Entertainment & Arts

Longer BBC regional evening TV news for election

BBC London set

The BBC's late evening TV news bulletins in the English regions are to be extended in the run-up to the general election in May next year.

The regional programme on BBC One after the News at Ten on Monday to Thursdays will become longer from January.

The slot at 22:25 - currently lasting at least seven-and-a-half minutes - will be extended to 15 minutes.

BBC director of news James Harding said the change will allow the campaign to be followed "ever more closely".

Mr Harding 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."

BBC director general Tony Hall said the "extension of our coverage will be a vital contribution to the national debate".

The longer programme will last until after the election but during this time the lunchtime regional news bulletins will be shortened from 15 to five minutes.

The regional news bulletins in England are broadcast by BBC East, BBC East Midlands, BBC London, BBC North East, BBC North West, BBC South, BBC South East, BBC South West, BBC West, BBC West Midlands, BBC Yorkshire, and BBC Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Plans for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be announced later.

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