Fury-row ex-BBC NI man in Big Brother house

Andy West left the BBC while he was suspended for his comments over Tyson Fury
Andy West left the BBC while he was suspended for his comments over Tyson Fury

A high-profile Remain campaigner has ditched the EU referendum debate to enter the Big Brother house.

Former journalist Andy West shot to national prominence last year when he was suspended by the BBC for criticising the corporation for nominating boxer Tyson Fury for Sports Personality of the Year.

West, who was unveiled as a participant in Channel 5’s reality show on Tuesday night, left the BBC in the wake of the controversy and went on to take up a job in Belfast as press manager for Northern Ireland Stronger in Europe.

He had been co-ordinating the Remain campaign’s media strategy in the region, at one point trying to drum up press interest in a Mid Ulster farmer who was painting ‘IN’ on the side of his cows.

The gay broadcaster from England, who worked as a news reporter for BBC Northern Ireland, took to Facebook to criticise the corporation’s decision to choose Fury as a nominee despite the boxer’s controversial views on homosexuality.

“I am ashamed to work for the BBC when it lacks bravery to admit it is making a mistake,” he wrote.

West left the organisation while still suspended and returned to London with the intent of starting a career as a children’s author.

But he was back in Belfast within months, introducing himself to the Province’s media as the press manager for the local Remain campaign.

How long he will remain in the Big Brother house will be up to the viewers.