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C'est La Guerre

Craig Oliver Craig Oliver | 15:01 UK time, Tuesday, 27 June 2006

Sometimes defeat is snatched from the jaws of victory.

BBC Ten O'Clock News logoHome Editor Mark Easton got a great, unexpected scoop - an interview with Charles Clarke, sacked as home secretary last month.

Even better - it was embargoed until 10pm. That meant the Ten O'Clock News would be the first programme to run with it - ahead of a longer version on Newsnight.

You may think that's of little consequence, but we editors care deeply about such things.

What we hadn't factored in was that last night's Ten would follow what was arguably the worst football match of all time: a no-score-bore that went to extra time and then penalties. That meant we ended up on air at 1040pm - well after Newsnight had started.

I wouldn't have minded - but even the penalties were boring. Switzerland didn't even score one.


  • 1.
  • At 04:09 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Peter Barron (Newsnight editor) wrote:

Yes, but consider our position. I had to watch 120 minutes of the worst football match of all time and then switch over before the moderately exciting bit to watch Newsnight. Sadly, hardly anyone else did, so though we got the scoop we missed all your Ten viewers who'd normally join us for more.

  • 2.
  • At 05:49 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Jennifer wrote:

Aw Peter, that's a shame. If it makes you feel any better, I record Newsnight on my Sky+ every day, but almost never watch it. I did this morning!

If the story was embargoed for several hours, does it still qualify as "News"?
While I'm sure getting an exclusive is a feather in your cap, doesn't the licence payer deserve to get news "as soon as it happens", like News 24 promises?

  • 4.
  • At 10:07 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Alexis wrote:

As Ukrainian person living in Britain I am disgusted in the patronising attitude to Ukraine side winning through in World cup in a very strong game.

My fellow strawberry workers have bought a licence for watching BBC which is very hard. Please BBC editors - don't forget that not all audience that pays is all English.

Think of us - our licence bought on hard labour for you to make fun.

Embargoed? I read most of the interview on Iain Dale's blog at teatime yesterday.

Do you have teatime in London?

  • 6.
  • At 11:02 PM on 27 Jun 2006,
  • Tom wrote:

Maybe you should of ran the story at 10.00 on News 24 and got the commentator to say 'the news follws on BBC1 or you can watch it now on News 24'. I know its still not perfect.

Anyway is that what the editor of Newsnight does with his evenings??! I thought that they might be preparing for the night's show. Silly me!

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