Aged 11, Neil passed his 11-plus examinations and obtained entrance to the then academically selective Paisley Grammar School. After school, Neil attended the University of Glasgow. While there, he edited the student newspaper, the Glasgow University Guardian and dabbled in student television. He was also a member of the Dialectic Society and the Conservative Club and participated in Glasgow University Union inter-varsity debates. He graduated in 1971 with an MA with honours in political economy and political science, having been tutored by Vince Cable.
Neil was editor of The Sunday Times from 1983 until 1994.
In 1997, Andrew Neil wrote an account of his early career entitled Full Disclosure.
In 1988 he also became founding chairman of Sky TV, also part of Murdoch’s News Corporation. Neil was instrumental in the company’s launch, overseeing the transformation of a down market, single channel satellite service into a four channel network in less than a year. Neil and Murdoch stood side by side at Sky’s new headquarters in West London on 5 February 1989 to witness the launch of the service at 18.00.
He eventually parted company with Murdoch and became a writer for the Daily Mail. In 1996 he became editor-in-chief of the Barclay brothers’ Press Holdings group of newspapers.
Neil served as Lord Rector of the University of St Andrews from 1999–2002.
As well as Neil’s newspaper activities he has also maintained a television career. While working at The Economist he provided news reports to American networks. When at The Sunday Times he contributed to BBC radio and television as well as commenting on the various controversies provoked by the paper in his role as Editor.
Following the revamp of the BBC’s political programming in early 2003 Neil has presented live political shows, This Week on BBC One and Daily Politics on BBC Two. From 2007 to 2010 he also presented the weekly one-on-one political interview programme Straight Talk with Andrew Neil on the BBC News Channel. He has also presented Sunday Politics on BBC One since 2012 and has occasionally guest presented Newsnight on BBC Two, since Jeremy Paxman’s departure in 2014.
Neil has also played an important part of the BBC General Election night coverage in both 2010 and 2015. Neil interviewed various celebrities on the River Thames for the 2010 election and political figures in the studio for the 2015 election.
In 2005, Andrew Neil became the chief executive of The Spectator.
A passionate follower of cricket, Neil is a member of Marylebone Cricket Club.
Hollywood actress and a political activist