BBC makes major change to TV services amid coronavirus outbreak

Question Time to go ahead without studio audience...

In order to keep the public informed and offer “trusted and accurate” news, the BBC will be implementing a core news service on their news channel, meaning that there will be a reduction in branded programmes.

“We will be making some visible changes to our output to focus on the latest news, information, live events and audience questions in the coming days,” announced the broadcaster.

“Breakfast, News At One, News At Six and News At Ten will continue to perform a vital role on BBC1, while we make some changes to support our continuous news channels”.

“From tomorrow we will be moving to a core news service on the BBC News channel in the UK – with fewer branded programmes,” they continued. “This core service will replace some scheduled programmes on BBC2 including Politics Live and Victoria Derbyshire.

“We will be talking to these teams about how they can support the core operation, which will also provide live coverage of major news conferences and government briefings to BBC iPlayer, TV and News online”.

The network confirmed that Newsnight and The Andrew Marr Show “will remain on air but will be operated by fewer technical staff”, while The Andrew Neil Show, Newswatch, The Travel Show and HARDtalk will be suspended.

They added that Question Time will continue to air weekly but without a studio audience for the time being.

“These are unprecedented and difficult days,” said BBC’s Director of News, Fran Unsworth. “Trusted, accurate information is vital in a public health emergency and the BBC has a key role to play.

“We will continue offering our audience a continuous news service on TV, radio and online but this will look a bit different in the weeks ahead.

“Like many organisations we are unable to have all our staff on site due to the Coronavirus outbreak. We are therefore making some changes to what we do to streamline our output to ensure we can work with fewer people and protect the staff who are at work.”

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