BBC extends late TV news bulletins for English regions ahead of 2015 election

This extension of our coverage will be a vital contribution to the national debate and I am delighted that we have been able to respond in this way.Tony Hall, Director-General, BBC
Date: 09.12.2014     Last updated: 09.12.2014 at 15.08
The BBC is to double the amount of time for the regional news across England in the flagship BBC One 10pm news hour. The extension will run from January until after the UK General Election in May 2015.

The increase in time devoted to news from the regions is intended to ensure that BBC audiences receive the most comprehensive coverage of the issues facing the country, both nationally and locally, ahead of the 2015 Election.

The bulletin which follows the UK BBC News at Ten will be extended to 15 minutes, Monday to Thursday, from January 2015 until the beginning of June. The news and weather will now end at 10.45pm.

National and regional news is already highly popular. The BBC’s half hour news programmes at 6.30pm are the most watched news output in the country, with an average audience of 5.2 million adults. Four million adults watch the bulletin at 10.25pm.

Research also shows that there is an appetite for a news service that matches the tone of the main UK-wide offering. The new format will allow more in-depth analysis of issues, interviews with decision-makers and content that reflects arts and culture in different parts of the UK.

James Harding, Director of News and Current Affairs, said: “This will be one of the most keenly contested, unpredictable and consequential elections in the history of this country and nothing will be more important to voters than the issues where they live and work. These extended bulletins will allow us to follow ever more closely a campaign which is going to be being fought out constituency by constituency across the United Kingdom."

Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC, said: "This extension of our coverage will be a vital contribution to the national debate and I am delighted that we have been able to respond in this way." 

Currently, the regional TV news bulletins in the 10.25pm news slot feature a minimum of seven and half minutes of regional news and follow the BBC News at Ten. In order to enable a longer news bulletin at 10pm, the lunchtime regional news bulletins will be shortened to five minutes over the five month period.

The BBC broadcasts 15 different regional bulletins at 10.25pm in England.

Plans for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be announced in due course.

BBC Press Office