Money expert Martin Lewis among those 'sad' at the BBC's move
The BBC has announced that it is to axe fan favourite Watchdog – a decision that campaigning journalist Martin Lewis descirbed as “sad to hear”.
The long running investigative programme tracked down scammers in a bid to protect consumer rights for over 1000 episodes, with familiar faces like Anne Robinson, Steph McGovern and Matthew Allwright fronting.
Martin Lewis, who presents The Martin Lewis Money Show on ITV, tweeted: “Sad to hear Watchdog is being culled as a standalone programme (and enveloped instead by the One Show). Campaigning consumer journalism must remain a core public service.“
Martin also revealed he’d done work experience on Watchdog.
Having been cut as a stand alone programme, Watchdog will continue as a segment on BBC1’s The One Show.
A TV source told The Sun, “The BBC is being forced to make cuts and unfortunately the bosses have decided they cannot justify keeping Watchdog as a full series, twice a year.”
Explaining the decision behind the change up, Carla-Maria Lawson, the Head of Daytime and Early Peak at the BBC, said: “Watchdog has been tenaciously fighting for viewers rights since the strand started 40 years ago within Nationwide. So it’s fitting that in its anniversary year we are able to open up the potential for viewers to connect with the brand through The One Show.”
While The One Show editor Rob Unsworth, added, “Bringing the quality, investigative journalism of the much-loved and trusted Watchdog brand to viewers year-round is an exciting move and a great opportunity for The One Show; and means that more than ever the team can react on behalf of consumers whenever stories come up.”
In light of the news, Watchdog fans took to social media to slam the axing.
‘Don’t watch the one show, so I will miss Watchdog what a shame,’ penned one, while another chipped in, ‘hate the one show loved watchdog so guess not watching either now well done @bbc.’
One fan wrote: “I’m disappointed to hear #Watchdog is being cut as a standalone show on the BBC, it’s imperative campaigning consumer journalism remains in order for the public to stay up to date!”