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|North West Tonight|
|Also known as||North West Today|
|Presented by||Roger Johnson|
|Theme music composer||David Lowe|
|Country of origin||England|
|Production locations||Quay House, MediaCityUK|
|Running time||30 minutes|
(main 6:30pm programme)
|Production company||BBC North West|
|Original network||BBC One North West|
|Picture format||576i (16:9 SDTV)|
|Original release||3 September 1984 –|
|Related shows||Granada Reports|
BBC North West Tonight is a regional news programme covering North West England and the Isle of Man. Produced by BBC North West, the programme airs at 1.30pm (as North West Today), 6.30pm and 10.30pm, with shorter bulletins during BBC Breakfast and at the weekends. The programme is broadcast from the BBC's MediaCityUK studios at Salford Quays, with district newsrooms based in Liverpool, Blackburn and Chester.
BBC North West region
The BBC North West region covers Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire (excluding West Craven), Merseyside, the western High Peak of Derbyshire, southern Cumbria, western North Yorkshire, and the Isle of Man. Transmitters in the extremes of West Yorkshire, covering towns like Todmorden, previously broadcast this regional version but are now covered by BBC Look North.
The programme can be watched in any part of the United Kingdom (and Europe) from Astra 1N on Freesat channel 955 and Sky channel 958. The latest edition of North West Tonight is also available to watch on BBC iPlayer for 24 hours, like the BBC's other television news bulletins.
BBC television news from Manchester began on 30 September 1957, with a nightly bulletin entitled News from the North, broadcast to the whole of Northern England (incorporating the current BBC North West, Yorkshire & North Midlands, East Yorkshire & Lincolnshire and North East & Cumbria regions). The rival station Granada Television had already begun providing regional news coverage when it first went on air in May 1956, at first covering the North West only before extending to Yorkshire six months later.
The BBC's service was refocused to cover the North West and Yorkshire areas when separate bulletins for the North East and Cumbria were introduced in 1959. By 1962, the nightly bulletins had been extended to 20 minutes and evolved into the magazine programme North at Six, later renamed Look North.
On 25 March 1968, the Manchester edition of Look North was again refocused to cover the North West area, only following the launch of a third Look North programme from Leeds. The programme was renamed in 1980 as Look North West, with News North West introduced for shorter bulletins.
On 18 May 1981, Look North West moved from small studios at Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester to New Broadcasting House on Oxford Road. North West Tonight was introduced on 3 September 1984 to coincide with the launch of the BBC Six O'Clock News. Between 1986 and 1989, the programme also covered parts of Cumbria previously served by the Newcastle edition of Look North and provided a news opt-out for the area at lunchtime. Following viewer complaints, Cumbrian news coverage was switched back to Newcastle's Look North.
The last edition of the programme from Studio B at New Broadcasting House on Oxford Road aired on 27 November 2011, and was also the last broadcast from the studios after 36 years of operation. The programme's first broadcast from the BBC's Salford Quays studios took place on 28 November 2011, during the BBC Breakfast programme. North West Tonight and BBC Breakfast now share the same studio.
Notable former anchors include Stuart Hall, Gordon Burns, Tony Morris and Ranvir Singh. For 38 years Dave Guest was chief reporter and occasional presenter for the programme. He retired on 23 October 2020.
North West Today
On weekdays, breakfast bulletins air as part of BBC Breakfast at 25 and 55 minutes past the hour, between 6:25am and 9:00am. A 15-minute lunchtime bulletin airs at 1:30pm, following the BBC News at One.
North West Tonight
The main edition of North West Tonight is broadcast every weeknight between 6.30pm and 7.00pm. A late night edition of the programme is broadcast (the 15-minute bulletins airs Monday to Friday at 10.30pm), following the BBC News at Ten.
North West Tonight airs short early evening bulletins on Saturday and Sunday evenings, although times vary. A late night bulletin is broadcast on Sundays, following the BBC News at Ten.
- Gordon Burns to step down from BBC North West Tonight BBC News, 15 April 2011
- Ranvir Singh to leave BBC North West Tonight BBC, 28 May 2012
- "Owain Wyn Evans is BBC North West Tonight's new weather presenter". BBC News. 2 September 2019. Retrieved 5 September 2019.