Things getting hot at the Beeb? Ros Atkins is caught on hot mic saying he got a ‘p*ssy message’ from colleague Adam Fleming over Radio 4 podcast debate

  • Atkins was accidentally caught on mic during recording of R4’s The Media Show
  • He told producers that Fleming was unhappy about not being invited to appear
  • ‘Just had a p*ssy message from Adam Fleming going, ‘Are you doing a programme about news podcasts without us?” Atkins told his producers

Ros Atkins was caught on a hot mic saying he received a ‘p*ssy message’ from a fellow BBC presenter about a podcast debate on Radio 4.   

Atkins, 47, hosted a conversation about news podcasts on The Media Show yesterday, inviting former colleagues Jon Sopel and Dino Sofos on the show to discuss The News Agents, the new daily programme they have launched at the rival broadcaster Global.

In a candid moment that was not intended for broadcast, Atkins was caught on a ‘hot mike’ saying that Adam Fleming, who hosts the BBC podcast Newscast, was unhappy about not being invited to appear. 

Ros Atkins was accidentally captured on microphone saying he received a ‘p*ssy message’ from a fellow BBC presenter Adam Fleming (pictured) about a podcast debate on Radio 4

‘Just had a p*ssy message from Adam Fleming going, ‘Are you doing a programme about news podcasts without us?” Atkins told his producers.

The unguarded comment then led to a conversation about how the BBC press office was approached to put someone forward for The Media Show.

The clip, which caught Atkins’ slip-up was uploaded to BBC Sounds at the end of the Radio 4 show but was quickly edited out by producers. 

After Atkins told his colleagues about the message from Fleming, 42, a male producer could be heard responding: ‘Well, we did invite the BBC on. They had the opportunity.’

Atkins, 47, (pictured) hosted a conversation about news podcasts on The Media Show yesterday, inviting his former colleagues Jon Sopel and Dino Sofos on to discuss The News Agents

‘Not quite,’ Atkins responded.

‘They could have jumped at the chance if they were clued up,’ the producer replied.

A female producer then said: ‘Oh, you mean the press office could have . . . It would have been, I mean, it would have been awkward.’

The clip, while largely innocuous, does provide a window to anxiety at the BBC about increased commercial competition in news podcasting.

Sofos launched Newscast and Americast for the BBC, originally as Brexitcast, but left to establish his own production company, through which he helped to lure Sopel and Emily Maitlis, the former Americast hosts, away from the corporation.  

Newscast and Americast are two of the corporation’s most popular shows and Fleming has been a host of the former for years.

Atkins has become one of the BBC’s most prominent presenters for presenting viral explainer videos on issues including the Downing Street parties. 

He was recently appointed as BBC News’s analysis editor.

A friend of Fleming said his message was intended to be ‘courteous’ rather than ‘p*ssy’.

The BBC have been approached for comment. 

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