Press Office

Wednesday 16 Apr 2014

Press Release

Gordon Burns steps down from BBC North West Tonight

Gordon Burns will be standing down from BBC North West Tonight at the end of September 2011, after nearly 15 years presenting the programme.

He will continue to work with the BBC presenting a brand new show broadcast simultaneously on Radio Manchester and Radio Lancashire, on Sunday mornings from September.

Speaking earlier Gordon said: "It will be a great wrench to leave the programme I have been proud to present for nearly a decade and a half. I've enjoyed it enormously and I regard it as a real privilege to have been in the homes of people across the North West for so many years delivering the news to them. I have enjoyed a great relationship with the North West Tonight audience and I think I'll miss that most of all.

"My programme colleagues have also been a joy to work with in what must surely be one of the happiest newsrooms in the country. The fun and banter viewers see at the end of North West Tonight each evening is exactly what goes on off screen too. We are all genuinely good mates. I'll be wishing them good luck and great programmes ahead when I leave at the end of September and will of course be envious of their amazing new state-of-the-art facilities when they transfer across to the magnificent new MediaCity in Salford.

"I'm pleased that I won't be missing out on the excitement of the big move as I'll be heading over there with my brand new show on Radio Manchester and Radio Lancashire. But for the next six months I will continue to concentrate on co-presenting North West Tonight with all the enthusiasm and dedication I can muster in the constant bid to produce programmes of the very highest standard."

Aziz Rashid, Head of BBC North West, paid tribute to the region's highest profile news anchor, saying: "Gordon's contribution to the success of North West Tonight has been phenomenal. In fact he is a broadcasting phenomenon.

"His is a unique talent who has navigated millions of viewers through the issues that matter across the region. I’d like to thank him for his commitment and expertise and I’m delighted that Gordon has agreed to present a brand new show on our radio stations for Manchester and Lancashire."

Gordon Burns has presented BBC North West Tonight since January 1997. He has won five Royal Television Society awards for Best UK Regional Presenter (NW) and North West Tonight has won Best Regional News programme six times with him at the helm. During this time, North West Tonight has emerged as the clear market leader for news in the region, by some distance.

David Holdsworth, Controller, BBC English Regions, said: "The word 'icon' can be overused – but not in this case. Gordon Burns is synonymous with regional broadcasting and viewers in the North West have adopted him as one of their own. He will be a hard act to follow."

Gordon is best known nationally for The Krypton Factor. Launched in 1977 it ran at peak time on ITV for 18 years, attracting audiences in excess of 15 million. Gordon not only presented the show but also wrote it and helped devise many of the mentally challenging rounds.

A sports lover, Gordon enjoys nothing more than watching Premier League matches and sitting through days of Test matches at Old Trafford. He is married with two grown-up children and two grandchildren. He has lived in Manchester for more than 30 years.

His proudest boast is he has interviewed, at length, seven British Prime Minsters and four Irish Prime Ministers.

Notes to Editors

Gordon Burns will present a new Sunday morning show (9am-11am) for BBC Radio Manchester and Radio Lancashire. Called simply Gordon Burns, it will feature a lively mix of guests, news, conversation and debate.

No decision has been made on a successor to Gordon Burns. Ranvir Singh will continue to co-present North West Tonight when the programme moves to MediaCityUK in Salford Quays.

North West Tonight's 6.30pm programme has a current (Feb 2011 BARB 3 minute reach) weekly audience of 1.5 million. The figure is 990,000 for Granada Reports at 6pm.

JW5/JC4

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