How the attempt by some to read the BBC Newsnight’s presenter Evan Davis’ politics into a selfie makes him clarify the story again, 2 years on.

I just missed my Tube stop reading tweets from people thinking that I am a secret far-right racist (and one who is happy to be used in Britain First campaigning material!).

It is so ridiculous that I haven’t wanted to dignify it by saying any more than my original clarification, back in 2016.

But here is what happened.

Over two years ago, I was walking in Kennington when two people, who I didn’t know, jumped out of a van and said “Can we have a selfie?”

That is a not very remarkable event. So, I said yes and smiled with them as I ordinarily would.

An hour later, I was at the local flower show (this is not made up, my partner was the judge!) and I got a call from my editor “We have a W1A situation”. And it was explained to me who was in the photo and how it was being used.

A typical ‘W1A situation’ in the W1A comedy series / BBC

Click here!!

So, I clarified in a tweet (or, thought I had clarified) that I had merely posed for an innocent selfie.

But for the avoidance of doubt, I did not know who they were — this was pre-Brexit and pre-Trump times!


Let me be clear: the photo is not a fake.

It is instead the attempt to read my politics into it that is wrong.

Overall, I think that if I was a happy clappy far-right racist, I would avoid posing for photos with racists, or campaigning publicly with them... as it would automatically breach my BBC contract!🔷

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Evan Davis is the author of the book
Post-Truth: Peak Bullshit - and What We Can Do About It

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(This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected.)

(Cover: Chris Floyd - Evan Davis.)