BBC North West Tonight
is the news programme
for the BBC North West English region
. Produced by BBC North West, it broadcasts at 6.30pm every weeknight and also at 10:25pm following the BBC News at Ten
and at the weekend. There are also breakfast and lunchtime bulletins on weekdays, known as North West Today
North West Tonight broadcasts on BBC One from its studio at the New Broadcasting House, Oxford Road, Manchester with reporters also based at newsrooms in Liverpool, Blackburn and Chester. The programme began as Look North, but was changed to Look North West in 1980 with News Northwest introduced for shorter bulletins in 1981. Then, on September 3 1984, North West Tonight began. The main signal for the programme comes from the Winter Hill transmitter near Horwich.
North West Tonight is the most popular regional news programme in the North West with ratings of around 600,000 for the 6:30 bulletin. It is one of the BBC's most watched regional news programmes.
BBC North West region
The North West region comprises Greater Manchester
, South Cumbria
and North West Derbyshire
. The programme also serves the Isle of Man
. Transmitters in the extremes of West Yorkshire
, covering towns like Todmorden
broadcast this regional version but broadcast the ITV Yorkshire
news show, Calendar
. The programme can be watched in any part of the UK (and Europe) on digital satellite
channel 978 on the BBC UK regional TV on satellite
For a few years in the late 1980s, North West Tonight covered the whole of Cumbria but after campaigning by viewers, the area was returned to a reformed BBC North East and Cumbria region.
Current presenters include Ranvir Singh
and Gordon Burns
. Burns was previously best known as presenter of ITV
game show The Krypton Factor
, although he did start as a local evening presenter for UTV
, then Granada Television
in the 1970s. When he joined the programme in 1997, it apparently experienced a large increase in ratings, becoming more popular than ITV's rival Granada Reports
Currently, the North West Tonight/Today
on-air team consists of:
- Jane Cheater (Breakfast bulletins, also stand-in for weather forecasts)
- Carol Lowe (Breakfast bulletins)
- Mark Edwardson (weekend)
- Andy Gill (Merseyside)
- Peter Marshall (Lancashire/South Lakes)
- Kate Simms (Cheshire)
- Jayne Barrett (Capital of Culture, Liverpool)
- Abbie Jones (Investigative)
- Colin Sykes (Environment/Transport)
- David Woodthorpe (Political Editor)
- Naomi Cornwell (also occasional presenter)
- Stuart Flinders (also presenter/occasional BBC News Channel presenter)
- Dave Guest (Chief Reporter)
- Natalie Hancock
- Eleanor Moritz
- Lisa McAllister
- Laura Yates
September 2007 Relaunch
The programme was relaunched on Monday 10th September 2007. Ranvir Singh
joined Gordon Burns
as co-presenter on the main evening edition and a new set was revealed along with new titles and on-screen graphics. The webcam view of Oxford Road which was shown on a large screen ('window') behind Gordon since 2000 did not feature in the new set.
North West Tonight used it own in-house title sequences and graphics featuring images from across the region, Town and City names and 'data streams' flowing throughout the North West and resolving on a map of the region, which symbolises this web of News.
Coinciding with the relaunch, Gordon launched a newsletter which viewers can subscribe to receive by email.
In line with a re-branding of BBC News national, international & regional programmes, North West Tonight's distinctive titles & graphics were axed after only seven months and replaced on Monday 21 April 2008 by the standard BBC News English regional titles. The new titles feature the images of the North West used in the previous titles and was be combined with a reworked version of the music used in the 2000 opening titles. The re-brand has attracted criticism as a waste of licence-fee money, only seven months after a much-hyped new look was launched.
BBC North West Today weather game
Every weekday, the presenter of the lunchtime BBC North West Today (usually Gordon Burns
) played a word game with the weather presenter
standing next to his desk. The weather presenter at lunchtime was usually Nichola Dixon
, who presented her report and included in it a secret word. The secret word was an anagram of the first letters of placenames shown on the map. After the report finished, Gordon Burns had to guess what the word was. The weather game was said to increase interest in watching the local weather. It has not been continued since Dixon's departure from the show.