Awkward return to screen for BBC's Marr after super-injunction revelation

Awkward return to screen for BBC's Marr after super-injunction revelation

BBC presenter Andrew Marr endured an uncomfortable return to the screen today following his disclosure that he took out a super-injunction to prevent reporting of an affair.

Mr Marr said Parliament would have to look at the issue of injunctions as he was ribbed by guests during the newspaper review section of his TV programme.

Mr Marr, the corporation’s former political editor, won a High Court order in January 2008 to silence the press following his extra-marital affair with another national newspaper reporter.

Mr Marr revealed the existence of the injunction in an interview with the Daily Mail last week and said he now felt “uneasy” about the order taken out to protect his family’s privacy.

On the Andrew Marr Show sofa, actress Maureen Lipman noted that coverage of the royal wedding dominated the papers and added: “It’s a great week to hide an injunction story, say one wanted to.”

Mr Marr told her: “You cheeky woman ... yes, this is true.”

The actress joked: “I’ll never be on this programme again, that’s for sure.”

Mr Marr told her “of course you will” but acknowledged: “I have to say I have featured in the newspapers.”

Ms Lipman and historian Simon Schama discussed a profile of Mr Marr in the Sunday Times, which featured an illustration of the presenter under the headline “Old Jug Ears, daddy of the super-secret”.

Mr Marr said it was a “slightly disobliging piece but the worrying thing is the picture is both rather unpleasant and also entirely accurate, so there we go”.

He acknowledged that “the super-injunction issue is not going to go away”.

Mr Schama said: “It’s obviously going to be something, presumably, Parliament has got to consider.”

The issue of balancing the right to privacy against free speech was a “big one”, he added.

Mr Marr said: “It’s something clearly Parliament is going to have to look at again. MPs are going to have to look at this.”

In his interview last week Mr Marr said he “did not come into journalism to go around gagging journalists” and admitted being “embarrassed” about the injunction.

But he added: “I also had my own family to think about, and I believed this story was nobody else’s business. I still believe there was, under those circumstances, no public interest in it.”

The woman with whom he had the affair is a political journalist who has a daughter. Since their fling, some eight years ago, her name has appeared widely online.

Under the terms of the injunction, the media has been banned from publishing any details relating to the indiscretion.


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