BBC News Fix

  • Victoria Derbyshire finally launches new show but receives mixed reviews

    Good evening all. Today we saw the long awaited launch of Victoria Derbyshire’s brand new show which is creatively titled Victoria Derbyshire. Starting at a quarter past nine and lasting for an hour and forty-five minutes, it takes up a bulk of the morning’s output on the BBC News Channel and on BBC Two. The first programme had a fifteen minute report on two transgender children, an interview with the mother of missing chef Claudia Lawrence and a debate with a studio audience on why politicians are so incapable of answering a straight question.

    The new show is a complete overhaul and change of direction for the BBC News Channel which prides itself in its first class rolling news coverage making it by far the most watched news channel in the UK.

    This new show however was more like a magazine show with very little content on today’s most important news stories. The vast majority of the programme actually had nothing to do with today’s events. Instead it was a carefully timed programme with a very strict schedule.

    This new show is great for BBC Two which needs a new format in the morning. The show contained a lot of real life stories which should engage the typical audience for that time of the day. It could even be considered as a bit of competition for This Morning on ITV. But to have Victoria Derbyshire (referring to the programme and not the person) on the BBC News Channel is absolutely disastrous. With just one month away from the General Election, I was surprised not to see more coverage of Tony Blair’s speech in Sedgefield today which took up just five minutes on the programme. I nearly turned over to Sky News which is certainly something I do not often do.

    I struggle to imagine what would happen on a day with major breaking news such as the Paris shootings we saw in January. Derbyshire make it clear that the programme would contain breaking news would that would surely ruin the whole format of the show.

    The main focus on the programme is about audience participation. Derbyshire encourages us to get involved through at least half a dozen different ways but also has at around fifteen people with her discussing some of the issues discussed during the programme. This is meant to reflect a changing news habits. There has been some revolution in the way that we get our news and some people in the industry are keen to throw away the old system for in favour of connecting with the audience which aims to get them involved. But the BBC News Channel is not the place to do this. Ever since its inception, it has provided rolling news coverage of the day’s top events. Many people call this repetitive but anybody tuning into the channel during the late morning will find themselves no clearer about the day’s top stories. The current format with the likeable Simon McCoy alongside the likes of Annita McVeigh, Carole Walker or Norman Smith from Westminster works.

    It seems that the BBC has been determined to place Derbyshire’s show from Radio 5 Live onto television. There is definitely a place for it: BBC Two. However having this show in the BBC News Channel completely undermines its ability its ability to provide actual news.

    It will be interesting to see how the show develops based on its reaction. They won’t have as many exclusive stories as they had today every day. Nevertheless, one thing is clear, the BBC News Channel is clearly about to through a very big change. What will happen to some of its presenters because of the change? They can’t all stay. I’m sure this will become clear when things begin to settle down after the election.

    Jack Axford

    Co-editor, BNF


    • 1. Apr 17 2015 9:42AM by Nigel Scott-Moncrieff

      I agree with Mr Axford's comments on the Derbyshire programme and am becoming increasingly frustrated with her bland, soapy presentation and overlong features. I need a news 'fix' in the morning and have been a long term avid admirer of BBC News. My heart now sinks when I see her her and have, more than once, turned over to the awful Sky News and then given up completely to await the 'proper' news presentations on the Beeb later in the day.

      If anyone with any influence reads these comments, I implore them to axe this dull woman from the news channel and revert to the quality, tried and trusted format as soon as possible.

    • 2. May 20 2015 8:02AM by Michael

      Victoria Derbyshire is Very Borring and Ugly to look at. If you must have her keep her on the radio.

    • 3. Sep 21 2015 9:04AM by Roger

      HAving watched the show a few times, I reckon the title should be changed to Victoris Derbyshire Patronises.

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