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Try our (totally unbiased) end-of-year BBC quiz


IT’S the time of year for quizzes, so if you have enjoyed the BBC’s festive output, or if perhaps you haven’t, here’s one about our national broadcaster. Answers at the end.


1. Which BBC football programme presenter was shamed into deleting a tweet (without admitting as much) after embarrassingly falling for a ‘scaremongering’ hoax about post-Brexit medicine shortages?

2. Which BBC programme appointed as its economics editor someone who’d previously, whilst in a similar position at the Independent, attacked Brexiteers as ‘xenophobes’ and called politicians such as Michael Gove and Jacob Rees-Mogg ‘intellectual and moral pygmies’?

3. Which BBC Breakfast presenter, talking to an EU-sympathetic think-tanker, opined: ‘I don’t understand, or lots of people don’t understand, why we spend so much time talking about Nigel Farage’?

4. Which Today presenter was dispatched to Gaza, with predictable results?

5. Who was new Question Time host Fiona Bruce accused by Corbynistas of joking about in the pre-programme audience warm-up, especially over her sexual relationship with Jeremy Corbyn?


6. Which BBC Panorama reporter was recorded (via undercover filming) saying: ‘Here I am on expenses in the boozer, with a dog and a fire . . . I think we should have one more bottle of wine. F*ck it. No expense spared! Two brandies, two limoncellos. Erm. This is Creme de Cassis. Er, erm, the Kir royale. Even better is another version which is, erm, er, blackberry. Blackberrent . . . liqueur and champagne. Kir royale. How you got any flaming Sambuca? And then two Kir royale. And then the bill’?

7. Which BBC flagship news programme had to apologise to Richard Tice, formerly of Leave.EU, for ‘unintentionally’ suggesting he was subject to an Electoral Commission investigation when he wasn’t?

8. The team behind a long-running BBC Radio 4 programme were ‘given impartiality training’ in the wake of one of its main presenters ‘showing bias against US Supreme Court judge Brett Kavanaugh’. Which presenter? And which programme?


9. Which BBC documentary presenter was accused of being a ‘white saviour’ by David Lammy MP?

10. Which controversial item of clothing was chosen and shown in a positive light as part of the BBC’s ‘Wardrobe of Rebellion’ feature for International Women’s Day?

11. On From Our Own Correspondent, which European leader did Stephen Sackur call ‘vain’ and ‘shameless’ and accuse of ‘dog-whistling’ over George Soros?

12. Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee accused the BBC of ‘complacency’ after a £87million project to rebuild the set of which BBC TV programme ran £27million over budget and five years behind schedule?

13. Which senior BBC figure said we should stop using the phrase ‘mainstream media’ because it’s ‘a term of abuse’ and ‘an assault on freedom of expression’?

14. After seven months of going through the BBC’s complaints process, a viewer’s complaint that a senior BBC reporter’s statement ‘210million containers a year will be potentially added to those requiring customs checks’ was misleading was upheld. The senior BBC reporter was reminded to be more ‘careful’ with statistics. Which senior BBC reporter?

15. The BBC agreed to pay substantial libel damages to the president of which country after wrongly claiming he had been involved in making a secret $400,000 payment to Donald Trump’s lawyer in return for access to the US president?


16. Which ‘literally a communist’ ‘journalist’ made her first but far from final appearance on Question Time?

17. Which BBC fact-checker got his figures wrong over US food safety while berating the US ambassador for doing the same on the Today programme, forcing a BBC retraction?

18. Which BBC Breakfast presenter provoked Fran Unsworth into another plea for BBC journalists to stop sounding off in non-impartial ways on Twitter after he objected to an audience member on Question Time being allowed to ask: ‘Is it morally right that five-year-old children learn about LGBT issues in school’?

19. Which former BBC foreign correspondent/newsreader accused the BBC of excluding working-class talent in favour of ‘gilded youth’, and said that the BBC is dominated by ‘a metropolitan middle class’ and that it has a ‘world view’ that’s ‘bound to reflect the collective set of assumptions of those who work for it’?

20. Which Radio 4 journalist/presenter declared that his holiday reading would be Fully Automated Luxury Communism by Corbynista Aaron Bastani?


21. From John Simpson to John Sweeney, from Danny Shaw to Quentin Somerville and Emily Maitlis, which then minister and future Conservative leadership contender received accolades galore from admiring BBC journalists? 

22. Who was sacked by the BBC after posting an image on Twitter of a couple holding hands with a chimpanzee wearing clothes, adding the caption ‘Royal baby leaves hospital’?

23. Which party leader was dropped at the last minute from Have I Got News For You because of the start of the European election campaign, provoking fury from #FBPE types on Twitter?

24. After the appointment of working-class Yorkshireman Simon Armitage as Poet Laureate, which BBC journalist asked him: ‘Did it cross your mind, even for a moment, when you were offered the post to say, “You know, actually, I don’t think this is right at this stage for a white male. Maybe someone from a different point of view, a different background, would be better for this role at this moment?”’

25. During an interview, who did Andrew Marr insist had never said ‘No deal is better than a bad deal’ before June 2016 (‘I’ve gone back, and if you said it, you said it away from the cameras and the microphones’, ‘Because I can’t find examples of you saying this’, ‘We can’t find it’), despite it being very easy to find footage of that politician saying exactly that in front of cameras and microphones?


26. Who had to delete a tweet that described Donald Trump as ‘an embarrassment who lacks any kind of dignity and has interfered outrageously in our national affairs’?

27. Which TV programme had a segment on UK land ownership and tax avoidance which featured campaigners from Friends of the Earth and the Tax Justice Network and ended with the BBC reporter saying ‘It’s clearly very important that the countryside doesn’t simply become a tax haven for the super-rich’?

28. Which BBC Two presenter described Donald Trump as an ‘angry toddler’?

29. Who did Paul Danahar, the BBC Americas Bureau chief, get into a Twitter spat with after tweeting ‘unless you have 30 mins to kill you can skip this one’ about the other man’s exclusive interview with Donald Trump?

30. Who got into trouble after making a joke about throwing battery acid over politicians she didn’t like?


31. Which host of the BBC’s Dateline London proved herself to be no Gavin Esler by telling her guests: ‘We don’t have a firm Brexiteer on this panel today, so I’m not going to let you make any Remoaning speeches’?

32. Which BBC reporter said of Tommy Robinson: ‘He became obsessed with his belief that Muslims were predisposed to violence because of the Koran. It was his ticket to a new way of making money’?

33. Which six-letter word did the BBC’s Nick Bryant repeatedly use to describe Donald Trump’s tweets about the four Left-wing US congresswomen of colour?


34. Which Radio 4 presenter posed this question: ‘Key question: if we (in the media aspiring to be neutral) call Marine Le Pen “far Right”, should we not call President Trump the same?’

35. Who is the BBC’s ‘gender and identity correspondent’ responsible for producing what Is the BBC Biased? called ‘a nasty little propaganda film’ about Israel?


36. Of which Labour MP and former Mastermind contestant was Andrew Neil speaking when he tweeted that ‘he has an agenda that doesn’t involve facts. Quite Trumpian really’?

37. Which woman who endorsed the spray-painting of anti-Israel slogans on the remaining Warsaw Ghetto wall was invited to appear as an expert in the BBC Two series The Rise of the Nazis, to the horror of many?

38. Who is the President of the European Broadcasting Union?

39. A film by BBC Teach told teachers in charge of pupils aged 9-12 to teach that there are how many gender identities?

40. At an event just after Boris Johnson became PM, which BBC Breakfast presenter quipped: ‘I am a girly swot and I’m proud of it . . . Let’s see who’s in the job the longest!’? (She left her job at the BBC for Channel 4 a month later.)

41. Who was the subject of the BBC Two documentary Conspiracy Files: The Billionaire Global Mastermind?, a fierce defence of its subject?

42. Which veteran BBC reporter declared on his podcast: ‘I find myself, against my will really, but thinking and arguing in favour of the old ways where an elite is responsible for putting out the news’?

43. Who, immediately after retiring from the BBC, revealed that the expressions on BBC bosses’ faces on the morning after the EU referendum ‘were as grim as the look on the face of a football supporter when his team’s star player misses the penalty that would have won them the cup . . . Leave had won – and this was not what the BBC had expected. Nor what it wanted’?

44. What job at the BBC does Ben Hunte hold? And who criticised him for saying that he would be a ‘mouthpiece’ for a certain section of society?

45. The BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit ruled against which presenter for ‘the persistent and personal nature of the criticism’ during her interview with Rod Liddle?

46. During a phone-in, which BBC presenter said ‘Yawn’ to a member of the public when they raised the subject of BBC bias?

47. Which Radio 4 presenter described Boris’s prorogation of Parliament as a ‘wheeze’, a ‘dodge’ and a ‘trick’?

48. Who personally intervened to overturn a BBC ruling against Naga Munchetty for expressing a critical opinion about Donald Trump?


49. Who left the BBC after 17 years, later saying that the BBC’s failure to show his Tommy Robinson film led him to seek psychiatric help?

50. Who stopped doing Radio 4’s Thought for the Day in protest at the BBC stopping one of his scripts commemorating an executed Sikh guru who had opposed the forced conversion of Hindus to Islam under India’s Mughal emperors ‘because it might offend Muslims’?

51. The BBC ruled against which BBC presenter for misspeaking Jeremy Hunt’s surname on Radio 5 Live and not apologising promptly enough?

52. Which ardent Remainer has been appointed the BBC’s first Director of Creative Diversity?

53. Which Radio 4 presenter put the following question to Rory Stewart: ‘You mention you’re proud of the diversity of the mayoral race in London. You are a white guy, an old Etonian. It’s not very 2020, is it really, to be challenging a black man who is the Conservative candidate and the Muslim mayor?’

54. Which Radio 4 presenter gave John Humphrys ‘a hard time’ for reading the Daily Mail, according to Humphrys?

55. Who complained to the BBC when it described him as a ‘Labour activist’ in a report, describing it as ‘a grotesque level of bias’?

56. Who did Andrew Marr tell off, live on air, for laughing – even though she wasn’t laughing?

57. Who did Nick Robinson say shouldn’t be a presenter on LBC, saying his two-hour show there is a ‘great danger’?

58. Of whose use of Facebook to speak directly to voters did Nick Robinson say: ‘And they say that’s democracy. It ain’t democracy. It is a form of propaganda used by dictators down the ages’?

59. A few days before Boris Johnson negotiated a new withdrawal deal with the EU, which BBC editor proclaimed that was ‘not going to happen’, doubling down on her prediction the week before that ‘the chances of getting a deal now, between now and the EU leader’s summit is zero, let’s be honest’?

60. Who told his listeners: ‘Boris Johnson got a deal that many of us thought was impossible. The EU did move, contrary to its own assertions, to those of many experts and to the assumptions of many of us in the media’?

61. Who took the BBC to court because she gets paid around £2,500 less per edition than Jeremy Vine for doing what she considers equivalent programmes?


62. Which BBC Breakfast presenter mishandled an interview with Harvey Proctor forcing him to have to fight for an apology, which he eventually won?

63. Who saved the day for the BBC when the Berlin Wall came down, at least according to John Simpson in his documentary The Fall of the Berlin Wall with John Simpson?

64. Which former Labour Party activist turned Sky reporter was announced as Newsnight‘s new policy editor?

65. What do Greta Thunberg, Lady Hale, Grayson Perry, George the Poet and Charles Moore have in common?

66. Who told Peter Oborne that he sounded ‘crackers’ after he compared the BBC to ‘state TV in Soviet Russia’?

67. The BBC asked which political party to remove ‘BBC content’ from its election adverts?

68. Which BBC interviewer wrote ‘to go for “car crash” moments would be folly and a disgrace. It’s a temptation (just wallow in the Twitter applause) which must be resisted. If I’ve fallen into it, I hereby apologise’?

69. During the election campaign, footage emerged of which party leader telling Iranian TV that pressure from Israel was responsible for the BBC having ‘a bias’ in favour of saying that Israel is a democracy and has a right to exist?


70. According to Is the BBC Biased? how many times did Andrew Marr interrupt Boris Johnson during thatinterview? (You’re allowed ten out either way!)

71. Who tweeted the following: ‘Enjoyed Andrew Marr’s combative interview with Boris Johnson, but if BJ doesn’t now commit to a grilling from Andrew Neil, he’ll be vulnerable to Thatcher’s old accusation of being “frit”’?

72. Which BBC comedian was booed and pelted with a bread roll while performing his Radio 4 humour in front of a non-BBC audience?

73. Who ended his interview programme by saying: ‘But the Prime Minister of our nation will at times have to stand up to President Trump, President Putin, President Xi of China, so it was surely not expecting too much that he spent half an hour standing up to me?’ And did the Prime Minister spend half an hour with him as a result?

74. Who got into trouble for ‘liking’ a video bearing the GMB logo which ended with an attack on the Tories over the NHS but excused himself by saying he’d not watched it to the end before adding that he’d never apologise for supporting the NHS?

75. During an interview, Andrew Marr told Brandon Lewis MP that he is Security Minister, Justice Minister and Conservative Party Chairman. How many of those three positions does Mr Lewis actually hold?

76. Towards the end of the election campaign, who said: ‘How long can you justify a system whereby everybody who has a TV has to pay to fund a particular set of TV and radio channels, that is the question’?

77. Which senior BBC reporter was accused of breaking electoral law (something the BBC denies) by passing on ‘hints’ from both sides that postal votes were ‘looking grim for Labour in lots of parts of the country’ and accused of bias and inaccuracy for tweeting fake news about a Conservative adviser being punched?

78. During election night, who tweeted: ‘Another battle verdict: social media – overwhelmingly livelier and funnier on the pro-Labour side – thumped in terms of influence by dull, dreary, pro-establishment old media . . . Who’d a thunk it?’

79. During election night, which Newsnight stalwart tweeted: ‘Time for soul-searching in political parties – but also for big media. Has quest for “gotcha” moments become meaningless? Did the boy in Leeds hospital or BoJo blanking Andrew Neil move the dial in any way?’ before veering back and adding: ‘Voters are in their own silos now, social media battleground key’?

80. Who, late on election night, got a bee in his bonnet over Boris Johnson talking of ‘the people’s government’, saying: ‘We don’t like “the people’s” used in that context in this country. It’s a bit French or even possibly Russian. “The people’s” – it’s slightly odd . . . We have a parliamentary democracy and the people are represented by all sorts of other people’, then demanding, ‘Huw, could we just dwell a little bit more on that phrase “the people’s government?”’ and, after being allowed to do so, ending, ‘It rings slightly oddly in my ears’?

81. Which senior BBC reporter’s main initial response to the election result was to retweet the Electoral Reform Society?

82. Which famous funny man [disputed] said of the BBC: ‘They would rather have a dog do Doctor Who than a black person’?

83. Which BBC flagship programme is Downing Street reported to be avoiding, post-election, over concerns about bias?

84. Newsnight‘s Kirsty Wark, recalling ‘shared moments’ of the past decade, named which controversial rap singer, with whom the BBC then chose to crown their Christmas Day programming?

85. Which senior BBC figure ended the year on a note of supreme BBC complacency by writing: ‘Around 27million people in the UK came to the BBC website to find out about the election results. It was a reminder of the trust people place in the BBC. Yes of course we faced some criticism for our election coverage. That is to be expected as the national broadcaster. Where we can and need to improve we will. But the fact criticism came from all sides of the political divide shows to me that we were doing our job without fear or favour’?


1. Gary Lineker

2. Newsnight (Ben Chu)

3. Naga Munchetty

4. Mishal Husain

5. Diane Abbott

6. John Sweeney

7. Newsnight

8. Jane Garvey, Woman’Hour

9. Stacey Dooley

10. The niqab

11. Viktor Orban

12. Eastenders

13. Lord Tony Hall

14. Mark Easton

15. Ukraine

16. Ash Sarkar

17. Chris Morris

18. Ben Thompson

19. Michael Buerk

20. Mark Mardell

21. Rory Stewart

22. Danny Baker

23. Change UK/TIG’s Heidi Allen

24. Will Gompertz

25. Nigel Farage

26. John Simpson

27. Countryfile

28. Emily Maitlis

29. Piers Morgan

30. Jo Brand

31. Carrie Gracie

32. Dominic Casciani

33. Racist

34. Evan Davis

35. Megha Mohan

36. David Lammy

37. Ash Sarkar

38. Lord Hall

39. 100, ‘if not more’

40. Steph McGovern

41. George Soros

42. John Simpson

43. John Humphrys

44. LGBT correspondent; John Humphrys

45. Emily Maitlis

46. Emma Barnett

47. Evan Davis

48. Lord Tony Hall

49. John Sweeney

50. Lord Indarjit Singh

51. Nicky Campbell

52. June Sarpong

53. Justin Webb

54. Sarah Montague

55. Owen Jones

56. Priti Patel

57. Nigel Farage

58. Boris Johnson

59. Katya Adler

60. Evan Davis

61. Samira Ahmed

62. Naga Munchetty

63. John Simpson

64. Lewis Goodall

65. Guest editors on Today this Christmas

66. Huw Edwards

67. The Conservative Party

68. Andrew Marr

69. Jeremy Corbyn

70. 91

71. John Simpson

72. Nish Kumar

73. Andrew Neil; no

74. Huw Edwards

75. One (Security Minister only)

76. Boris Johnson

77. Laura Kuenssberg

78. Andrew Marr

79. Mark Urban

80. Andrew Marr

81. Mark Easton

82. Sir Lenny Henry

83. Today

84. Stormzy

85. Lord Hall

This quiz first appeared on Is the BBC Biased? on December 26, 2019, and is republished by kind permission. 

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Craig Byers
Craig Byers
Craig Byers is a blogger about the BBC, focusing on the issue of BBC bias while living in Britain's finest traditional seaside resort: Morecambe (the one with the Eric Morecambe statue).

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