Huw Edwards to lead BBC’s Election 2019 coverage

The BBC’s election coverage will put audiences at its heart, broadcasting from across the length and breadth of the UK to give voters the information they need to make their choice at the polls.

Published: 4 November 2019
Our aim in BBC News is to provide the best possible service to voters in a very uncertain world. It is my job - both during the campaign and on the night - to guide viewers through the most important election for decades.
— Huw Edwards

Huw Edwards will be the lead presenter for the BBC’s 2019 election night coverage. Huw has played a major role in the BBC’s election and political coverage over the decades and was formerly a political journalist in Westminster for 13 years.

BBC Director of News, Fran Unsworth, says: “Huw is the perfect presenter to have at the helm as a trusted and authoritative guide throughout election night. This is one of the most important - and unpredictable - elections for years. The BBC’s aim is simple: we want to give audiences the information they need to help them decide how to cast their vote. Over the next six weeks, we will broadcast from up and down the country to ensure political parties are scrutinised on their election pledges and we will give the audience the chance to hold them to account. In polarised times, the BBC is here for everyone in the UK.”

Huw Edwards says: “Our aim in BBC News is to provide the best possible service to voters in a very uncertain world. It is my job - both during the campaign and on the night - to guide viewers through the most important election for decades. I hope to put my 35 years of experience to good use and to offer our viewers a service they can trust.”

PS

Highlights will include:

Results night

Huw Edwards will be the lead presenter of ‘BBC Election 2019’, alongside Reeta Chakrabarti, Andrew Neil, Tina Daheley and Jeremy Vine with his swingometer.

The 2019 election programme team will include BBC experts including Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg, Europe Editor Katya Adler, Economics Editor Faisal Islam, and Media Editor Amol Rajan, alongside Professor Sir John Curtice.

BBC presenters in key constituency locations, including Naga Munchetty, Andrew Marr, Martha Kearney, Nick Robinson and Lucy Manning will bring news and results from across the UK throughout the night.

Sarah Smith and Kirsty Wark will broadcast live from Scotland.

Sophie Raworth will analyse the results as they come in on a giant constituency map of the UK.

After polls close, the exit poll - and eventually the election result - will be projected onto Old Broadcasting House.

BBC News online will have results for every constituency as they come in with a postcode search, map and scoreboards.

For the first time the website will be using semi-automated journalism to write stories on the election results for all 650 constituencies in English and 40 in Welsh.

The BBC’s election Twitter bot @bbcelection will also tweet out every constituency result.

Friday’s coverage will see Emily Maitlis take the helm, with Clive Myrie broadcasting from Downing Street as it awaits the next Prime Minister.

The BBC Election 2019 programme will also feature the return of classic election theme tune, Rick Wakeman’s 'Arthur', in a newly remixed version.

On radio, Jim Naughtie and Emma Barnett will host live election night coverage on BBC Radio 4 through to the Today programme the following morning, with BBC Radio 5 live joining for a simulcast from midnight. In addition on BBC Sounds there will be short updates throughout the day with the latest news about the election.

Other highlights during the campaign will include:

The Andrew Neil Interviews

The Andrew Neil Interviews will see Andrew interrogating party leaders in a prime-time TV slot.

Making sense of the election

Throughout the campaign we’ll offer real-time coverage and analysis of the campaign on the BBC News Channel, and via a daily online live page. There’ll be extended coverage of events on BBC Parliament, and access to special programmes via BBC iPlayer.

The BBC will have its first Digital Election Reporter, Joe Tidy, who will work alongside the BBC’s Media Editor Amol Rajan, focusing on the all-important digital campaigns being run by the parties and the vital role social media will play in the election.

The BBC’s Reality Check service will play a vital role during the election campaign, fact-checking claims made on the campaign trail.
Your Questions Answered will give voters the chance to put their questions to the BBC’s expert correspondents - on TV, radio, online and social media - via the hashtag #BBCYourQuestions

Coverage across the UK

During the campaign, BBC News programmes including BBC Breakfast and Radio 1’s Newsbeat will broadcast from ten towns and cities across the UK, as well as the BBC News channel, 5 live and BBC News at Six and Ten.

The first broadcast will come from Leeds this week, with the series culminating in the final week of the campaign with a special day of coverage called Your Election when the audience will set the agenda.

BBC England, BBC Scotland, BBC Wales and BBC Northern Ireland will cater for their audiences with bespoke election programming including BBC England’s weekly Election And Chill podcast and Face The Audience from the Sunday Politics teams.

BBC Northern Ireland will host one-to-one interviews with the five main party leaders on The View with Mark Carruthers and on radio with political editor Mark Devenport on ‘Inside Politics’ as well as BBC Radio Ulster’s Talkback party leader phone-ins.

In Scotland, a new late night campaign programme on BBC One Scotland with a focus on younger audiences will be launched.
There’ll also be bonus editions of podcast Podlitical and audience questions about the election will be answered on the BBC News Scotland website.

On BBC Radio Scotland, Good Morning Scotland will be out and around the country throughout the campaign. After the polls close, there’ll be extensive results coverage and analysis through the night on BBC One Scotland and on BBC Radio Scotland.

BBC Wales will provide comprehensive coverage over the next six weeks including live debates on TV and radio. BBC Wales Live will host two primetime debates on BBC One Wales as they invite voters from across Wales to put their questions to Welsh politicians. In Welsh, S4C’s Pawb a’i Farn and BBC Radio Cymru’s Hawl i Holi will be putting questions to the politicians in towns and villages across Wales.

BBC Breakfast

BBC Breakfast will travel around the UK speaking to voters about the issues that matter to them. Over a morning cup of coffee from a specially converted BBC Breakfast Coffee Cart we will listen to what they have to say and put their concerns to senior politicians from all parties during the campaign.

Newsnight

BBC Newsnight has bid to host government departmental debates, where Treasury, Health, Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs ministers from each party will go head to head, chaired by Newsnight presenters Emily Maitlis, Kirsty Wark and Emma Barnett.

Newsnight will also host a special edition from Northern Ireland focusing on the Brexit proposals which affect it.

Victoria Derbyshire

The Victoria Derbyshire programme will be broadcasting a series of election blind dates, a discussion format between two public figures with opposing political points of view. Their coverage will also feature some 90-minute audience debates with voters and politicians.

Electioncast

Electioncast, an election-themed spin-off of the award-winning Brexitcast, will broadcast weekly on Radio 4 during the campaign, and be on the BBC News Channel with all episodes available on BBC Sounds, featuring Adam Fleming dissecting political developments with some of his Brexitcast colleagues.

BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat

BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat will be touring the UK for six weeks in The BBC’s Travelling Living Room (a motor home). This will be a place where people can come and discuss the big elections issues with candidates and experts and will help younger audiences make sense of what is going on. Presented by Newsbeat’s Steffan Powell, the programme will broadcast live from different regions every Tuesday and Friday.

BBC Radio 2

Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2 will be travelling the length and breadth of the country, broadcasting from all four nations of the UK.

BBC Radio 4

During the election campaign, the Today programme will be travelling around the country and broadcasting from across the UK’s regions, and will be putting on special programmes in front of live audiences at universities.

World At One will be providing regular updates on the social media campaigns, sending Mark Mardell out for some extensive reporting from around the country and using Luke Jones to test policies out on listeners and voters in all corners.

Tim Harford hosts two election specials of More Or Less where he will dissect and explain the latest polling data, as well as the various numbers and statistics quoted by political parties during their campaigns.

Any Answers? will be extended by 15 minutes in the weeks running up to the election.

BBC Radio 5 live

BBC Radio 5 live will hear from towns and villages across the UK. Listeners will be able to put questions directly to the party leaders in a series of Your Call specials with Nicky Campbell and Rachel Burden, and senior party representatives will also appear on the Emma Barnett programme and Pienaar's Politics.

Further details of the BBC’s election coverage across the campaign period are to be announced in due course.

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