Morning Live to be broadcast year-round from Salford as BBC announces major changes

The BBC has announced plans to “better reflect” all parts of the UK.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 12:26 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th March 2021, 12:28 pm
On set in Salford

It will shift away from London over the next six years in what it has called its “biggest transformation in decades”.

The move, which BBC bosses hope changes the tone of its programmes and journalism, comes after the broadcaster was accused by some of failing to understand the vote for Brexit.

Viewers will see a “noticeable shift in portrayal of different parts of the UK in drama, comedy and factual” shows, the broadcaster said.

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News and current affairs programmes like Newsnight will be presented from different UK bases throughout the year.

Radio 4’s Today programme will be co-presented from outside London for at least 100 episodes a year. PM will also be presented from across the UK.

The BBC said that “major parts of BBC News” would “shift across the UK… ensuring we cover the stories that matter most to audiences and more effectively representing different voices and perspectives.”

The new plan is designed to result in editorial choices which are influenced by communities across the UK.

The move comes after former Today programme host John Humphrys previously said the BBC failed to understand the vote for Brexit.

And Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has said “the BBC needs to be closer to, and understand the perspectives of, the whole of the United Kingdom and avoid providing a narrow urban outlook.”

Under the new plan, a “clear majority” of the BBC’s “UK-wide TV will be made across the UK, not in London – at least 60% of network TV commissions by spend.”

Key daytime programmes on each of Radio 1, 1Xtra and Radio 2 will be made across the UK and 50% of network radio and music spend will be outside London by 2027/28.

More than 100 new and returning drama and comedy titles will reflect the lives and communities of audiences outside London over the next three years, the BBC said.

Funds will be invested in two major drama series, one set in the North of England and the other from one of the Nations.

BBC One daytime show Morning Live will be broadcast year-round from Salford.

The BBC said the plans will “cement our commitment to better reflect, represent, and serve all parts of the country.”

Unveiling the new plans, BBC Director-General Tim Davie said: “Our mission must be to deliver for the whole of the UK and ensure every household gets value from the BBC.

“These plans will get us closer to audiences, create jobs and investment, and develop and nurture new talent.

“Over the last year, the BBC – which has been an essential part of the UK’s culture, democracy and creativity for almost a century – has helped inform, educate and entertain all four Nations, as we have collectively faced some of our toughest moments in recent history.

“Now, as we look to the future, we must play our part in supporting social and economic recovery, rebuilding the creative sector and telling the stories that need to be heard from all corners of the UK.”

By 2027/28, the BBC will spend at least an extra £700 million cumulatively across the UK, it said.

In radio, Newsbeat and Asian Network will be based in Birmingham, while Radio 3 and 6 Music will be “rooted in Salford”.

More performances from the Proms – which sparked controversy last year over an initial decision to play Rule, Britannia! and Land Of Hope And Glory without lyrics – will be broadcast outside London.

Around 400 roles – around half of those in BBC News – will be relocated outside London.

The BBC previously moved hundreds of staff and a number of services to Salford, affecting Children’s, Sport, and 5 Live.

The broadcaster said its property estate in London would be reduced.