Newsround Extra


Newsround (originally called John Craven's Newsround, before the departure of Craven) is a BBC children's news programme, which has run continuously since 4 April 1972, and was one of the world's first television news magazines aimed specifically at children. Initially commissioned as a short series by BBC Children's Department, who held editorial control, its facilities are provided by BBC News. The programme is now aimed at 6 to 12-year-olds.


Originally called John Craven's Newsround, it was mostly presented by John Craven between 4 April 1972 and 22 June 1989. Originally, stand-in presenters from BBC News bulletins, including Richard Whitmore. By the 1980s, the programme had developed its own presentation team presenters including Roger Finn and Helen Rollason with Craven in the dual role of chief presenter and programme editor. On Craven's departure, the show was renamed Newsround, and was now anchored by a rotating team of presenters. Past presenters have included Juliet Morris, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Julie Etchingham, Chris Rogers, Kate Sanderson, Matthew Price, and Becky Jago. Regular reporters on the programme, who have also presented it, include Paul McDowell, Paul Welsh and Terry Baddoo.

The distinctive opening theme used for the first fifteen years of the programme was not composed especially for it, but is instead the opening bars of a cover of Johnny One Note by Ted Heath.

Newsround was the first British television programme to break the news of the loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger on 28 January 1986. As the event was shown during the opening titles, it is often erroneously stated that the tragedy happened live on air, but it in fact happened about fifteen minutes earlier. This edition was presented by Roger Finn, who had only recently joined the programme.

In 1981, the programme was also first in Britain to report an assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in Vatican City.


The main edition of Newsround is broadcast on BBC One at 5:00pm on weekdays for around ten minutes. Additional shorter bulletins are broadcast on the CBBC Channel at 8:25am, 3:55pm & 6:25pm on weekdays and at 12:55pm, 2:55pm and 4:55pm on Saturdays and Sundays. A further short bulletin is broadcast on BBC Two on weekdays at 7:25am along with a radio bulletin on BBC 7 at 7:55am on weekdays.

Currently, the main edition of Newsround is presented by Sonali Gudka, the deputy is currently Adam Fleming. Short bulletins are presented by Ricky Boleto (Monday - Wednesday), Ore Oduba (Thursday/Friday) and Maddy Savage (Saturday/Sunday).

The Team

Other Features

Newsround on the web

Newsround has its own website as part of the main CBBC web site, featuring:

  • The latest news headlines, grouped into the relevant sections (e.g. World, UK, sport, animals, showbiz etc.)
  • An RSS feed for each of the sections (e.g. an RSS feed for World news, UK news, etc.)
  • A games section, with many Flash games.
  • Message boards for different topics (e.g. In The News, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Sound Off etc.)
  • A voting section, where users can vote on different popular topics such as favourite film, etc.
  • Quizzes.
  • Press Pack reports presented by children.

In February, an online video podcast was released called And Finally . This was a summary of the entire week's news, and a new edition was released every Thursday. There was also a podcast for Sportsround called Action Replay. This could either be downloaded as an MPEG-4 Part 14 file or as a podcast which includes both And Finally and Action Replay. Both services were part of a podcast trial which has now been stopped.

Newsround Quiz

From 18 December 2006 to 5 January 2007, digital satellite and Freeview viewers could access the free and interactive Newsround Review of The Year Quiz by pressing the red button on their remote control. Viewers watched video questions and then selected their answer by pressing the coloured keys on their remote control.


Newsround Specials

Main Article: Newsround Specials

A variation on the regular format of Newsround is a series of short (typically 15-minute) documentary films, previously broadcast under the title Newsround Extra but now called "specials, which have been a regular feature since the late 1970s. There are two or three series of these documentaries during the year, which replace the regular bulletins on one day of the week (for Extras it was usually Monday, although sometimes on Fridays, particularly during the 1980s). On 1 December 2006 The Wrong Trainers was broadcast, a rather dark film consisting of six short animations dealing with child poverty and related issues. In one of the presentations Chris says the Government is not spending money as wisely as they should be. Afterwards, there was a linked BBCi special following up the issues. Newsround - The Wrong Trainers won the Royal Television Society Award for best children's programme 2006. The Wrong Trainers won the factual category at the 2007 Children's Baftas.

On 5 February 2008 the BBC announced two Newsround Specials The first, televised on 19 March 2008 and called The Worst Thing Ever?, is about children's experience of divorce. The other was Newsround on Knives broadcast on 27 March 2008.

Newsround Showbiz

Main Article: Newsround Showbiz

Originally called Newsround Lite, Newsround Showbiz ran from 2001 to 2005. It started as a daily programme and then moved to Saturdays and Sundays. The latter version of the show was hosted by regular Newsround presenters/reporters Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes, Adam Fleming, Rachel Horne & Thalia Pellegrini and produced by Sinead Rocks. The show contained entertainment news and gossip and generally took a lighthearted view of the world of celebrity.

Newsround Investigates

Newsround Investigates was intended as a special half-hour documentary series for CBBC, taking an in-depth look at issues affecting children’s lives. The first and only edition was on May 8, 2006. It investigated the subject of arson in schools.


Main Article: Sportsround

In September 2005, a new spin-off of Newsround was launched, entitled Sportsround. It contains reports from major sporting events and local sport competitions. The show is presented by Michael Absalom with reporters Sonali Gudka and Gavin Ramjaun.

Newsround Review of the Year

Traditionally, a review of the year special was produced for broadcast during the Christmas/New Year period. A review was not produced in 2007.


The programme has been criticized by some young people on its message boards as patronising or dumbed down. . There is a suspicion on the Newsround boards of a reluctance to allow coverage of LGBT issues although some have argued against covering these issues.

Newsround's website operated an age discrimination policy from summer 2006, which meant that feedback from older kids was discarded. As of 2008, this website discrimination policy has been relaxed. In 2007 website coverage of 9/11 was criticised by some as biased against the USA. The coverage was subsequently amended.

They are also commonly criticized for giving too much airtime over to reporting on the plight of pandas and other animals.

Former presenters

Presenter Dates presenting Length of time presenting
John Craven April 1972 - 22 June, 1989 17 years & 2 months
Paul McDowell 1979? - 1985 16 years?
Roger Finn 1985 - 1991 6 years
Helen Rollason 1986 - 1990 4 years
Juliet Morris 1990 - October 1994 4 years
Krishnan Guru-Murthy 1991 - October 1994 3 years
Julie Etchingham October 1994 - February 1998 3 years & 4 months
Chris Rogers October 1994 - 1999 5 years
Kate Sanderson July 1997 - September 2001 4 years & 2 months
Matthew Price 1999 - 2002 3 years
Becky Jago September 2001 - February 2003 1 year & 5 months
Rachel Horne December 2002 - April 2006 3 years & 4 months
Thalia Pellegrini October 2003 - 2007 4 years
Lizo Mzimba 1998 - May 2008 10 years
Helen Skelton November 2007 - July 2008 8 months
Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes December 2001 - August 2008 6 years & 8 months
Laura Jones December 2002 - 15th August 2008 5 years & 8 months


External links

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