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itsrobert6,185 posts since 23 Mar 2001
Granada North West Today
For some obscure reason, the very much extinct programme "Europe Direct" popped into my mind today. It used to air at various times on both BBC News 24 and BBC World.

I was wondering if anyone can remember much about its production history? I know that it launched with News 24 in 1997 and initially was presented from the soft set in N9. But the first memory I have of the programme is as a very heavily produced on-location type programme presented by William Horsley. I would guess that this would have been around 2003 or so.

Can anyone recall what happened to it and where it was presented from during the 1998-2002 period? What happened to it during the move to N8 in 1998? And then with the rebrand of News 24 in 1999? At what point did it become an on-location edited programme, rather than a live studio-based one? Was it always produced by News 24, or did it ever move to the responsibility of BBC World?

Hoping someone can remember (calling noggin, possibly?!) as I've just got a blind spot as to what happened to it during the later flags era and early beeps era.

Thanks!
a516660 posts since 29 Jan 2010
Central (East) East Midlands Today
Europe Direct was simulcast across both channels at 9pm CET from November 1997, with World opting out for a World News bulletin around 9:01, while News 24 continued with its own bulletin.

In 1998, as a result of schedule changes caused by the Kosovo War, World moved Europe Direct to 11:10pm, effectively the hour long programme from News 24 earlier in the evening, but with the news bulletin taken out.

Then it was reduced to 30 minutes starting at 11:30pm. It was always from News 24's studio. The original News 24 1997 soft set location was used for The World Today's set on BBC World from October 1998.
Batavia7 posts since 10 Feb 2017
BBC World
This letter, written by John Simpson and others, and published in The Independent, decries the end of Europe Direct in 1999: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/letter-cuts-at-bbc-world-1122750.html

I also recall Australia Direct (presented, assumedly, by Michael Peschardt) was on air in the early 2000s, and I also recall that the promo was a woman creating an aboriginal-style painting of a map of Australia. Does anyone have any information?

Was there also a USA Direct for a while as well?
noggin13,884 posts since 26 Jun 2001
Didn’t Charles Wheeler also present it, before Shirin Wheeler took over the programme?


Charles Wheeler didn't present Europe Direct. That was Dateline London - with Charles Wheeler (as it was initially known).

Europe Direct was initially presented by Brian Hanrahan, but Peter Dobbie, David Jessel and I think William Horsley and a few others presented it across its lifetime.

Shireen Wheeler presented a different European insert, this time from the European Parliament(?) in Brussels, into another News 24 strand (can't remember if it was Breakfast or mid-morning?) I think it may have been called 'European Breakfast' and been quite early in the morning during the Breakfast strand. I think it used TV facilities available in the parliament - rather than requiring a multi camera OB from the BBC (which would never have happened with BBC budgets!)
Last edited by noggin on 30 August 2018 8:32pm - 2 times in total
noggin13,884 posts since 26 Jun 2001
For some obscure reason, the very much extinct programme "Europe Direct" popped into my mind today. It used to air at various times on both BBC News 24 and BBC World.

I was wondering if anyone can remember much about its production history? I know that it launched with News 24 in 1997 and initially was presented from the soft set in N9


Not quite - it actually launched on BBC World a little BEFORE News 24 launched, but just by a little bit. It was produced from the as-yet-unlaunched News 24 soft area ISTR before the channel launched in Nov 1997.

Brian Hanrahan was the launch presenter.

It came from the sofa area in N9, with Europe Direct branded cushions. It was a sofa-based discussion show with guest journalists from the European press (mainly) as pundits. It was a bit like a European version of Dateline London, discussing European issues with European journalists.

When News 24 moved into N8 in 1998 (windswept conservatory era), it came from the sofa area there. I can't remember if it was still a studio show when the sofa area was replaced by a second desk area in the first Lambie Nairn beige/red iteration.
Last edited by noggin on 30 August 2018 10:39pm
Batavia7 posts since 10 Feb 2017
BBC World
Didn’t Charles Wheeler also present it, before Shirin Wheeler took over the programme?

Any relation?


Charles Wheeler was Shirin Wheeler's father. Shirin hosted the Record: Europe. IIRC it had two title sequences during its time on air: the first with 2 acrobats doing a ribbon dance, as weird as that sounds, and the second with a glass star refracting light. Both sequences had a blue background.

According to LinkedIn, Shirin is now Head of the Video & Social Media Unit at the European Investment Bank (EIB).
1
thegeek gave kudos
noggin13,884 posts since 26 Jun 2001
Didn’t Charles Wheeler also present it, before Shirin Wheeler took over the programme?

Any relation?


Charles Wheeler was Shirin Wheeler's father. Shirin hosted the Record: Europe. IIRC it had two title sequences during its time on air: the first with 2 acrobats doing a ribbon dance, as weird as that sounds, and the second with a glass star refracting light. Both sequences had a blue background.

According to LinkedIn, Shirin is now Head of the Video & Social Media Unit at the European Investment Bank (EIB).


You're absolutely right 'The Record : Europe' is ringing lots of bells - as are both sets of titles.
1
JamesWorldNews gave kudos
a516660 posts since 29 Jan 2010
Central (East) East Midlands Today
This letter, written by John Simpson and others, and published in The Independent, decries the end of Europe Direct in 1999: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/letter-cuts-at-bbc-world-1122750.html

I also recall Australia Direct (presented, assumedly, by Michael Peschardt) was on air in the early 2000s, and I also recall that the promo was a woman creating an aboriginal-style painting of a map of Australia. Does anyone have any information?

Was there also a USA Direct for a while as well?

USA Direct appeared on BBC World from November 1997 at 01:05 CET, in the slot previously used by Newsnight (which was removed from the schedule at the end of October 1997). I don't think that lasted long, either.
a516660 posts since 29 Jan 2010
Central (East) East Midlands Today
For some obscure reason, the very much extinct programme "Europe Direct" popped into my mind today. It used to air at various times on both BBC News 24 and BBC World.

I was wondering if anyone can remember much about its production history? I know that it launched with News 24 in 1997 and initially was presented from the soft set in N9


Not quite - it actually launched on BBC World a little BEFORE News 24 launched, but just by a little bit. It was produced from the as-yet-unlaunched News 24 soft area ISTR before the channel launched in Nov 1997.

Brian Hanrahan was the launch presenter.

It came from the sofa area in N9, with Europe Direct branded cushions. It was a sofa-based discussion show with guest journalists from the European press (mainly) as pundits. It was a bit like a European version of Dateline London, discussing European issues with European journalists.

When News 24 moved into N8 in 1998 (windswept conservatory era), it came from the sofa area there. I can't remember if it was still a studio show when the sofa area was replaced by a second desk area in the first Lambie Nairn beige/red iteration.

It was part of the Autumn/Winter 1997 BBC World schedule that launched on clock change weekend at the end of October 1997, coinciding with the launch of the sun flag ident.


Didn't Europe Direct's titles originally have a stylised "E" coming out of water?

I remember Dan Corbett making frequent apperances with the European weather forecast at the end of the programme with the orange News 24 weather maps that World also adopted.

I seem to remember Bénédicte Paviot was a frequent guest on the programme.

Europe Direct also originally had a sports segment as well.