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A Decade of 60seconds

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Sam Naz Sam Naz | 10:35 UK time, Friday, 15 July 2011

News crews were kept pretty busy in 2001. The year saw some major stories both at home and abroad. The world was shocked by the 9/11 attacks on the United States and a devastating foot-and-mouth crisis swept through the UK. In sport, tennis fans packed out Henman Hill at Wimbledon screaming "Come on Tim!" and thinking could this finally be our year? Well, no. He lost to Goran Ivanisevic in the semi-finals. Over in Hollywood, it was the end of an era as Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman divorced after 10 years of marriage.

Alongside all that, 2001 saw the birth of 60seconds. The news bulletins made their debut on new digital channel BBC Choice (now known to us as BBC Three) on July 16th. With a fully decked-out studio and a track called Machines R Us by Faithless as the music bed - 60seconds was a go! We've managed to dig out a bulletin from that very first week:

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Ok, so I may not have sweeping camera shots and a swanky studio now, but watching that made me realise how 60seconds has stood the test of time over the past decade. The look of the bulletins has only been updated twice since the channel was renamed BBC Three in 2003. There are still 5 stories, each about 9 seconds long. We try to cram in as much of the key info as possible in that time, and that's why the bulletins are pretty fast-paced.

Picking the stories that go into the bulletins can be difficult. Sometimes there really is just too much choice, leading to a long debate about what should go in. The stories that make the final cut are always the ones we feel you'll find the most interesting and be able to relate to. It's why you'll often catch a story on 60seconds which isn't getting much coverage on other News programmes, like youth unemployment or ticket scams.

With so many TV shows coming and going over the past decade, it's incredible how not only BBC Three's hourly bulletins have survived - they've actually been the inspiration behind news bulletins for other channels too. In fact, you may have noticed a news summary on BBC One at 8pm - it's brought to you by exactly the same team as 60seconds and based on the same principles.

I hope you'll raise your glasses and help us celebrate this little milestone... Happy birthday 60seconds - here's to another 10 years!

If you're thinking about becoming a journalist, you'll find lots of help and advice on the following links:

Journalist Sam Naz presents the 60seconds news bulletins on BBC Three.


  • Comment number 1.

    Eeeeee I remember back in t'day when 60seconds took half a dozen nascent journalists, a couple of senior bods, numerous gallery techies, and two or three picture editors working two different platforms ferrying tapes between floors to get this landmark of news made, and now it just takes the 3 P's - producer, presenter, and picture editor - to deliver the whole shebang. Progress indeed.

    And I think the original 2001 design - music bed apart - would still hold up today. Bring back the graphics!

  • Comment number 2.

    I remember 60seconds was supposed to be a launch feature of BBC Three, as BBC Three was intended to launch in 2001. However the plans weren't approved and the launch was pushed back, which is why a lot of new content such as 60seconds and Shooting Stars obviously made for BBC Three were instead launched on BBC Choice in the interim. Three eventually appeared two years later in 2003.

    Today Three is a different beast to what Choice was, maybe not for the better, but it's great to see 60seconds still on air, even if it is worrying to think it's already been a decade since its launch!


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