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BBC News at Ten to be cut to make way for youth programming

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 11/02/2019 Victoria Ward
Fiona Bruce presenting the News at Ten © Jeff Overs/BBC Fiona Bruce presenting the News at Ten

The BBC News at Ten is to be shortened by ten minutes in a bid to attract younger viewers.

The corporation has announced plans to trim the nightly news to make way for youth programming that originated on BBC Three.

The move comes three years after the news bulletin was extended to provide “more analysis and explanation.”

It will see the evening programme finishing at 10.35pm rather than 10.45pm.

From Monday to Wednesday, viewers who opt not to switch channel will then be treated to the upcoming second series of acclaimed comedy Fleabag, a new dating show called Eating With My Ex and make-up competition Glow-Up, hosted by Stacey Dooley, airing one night a week respectively.

On Thursdays, Question Time will start at an earlier time. The news and weather already finishes at 10.35pm on Fridays.

The new timings will avoid a clash with the beginning of Newsnight on BBC Two. Bosses hope they will also prevent viewers from switching to ITV.

The national and local news and weather will be shortened from 45 minutes to 35 minutes, with five minutes being cut from the main national broadcast, four minutes from the regional and one minute from the weather.

The BBC began running a longer News At Ten, regional news and weather package after the 2015 general election, leading to a 15-minute overlap with Newsnight.

a close up of a woman: Stacey Dooley's show Glow Up will follow the News at Ten © Karwai Tang/WireImage Stacey Dooley's show Glow Up will follow the News at Ten The corporation said it believes the scheduling change will be better for audiences, with those who want more in-depth news and analysis able to switch over to Newsnight, whilst also allowing for a more consistent start time for viewers to watch the programmes that follow.

The occasional news and weather events that require longer programmes will be confined to moments of national or local significance, the corporation said.

The BBC is said to be concerned about losing younger viewers to rivals such as Netflix, Amazon and Now TV, which are taking a much broader audience share.

Research also suggests that the younger generation are shunning television in favour of online streaming and entertainment.

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