Ben Shapiro ends BBC interview, scolds host: 'I'm popular and no one has ever heard of you'

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro abruptly ended a BBC interview on Friday while telling host Andrew Neil "I'm popular and no one has ever heard of you" in a contentious exchange.

The interview, which was conducted via satellite between London and Los Angeles, became heated after Neil claimed that "all the new policies" are "coming from the left, and they're popular," while conservatives were absent of new ideas.

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After Shapiro objected to that statement, Neil described the "fetal heartbeat" abortion bill signed into law this week in Georgia as bringing back "the dark ages." The bill would make it illegal to get an abortion if a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

“OK, a couple of things ... are you [an] objective journalist or an opinion journalist?" Shapiro asked Neil.

"I'm a journalist who asks questions," Neil replied.

"You purport to be an objective journalist, BBC purports to be an objective, down the middle network,” Shapiro replied. “It obviously is not, it never has been. And you as a journalist are proceeding to call one side of the political aisle ignorant, barbaric, and sending us back to the dark ages, why don’t you just say you’re on the left?"

Neil quickly fired back.

“Mr. Shapiro, if you only knew how ridiculous that statement is you wouldn’t have said it,” he said before broaching past comments Shapiro had made on abortion and transgender rights.

The interview ping-ponged from there for several minutes before Shapiro said: "Frankly, I find this whole thing a waste of time ... I don't give a damn what you think of me since I've never heard of you."

"And I've never heard of you until I briefed myself of this," Neil said in reference Shapiro's new book.

After more cross-talk, Shapiro removed his microphone and ended the interview, saying “I think we’re done here.”

Shapiro later apologized for misinterpreting Neil's "antagonism as political Leftism."

“As I’m not familiar with him or his work, I misinterpreted his antagonism as political Leftism (he termed the pro-life position in America ‘barbaric’) – and that was apparently inaccurate. For that, I apologize," he wrote to his 2.13 million followers.