This Week is a current affairs and politics TV programme in the United Kingdom on the BBC, screened on Thursday evenings, hosted by former Sunday Times editor Andrew Neil alongside former Conservative Member of Parliament and Minister Michael Portillo, and, until October 2010, by then-backbench left-wing Labour MP Diane Abbott, and by a left-leaning guest panellist in rotation thereafter, with Abbott making occasional guest appearances. This Week came about after a major review of BBC political programmes, and replaced the nightly political review programme Despatch Box, for which Andrew Neil was the sole presenter in its later years, and which, in turn, was a replacement for The Midnight Hour. The show has a more light-hearted tone than most political programming and prides itself on being "punchy, irreverent, satirical". This is aided by the fact that neither of the regular panellists is constrained by party politics, as former panellist Diane Abbott was noted for rebelling against the former Labour government and Portillo has left the House of Commons. The two were ostensibly an "odd couple" coming from different sides of the political spectrum; however, they have a long-standing friendship dating back to when both attended grammar school in Harrow, even appearing in a production of Macbeth together.
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