Home India News Shock as Indian-born journalist quits top BBC job

Shock as Indian-born journalist quits top BBC job


London : Journalist and broadcaster Mihir Bose has quit his job as the sports editor of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in a move that has taken the national media by surprise.

Bose, possibly the highest ranked Indian-born journalist in Britain, resigned after two-and-a-half years in the job for what the BBC called “personal reasons”.

The Daily Mail, reporting what it described as a “shock announcement” Wednesday, said Bose, a leading print journalist who had been brought in to transform the BBC’s sports coverage, was unhappy.

“He was BBC News’s first ever sports editor and was mired in controversy as soon as he started in January 2007 – just as the BBC planned massive job cuts,” the paper said.

“The 62-year-old faced fierce criticism – from licence fee payers, who complained online about his reporting and presenting skills.”

The BBC’s announcement of his appointment in October 2006 fuelled protests from the National Union of Journalists which queried the decision to bring in someone from outside the BBC at a time when the corporation was facing 120 job cuts.

The London Evening Standard quoted sources at the BBC as saying that he had felt “betrayed” after his employers told him he would have to move to a newly-built Media City in Manchester in 2011.

A source told the paper: “Mihir had grown deeply unhappy about the move and felt betrayed. He was given assurances when he joined that he would be able to stay in London.

“His wife runs a very successful consultancy and the vast majority of his contacts are based in London so he couldn’t see the sense in the move.”

Bose, who was in Mumbai last week to visit his ailing mother just as his resignation was announced, was unavailable to comment.

He joined the BBC after more than 10 years at the Daily Telegraph newspaper as a leading investigative sports journalist – a specialist in the growing field of sports business and politics, and 20 years before that with the Sunday Times.

He was also a familiar presenter on radio and television, including BBC Radio 4’s Financial World Tonight and South Asia Report on BBC World Service.

Bose came to Britain from Mumbai in 1969 to study to become a chartered accountant but turned to journalism instead, starting his career at the London radio station LBC.

The author of 22 books on a variety of subjects, including a history of Indian cricket, he has won a number of awards including Business Columnist of the Year, Sports Story of the Year and Sports News Reporter of the Year.

When the BBC hired Bose it praised his “encyclopaedic knowledge of sport, together with an unbridled passion for the subject� his ability to explain the most complex of stories and a fantastic catalogue of contacts”.

However, a Daily Mail columnist said, “Bose, a top investigative journalist during his newspaper days, never mastered the art of live TV broadcasting.”

Bose’s supporters said he had warned the England and Wales Cricket Board about doing business with jailed fraudster Allen Stanford in reports last year.