BBC News Fix

  • BBC News Presenter Count 2015: Outside Source and BBC World News

    The schedule renovations that hit the BBC News Channel last April, what with the new Victoria Derbyshire programme being the “centrepiece” of morning television, featured the acknowledgement after donkeys years that maybe cuts could be made to the evening newsreader roster with the simulcasting of BBC World News. Between 9-10pm, every night since that piece of genius finally occurred on a regular basis, BNF have been archiving the presenters for Outside Source during the week and the World News half-hour update at weekends. Exciting times, no? (Not so much for me because it means more blogging… but do take my sarcasm with a pinch of salt.)

    Outside Source is the show that reminds me I need to go and “outside source” some food (that’s the best segway I can make tonight) from the local Co-op when I’m making soup that late in the evening. (Yep, it’s another Scudamore-life reveal…) But Ros Atkins’ primetime show has also become a staple for global correspondents to check in with the London studios to keep audiences adrift of some of the stories in the far, unknown, tribal hotspots of Easter Island and the Republic of Conga that, sadly because of their party names, will never make the Ten O’clock News. (Although the day Huw Edwards finally reports from Easter Island I will eat a slice of Humble News Pie.) Atkins no doubt topped the count for a show that he seems to be the only one caring about, but here’s the rest anyway:

    (1) Ros Atkins – 92

    (2) Christian Fraser – 10

    (3) Karin Giannone – 9

    (4) Nuala McGovern – 8

    (5) Tim Willcox – 2

    (6) Philippa Thomas – 1

    Chris Rogers – 1

    Carrie Gracie – 1

    Some interesting observations: a) How good is Atkins’ attendance?! He looks like the nerd who shows up every day to school compared with his fellow colleagues. b) There’s no real contender for ‘deputy’ at this stage in the game, but it’s quite clear that Fraser, Giannone and McGovern (sadly not Steph from Breakfast) are happy to draw the short straw in fronting/covering the programme till the end of days. Very much like how Jack, Harry and me prepare the roster for our editing slots over Christmas…

    More Willcox, please, he’s a valuable asset when it comes to reporting on stories unfamiliar to viewers because of their exoticness (look no further than the Chilean miners rescue, some of the most compelling television sine I’m A Celebrity had to evacuate its camp way back in 2007.) Ben Brown would be useful on this show, too, but so far I’m liking the presenting choices the editors have made – Giannone and Fraser are worthy runners-up.

    Finally: Carrie Gracie makes a count this year!! My, I’ve missed her. Her role as China Editor bodes well for a show that cares about China. As for the future, because I’m slightly bemused by Atkins as a host for this weekday gig: Fraser gets more time to shine, as does Thomas and hey, maybe Ben Bland as an “outsider”? I’m so clever with the puns…

    BBC World News is a different ball game altogether which, thinking about is, is how you should see all the counts for 2015 as resembling. It’s like hot potato, especially for something like this weekend update segment which requires no less than a short night shift to give Martine Croxall on the NC a lunch break. Here’s the count:

    (1) Tim Willcox – 16

    Peter Dobbie – 16

    (2) Chris Rogers – 10

    (3) Alice Baxter – 8

    Kasia Madera – 8

    (4) Alpa Patel – 7

    (5) Ben Bland – 4

    (6) Gavin Grey – 3

    James Coomarasamy – 3

    Christian Fraser – 3

    Dani Sinha – 3

    (7) Philippa Thomas – 2

    Babita Sharma – 2

    Rajini Vaidyanathan – 2

    (8) Maleen Saeed – 1

    Martine Croxall – 1

    Ben Brown – 1

    Lebo Diseko – 1

    Jane O’Brien – 1

    Dobbie misses out on a big lead, tying with Willcox which is… nice. I make such a statement because I’m sure this is Dobbie’s shift but, with Willcox without any regular programming slot (tis how he likes it) it’s unusual to see such regularity for him. Rogers doesn’t surprise in second place, but to have Baxter come from the land of “who?!” to gaining a third-place ranking with Madera shows promise for her future. More Patel and Bland, please, and lose the Grey – there’s no personality from the guy whatsoever! (Fact: Scudamore likes personality.) Stray lookouts: Sinha, Sharma and Vaidyanathan. I’m up for seeing all three front this bulletin more come the next twelve months. My reasoning? I have no answer. On an unrelated note and an attempt to move on from my predicaments: Croxall and Brown make it onto the leaderboard! Could this get anymore random?! Credit to Lebo Diseko, also. I do not know him.

    We’re at the business end of the counts so do excuse me for losing the humour in favour of general analysis. It’s time to get dark and serious because coming up next are the two big boys of late-night television: the BBC News at Ten and Newsnight. Frightening stuff.

    Tom Scudamore,

    BNF’s weekend resident

    1 Comment

    • 1. Jan 23 2016 8:20PM by .

      Peter Dobbie has left the BBC. Lebo Diseko is a woman, so a her not a him. The shift on a Friday now seems to be Wilcox's and at the weekend can be anyone. Babita Sharma only did the shift once or twice over the christmas period when schedules go out of the window. Dani Sinha has also left the BBC, and Kasia Madera will no longer appear on this shift since Peter Dobbie left. Martine, Ben, Chrisian and Jane only appear due to on location presenting or last minute change for world news, as do Tim, and Carrie on OS (as may Chris Rogers).

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