New 8pm news bulletin on BBC1It's expected to last just two or three minutes

11 July 2007

BBC1 today announced a new nightly news summary which will be broadcast between the Six and Ten 0'Clock News.

The bulletin will go out at 8pm every weekday evening.

It is the first new bulletin on BBC1 since 1984, when the Six O'Clock News was introduced.

Natasha Kaplinsky, the newsreader and former Strictly Come Dancing star, has been taking part in pilots of the bulletin, which are expected to last just two or three minutes.

No presenters have yet been announced for the new slot.

Autumn season

The short bulletin, unveiled today at the BBC1 autumn season launch, could lead to accusations of dumbing down.

But the BBC says it is designed to provide a catch-up service between the Six and Ten 0'Clock News.

BBC1 controller Peter Fincham said: 'We're keeping up the pace of change on BBC1.

'This autumn sees the introduction of a new nightly news summary at 8pm each weekday evening.

Panorama

'Designed to bridge the gap between the Six and Ten 0'Clock News, it joins Panorama, now firmly established in the 8.30pm Monday slot, and The One Show, each weeknight at 7pm.'

The BBC has been criticised for scheduling Panorama against current affairs programme Dispatches on Channel 4.

Digital channel BBC3 previously came under fire when it revealed its bulletin was a 60-second format.

Independent TV channel five also runs short news summaries during the evening.

Mr Fincham denies the move would mean dumbing down the news, although he admitted it would appeal to younger viewers.

Younger viewers

He said: 'From six o'clock to 10 o'clock is rather a long time not to tell the viewers of BBC1 what's going on in the news.

'It will appeal to the younger audience, but I don't want to obsess about that.'

He said the 60 or 90-second bulletin would be an addition and enhancement to the news content already shown on BBC1.

The move could be seen as a response to the growth in the 24-hour news culture, with rolling TV as well online news.

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