were seen as too left-wing as "ridiculous", but said he did want "to nurture brilliant writers from all kind of perspectives".

After the news emerged, host Kumar tweeted: "A lot of people are asking me for a comment and here it is." He posted a grab of a 2019 episode in which he showed the words "Boris Johnson is a liar and a racist" on a screen.

The Mash Report began as a spin-off of The Daily Mash website, and its last series went out in April and May 2020.

Eggheads move

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image captionEggheads host Jeremy Vine already hosts a daily programme on Channel 5

It was also confirmed on Friday that quiz show Eggheads will be leaving the BBC and moving to Channel 5.

In a statement, host Jeremy Vine said: "I can't wait to be reunited with the mighty Eggheads and see new teams try to take them on. I'm sure fans of Eggheads will share in my delight that it has found a new home on Channel 5."

Vine already presents a daily mid-morning news and debate programme for the network, after taking over the slot from The Wright Stuff in 2018.

A BBC spokesman said: "We sometimes have to make difficult decisions in order to grow new shows and we would like to thank the Eggheads and host Jeremy Vine for their time on the BBC and wish them well with their next chapter."

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