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62305823,155 posts since 19 Aug 2005
STV Central Reporting Scotland
20 years ago today News at ten was killed of for the first time, I remember it was just yesterday







Is the next post dreaded?
JKDerry1,335 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
News at Ten would then return on Monday 22nd January 2001. However it would be a shadow of its former self and would not regain its full programme until the 2008 reboot.

I remember the 2001 News at Ten, simply taking the 11.00pm Nightly News and moving it to 10.00pm, and putting Sir Trevor at the helm, and that was it. No thought or care about the bulletin, just shift it to 10.00pm three nights a week. Pathetic.
Steve Williams2,595 posts since 1 Aug 2008
I remember the 2001 News at Ten, simply taking the 11.00pm Nightly News and moving it to 10.00pm, and putting Sir Trevor at the helm, and that was it. No thought or care about the bulletin, just shift it to 10.00pm three nights a week. Pathetic.


Well, the general point about the return of News at Ten in 2001 was that there were now two news programmes on ITV in primetime (as the ITC's definition of it was 6-11pm) which had never been the case on ITV before. And it was still the news, at ten, which is what it was supposed to be, I don't know what else they were supposed to do.

It's fair to say that while the end of News at Ten the first time was a big event, the brand was flagging a bit by the end. In Giles Smith's book of his newspaper columns on sport on TV, he reviews the media coverage of the sacking of Glenn Hoddle as England manager in January 1999, and there's a bit where he refers to Hoddle being interviewed on News at Ten and saying his beliefs were too complicated "to discuss in two or three minutes on a TV show", and Smith says that a few years before you would have called News at Ten "a news programme" but it was now, as Hoddle suggested, "a TV show". Actually I was a bit sadder about the ending of the 5.40 news because that fitted into my schedule nicely and I always thought it was a suitably bright and breezy bulletin.

Such a fascinating period, though. Opening the Radio Times for the first week with the news at eleven was such a surprise, the ITV schedule was absolutely stuffed with new programmes and specials. In fact the Sunday of that week was the big one for ITV as they had an hour-long Corrie, imperial phase Millionaire and A Touch of Frost and they all got absolutely enormous ratings and blew BBC1 off the screen. I really feared for BBC1 at the time, actually, and on the Monday of the relaunch at 9.30 they had Animal Police which was a grim docusoap about the RSPCA which a week later was relegated to a late night slot, so it looked like BBC1 were in a right state next to the swaggering ITV.

Of course as it turned out, those brilliant ITV schedules only lasted a few weeks, and indeed the problems were apparent on day two when they showed the Cold Feet-style drama Wonderful You at 10pm and it absolutely died on its arse and got appalling ratings. But I would say that, under David Liddiment it was quite an exciting period for ITV and they were quite daring with what they showed and were eager to experiment, and they were very good at creating big events through scheduling, Millionaire is the perfect example. Certainly it seemed a huge leap forward from the rather mundane schedules under Marcus Plantin where you'd have a drama at 9pm nine times out of ten and it all got rather predictable. There was a proper swagger about ITV in those days and I watched it quite a lot, and they did try hard to find good slots for comedy and so on. I mean, obviously they had money coming out of their ears in those days, which helped.

The news at eleven could have worked, it wasn't that bad an idea, and ITV did say they'd done research that said viewers were more interested in watching the news earlier in the evening and so they pumped up the 6.30 one quite a lot. But it turned out most of the stuff they put on at ten just wasn't good enough. The whole reason why they moved News at Ten was because BBC1 was getting seven million at ten o'clock with things like They Think It's All Over and The Frank Skinner Show, and they wanted a piece of that. But they never found anything, even when they poached Frank Skinner.
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JKDerry1,335 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
The switching of the news bulletin formats is interesting. In 1999 the simply moved the 20 minute Early Evening News to 11.00pm and renamed it Nightly News, as the 5.40 was a news digest of a bulletin. They then took the 10.00pm bulletin and moved it to 6.30pm with a new name, this being the main bulletin of the day. Bridging the gap was a short 1 minute summary at 10.00pm as a promo for what was coming up at 11.00pm.

The 11.00pm Nightly News could have worked if it had been extended and become a little bit more in depth, rather than just a news digest of the day. Local News could have aired at 11.30pm, as post Nightly News slot, the ratings were bad anyway, an extra 10 minutes wouldn't have been too much a bother.

The reinstating of "News at Ten" in 2001 was half arsed. Three nights a week the 20 minute Nightly News would air at 10.00pm. Fridays was kept at 11.00 but now renamed Weekend News, and one night a week the 10.00 bulletin could be shifted. Plus ITV suddenly not being able to start on time made on week in the Spring of 2001 like this:

Monday - 10.04pm. Tuesday - 10.45pm. Wednesday - 10.07pm. Thursday - 10.00pm. Friday - 11.00pm.

Not great, when considering BBC 1 started bang on the dot of 10.00 as did the old News at Ten on ITV.

There was no effort put into the reinstatement of News at Ten in 2001. It was all window dressing. Taking Sir Trevor from 6.30 and moving him to 10.00 wasn't going to help in the long run. Also casting the local news adrift to 11.20pm most nights was truly idiotic scheduling. Something they realised by 2002.
62305823,155 posts since 19 Aug 2005
STV Central Reporting Scotland
I still think there could have had news at 8.30 if it wasn't for Channel 5, it could have been a good bookend to keep things simple.
17.10 Evening news.
17.30 H&W
18.00 local news
18.30 ITV peak

That in the long run could have freedITV to have many great shows, including two hour dramas, or even friday night chat show at 10pm. Alas ITV mist its chance and as pointed out by Steve Williams ITV thought any old crap would do.
Is the next post dreaded?
JKDerry1,335 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
I still think there could have had news at 8.30 if it wasn't for Channel 5, it could have been a good bookend to keep things simple.
17.10 Evening news.
17.30 H&W
18.00 local news
18.30 ITV peak

That in the long run could have freedITV to have many great shows, including two hour dramas, or even friday night chat show at 10pm. Alas ITV mist its chance and as pointed out by Steve Williams ITV thought any old crap would do.

Having the Evening News and Local News split as you suggested would never be adopted by ITV. Local News and National News are always linked together both in early evening and late evening.
Steve Williams2,595 posts since 1 Aug 2008
Having the Evening News and Local News split as you suggested would never be adopted by ITV. Local News and National News are always linked together both in early evening and late evening.


But as mentioned, many regions did indeed do that, with the regional news at 6.30 and Home and Away in between. And they did it when they moved the news back to ten in 2001, the regional news stayed at 11.20 for a while.
Andrew13,335 posts since 27 Mar 2001
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)


The reinstating of "News at Ten" in 2001 was half arsed. Three nights a week the 20 minute Nightly News would air at 10.00pm. Fridays was kept at 11.00 but now renamed Weekend News, and one night a week the 10.00 bulletin could be shifted. Plus ITV suddenly not being able to start on time made on week in the Spring of 2001 like this:

Monday - 10.04pm. Tuesday - 10.45pm. Wednesday - 10.07pm. Thursday - 10.00pm. Friday - 11.00pm.

Not great, when considering BBC 1 started bang on the dot of 10.00 as did the old News at Ten on ITV.

There was no effort put into the reinstatement of News at Ten in 2001. It was all window dressing. Taking Sir Trevor from 6.30 and moving him to 10.00 wasn't going to help in the long run. Also casting the local news adrift to 11.20pm most nights was truly idiotic scheduling. Something they realised by 2002.

The old News at Ten didn’t start on time either. That’s a myth, it regularly started a few minutes past, just nobody cared as there wasn’t a common Junction with BBC One most of the time to clock watch against.
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JamesLaverty192582 posts since 28 Feb 2017
Central (East) East Midlands Today

The reinstating of "News at Ten" in 2001 was half arsed. Three nights a week the 20 minute Nightly News would air at 10.00pm. Fridays was kept at 11.00 but now renamed Weekend News, and one night a week the 10.00 bulletin could be shifted. Plus ITV suddenly not being able to start on time made on week in the Spring of 2001 like this:

Monday - 10.04pm. Tuesday - 10.45pm. Wednesday - 10.07pm. Thursday - 10.00pm. Friday - 11.00pm.

Not great, when considering BBC 1 started bang on the dot of 10.00 as did the old News at Ten on ITV.

There was no effort put into the reinstatement of News at Ten in 2001. It was all window dressing. Taking Sir Trevor from 6.30 and moving him to 10.00 wasn't going to help in the long run. Also casting the local news adrift to 11.20pm most nights was truly idiotic scheduling. Something they realised by 2002.


This is really annoying me, because I should know this, but how did ITV brand the bulletins that didn't start at 10.00? I'm not counting the ones that were just a few minutes late, but like the Tuesday bulletin listed above. Did they stick with News at Ten, or did they just go with a generic ITV News? I've seen bulletins on YouTube branded as "ITV News" or "ITV News and Sport", but I'm assuming they were early evening weekend bulletins.