Carol Vorderman looks in good spirits as she is seen for the first time since being forced to leave her BBC Radio Wales job for ‘breaching’ corporation’s impartiality rules
Carol Vorderman looked in good spirits as she was seen for the first time since she was axed by BBC Radio Wales for breaching the broadcaster’s new social media guidelines.
The former Countdown star 62, appeared in fighting form as she went for a stroll in Soho, London on Friday afternoon.
The presenter wrapped up warm in a black coat which she paired with a matching turtle neck jumper.
Adding height to her frame with a pair of black boots, Carol added to her look with a matching handbag.
Styling her blonde locks into loose curls, Carol proved she wasn’t letting the recent axe get her down as she beamed from ear to ear.
Animated: Carol Vorderman looked in good spirits as she was seen for the first time since she was axed by BBC Radio Wales for breaching the broadcaster’s new social media guidelines
Cosy: The presenter wrapped up warm in a black coat which she paired with a matching turtle neck jumper
Carol’s celebrity friends have rallied around her in the wake of her leaving her BBC Radio presenting gig.
The star, who had been at the station for five years, said she was ‘not prepared to stop’ venting her ‘strong beliefs’ on Twitter and Instagram.
Carol shared a statement on Wednesday confirming she had left the station, saying she was not willing to give up voicing her opinions on the UK government online.
The presenter has received support from several famous faces including fellow BBC stars Alan Carr and Michelle Visage along with Ant Middleton and Kelly Holmes.
After sharing her statement, comedian Alan wrote: ‘Big respect Carol,’ while Michelle added: ‘Adore you endlessly’.
Loose Women star Kelly Holmes told Carol not to let the corporation ‘silence’ her, writing: ‘You do you Carol! Much respect for sticking up for who you are and not allowing corporations to silence you!
‘Plus I was looking forward to speaking with you on your show this Saturday, but now you have gone I will politely turn that down now too!!’
Former SAS: Who Dares Wins star Ant Middleton said people’s social media activity should be of no concern to their employer.
Support: Carol’s celebrity friends have rallied around her since she was forced to leave the station
Pals: The presenter has received support from several famous faces including fellow BBC stars Alan Carr and Michelle Visage (pictured)
He wrote: ‘It’s called SOCIAL media for a reason because it’s what you do outside of your WORK commitments. It’s not called Work Media… The 2 should be kept completely separate.
‘When your work wants to control your social life, that’s when it’s time to say BYE BYE. Good on you Carol.’
TV presenter Cat Deeley wrote: ‘You are bloody brilliant,’ while Katie Piper called Carol ‘an icon’ after she released her statement.
Other stars who sent their support included Denise Welch, Patsy Palmer and Denise Van Outen.
In her statement, Carol said: ‘The BBC recently introduced new social media guidelines, which I respect.
Reaction: Several stars including Ant Middleton, Kelly Holmes, Cat Deeley and Denise Welch all voiced their support for Carol
Speaking out: Carol, who has been at the station for five years, said she was ‘not prepared to stop’ venting her ‘strong beliefs’ on Twitter and Instagram
‘However, despite my show being light-hearted with no political content, it was explained to me that, as it is a weekly show in my name, the new guidelines would apply to all and any content that I post all year round.
‘Since those non-negotiable changes to my radio contract were made, I’ve ultimately found that I’m not prepared to lose my voice on social media, change who I am, or lose the ability to express the strong beliefs I hold about the political turmoil this country finds itself in.
What are the BBC’s new social media guidelines?
Under the BBC’s new social media guidelines, presenters on flagship programmes including Match Of The Day (MOTD) and The Apprentice have been banned from making attacks on political parties.
The corporation said the guidance does not include contributors, pundits, judges or guest hosts but has put through additional guidance for freelancers along with those not working in news, current affairs or factual journalism production.
In September, the broadcaster said that these type of employees ‘must not bring the BBC into disrepute’, are required to be respectful in public and take care when engaging with public debate.
The new guidelines followed a row over MOTD presenter Gary Lineker comparing the language used by the Conservative Government to promote its asylum plans to 1930s Germany on X which led to him briefly not presenting the show, a boycott from sports staff and a social media review.
‘My decision has been to continue to criticise the current UK Government for what it has done to the country which I love – and I’m not prepared to stop.
‘I was brought up to fight for what I believe in, and I will carry on.
‘Consequently I have now breached the new guidelines and BBC Wales management have decided I must leave. We each must make our decisions.
‘I’m sad to have to leave the wonderful friends I’ve made at Radio Wales.
‘I wish them, and all of our listeners, all the love in the world. We laughed a lot, and we will miss each other dearly.
‘But, for now, another interesting chapter begins.’
The BBC said: ‘Carol has been a presenter on BBC Radio Wales since 2018. We’d like to thank her for her work and contribution to the station over the past five years.’
In addition to her weekly show on BBC Radio Wales, Carol also hosted topical news quiz show Have I Got News For You on BBC1 in May this year.
Carol had been accused of ‘flagrantly breaching’ the BBC’s impartiality rules with her anti-Tory outbursts, which have included calling ministers ‘a lying bunch of greedy, corrupt, destructive, hateful, divisive, gaslighting crooks’.
Particularly notable has been her long running feud with veterans minister Johnny Mercer and his wife Felicity, who celebrated today by tweeting: ‘Binned by the BBC’.
The BBC brought in new social media rules for its presenters following outrage earlier this year over Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker’s tweet which comparing the Government’s Rwanda policy to Nazi Germany.
These prevent high-profile stars from attacking political parties and individual politicians as well as weighing into controversial issues before elections or referendums. The rules apply when their show is on air and in a two-week window before and after.
A Tory MP has previously called for the BBC to investigate her social media posts adding: ‘She makes Gary Lineker’s comments look quite mild.’
Statement: The presenter said she was ‘not prepared to stop’ venting her ‘strong beliefs’ on Twitter and Instagram
Opinion: She has accused the Government of being ‘a lying bunch of greedy, corrupt, destructive, hateful, divisive, gaslighting crooks’
Spat: Particularly notable has been a spat with veterans minister Johnny Mercer and his wife Felicity, who celebrated today by tweeting: ‘Binned by the BBC’
Carol has been engaged in a bitter Twitter feud with Tory MP and veteran’s affairs minister Johnny Mercer and his wife Felicity, who branded the maths whizz a ‘celebrity attack dog’ for directing online harassment their way.
She was accused of being an ‘education snob’ when she tweeted gleefully earlier this month at the prospect of Mr Mercer losing his seat in next year’s general election.
The celebrity told her 890,000 followers: ‘Gosh, what are arrogant Johnny Mercer & his wife going to do for a joint income of £160,000+ plus enormous expenses? Not a degree in sight in spite of expensive private education! So who’d employ them?’
In March, Carol called on women’s minister Maria Caulfield to resign after she claimed she could not ‘be bothered to turn up’ to a committee hearing about the menopause.
In September, she is said to have deleted a number of posts about Conservative chairman Greg Hands.
Mr Hands had called on her to apologise for what he called ‘defamatory and damaging’ tweets about his involvement in a lifestyle firm being awarded a £25.8million personal protective equipment contract in 2020.
Rules: The new BBC social media rules apply to presenters on ‘flagship programmes’
Writing on X, Carol said she was ‘happy to accept Mr Hands’s assurance that his role in the process was simply to refer the approach… (and) there was no impropriety on his part’.
However, when Michael Gove was education secretary more than a decade ago, Ms Vorderman was announced as the head of a maths taskforce.
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Tory MP for South Thanet Craig Mackinlay told MailOnline: ‘She has certainly been on a strange journey because you don’t find a more rabid anti-Conservative inhabiting Twitter these days.
‘I don’t quite know how she’s got there. I know she’s been having this spat with Johnny Mercer and his wife for some time, but she’s in receipt of the BBC coin.
‘Whichever way you look at it, she has flagrantly crossed any boundary of impartiality, fundamental to the BBCs charter, and is indulging in very anti-Conservative rhetoric.
‘She’s using her not insubstantial Twitter following, which will only go up on the back of her BBC programme, to actually promote a political viewpoint.
‘Gary Lineker crossed some boundaries, but they seem almost mild compared to the the new space that Carol Vorderman is occupying and it’s time the BBC reminded her of their own guidelines.’
Carol’s views have certainly changed, judging from her public pronouncements.
In 2009, when she teamed up with David Cameron to promote maths education in schools, she told the Daily Mail: ‘Under Labour, 3.5million children have left school without a GCSE grade C or higher in maths. It’s because of my own background that I’m so ambitious for the children in our country.’
Political: Carol has become known for her virulently anti-Tory posts on social media
Last November, however, she tweeted: ‘Good schools & teachers need nurturing. The politics of today doesn’t allow for it.’
On Instagram in June she posted, along with a story about a record number of Freedom of Information blocks by the Government: ‘I’ve tried to be on holiday for a few days but the Tory manifestation of a robbing, inept, gaslighting chaotic government keeps raising its head.’
Ironically enough, Ms Vorderman has also been outspoken on the subject of BBC impartiality – but not on her own behalf.
Instead, she called for the former chairman of the BBC governors, Richard Sharp, to resign and even posted instructions for her followers to complain to the BBC about the chairman’s impartiality.
In June last year, however, she congratulated the Labour candidate in the Wakefield byelection for ‘a huge victory over the Tories’, adding ‘GO NOW BORIS’.
She justified her comments saying: ‘I’m not a politically motivated woman, never have been. I worked with David Blunkett (Labour) on the world’s first online grooming law and with a previous Tory gov on Mathematics policy in schools. Both for the cause, not the politics.’
But by October, she railed: ‘I am absolutely appalled at what our parliament has become THEY HAVE CREATED ANARCHY and they question kids and others glueing themselves close to artwork or on the roads. Please God… can we just reboot with a GENERAL ELECTION’.
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