Ric Bailey


BBC Chief Political Adviser and Deputy Director Editorial Policy and Standards. Formerly: Executive Editor BBC Question Time; Editor, Political News; BBC Political and Parliamentary Correspondent.

As Chief Political Adviser, I work with programme-makers and managers throughout the Corporation to ensure political impartiality and independence and I am a member of the BBC’s senior leadership team. I also draw up policy, particularly on elections, referendums and opinion polling. In addition, between 2012-14, I was the Director-Generals Special Editorial Adviser. I represented the BBC in the negotiations setting up Prime Ministerial election debates, winning, jointly, a Royal Television Society Journalism Award in 2011. Before that, I had responsibility for BBC One’s Question Time for six years, overseeing more than 200 editions, including from China, USA, South Africa, Russia and the Middle East. In 2002, I set up Schools Question Time, a nationwide citizenship contest based on the programme’s format.

I started out in local radio, winning a Sony Award for coverage of the miners’ strike at Radio Stoke in the 1980s. I became a regional, then network, political and parliamentary correspondent for BBC TV and Radio, moving on to lead the BBC’s Westminster news teams in the late 1990s. For ten years, I have chaired the industry-wide group of broadcasters overseeing the allocation and transmission of Party Political Broadcasts.

I was a Reuters Journalism Fellow at Oxford University, 2010-11, and am now an Honorary Research Associate at University College London, in the Department of Language and Cognition.

Research interests

Political Impartiality and Independence in the UK; Westminster and the devolved bodies; TV Election debates; Political language; Dynamics of audiences for political programmes; Politics of referendums; Voter intention opinion polling; Political satire.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>