BBC's 'Newsnight' opens show with Rihanna's 'Take A Bow' following Liz Truss resignation

The song played over a montage of the departing prime minister's 45 days in power

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BBC Two current affairs programme Newsnight made a statement with its music choice on Thursday, selecting Rihanna's 2008 song Take A Bow to play over footage of Prime Minister Liz Truss's 45 days as UK leader, following her resignation hours before.

The lyrics of the pop song make a clear statement. The montage opens with: "Oh, how about a round of applause? Standing ovation" over footage of Truss being clapped by former home secretary Suella Braverman, UK foreign secretary James Cleverly and former chancellor of the exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng at the Conservative Party Conference on October 5.

The lyrics continue: "You look so dumb right now / Standing outside my house / Trying to apologise," and then fades into an extract from Truss's resignation speech, which she delivered outside 10 Downing Street on Thursday.

Other lyrics in the choice soundtrack include: "Don't tell me you're sorry when you're not," and "But now it's time to go / Curtain's finally closing".

The opening montage also includes an extract of Conservative politician Charles Walker speaking to the BBC on Thursday, saying: "I've had enough of talentless people ... I think it's a shambles and a disgrace."

On Twitter Tim Johns, producer and reporter on BBC's Jeremy Vine Show, described the montage as a "Stunning and devastating opening".

Actor Jolyon Rubinstein described it as "superb".

Channel 4 also chose music to make a statement following the prime minister's resignation.

"Liz Truss said that her favourite song was Blank Space by Taylor Swift," said presenter Matt Frei, "We'll leave you with that and some images of her. Goodnight."

Lyrics in the chosen sample of the song include “magic, madness, heaven, sin” and “So it’s gonna be forever / Or it’s gonna go down in flames”.

The song choice also went down well on Twitter, with Dave Baxter from Gogglebox Ireland tweeting: "Whoever in Channel 4 News is responsible for playing Taylor Swifts ‘Blank Space’ over a montage of Liz Truss media footage deserves to have their genius recognised. Never has lyric and film synced so well."

Updated: October 21, 2022, 2:25 PM
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