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Spotlight (BBC South West News)

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Title: Spotlight (BBC South West News)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Communications in the Isle of Man, BBC Northern Ireland, John Humphrys, Fern Britton, Clinton Rogers, BBC South West, Valerie Sanderson, Media in Cornwall, Simon Hall (writer), Television in the Isle of Man
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Spotlight (BBC South West News)

For the BBC Northern Ireland's weekly current affairs programme, see Spotlight
Also known as BBC Channel Islands
(Channel Islands opt-out)
Format Regional News
Presented by Justin Leigh
Natalie Cornah
Clare Burton (Channel Islands)
Producer(s) BBC South West
Location(s) BBC Broadcasting House,
Running time Main bulletin: 30 minutes
8pm bulletin: 30 seconds
Original channel BBC One South West
Original run 1961 (as South West at Six) – present
Related shows BBC News,
ITV News West Country,
ITV News Channel TV

Spotlight is the BBC's regional news programme for the South West of England, covering Cornwall, Devon, southern and western Somerset, western Dorset and the Channel Islands. There is also a special version of the programme for viewers in the Channel Islands. The main version of the programme broadcasts between 18:30 and 18:58 on weekdays, with shorter bulletins at other times. The programme can be viewed anywhere in the UK (and Europe) on Sky channel 967/968 on the BBC UK regional TV on satellite service. Its main competitors are ITV West Country's main evening programme ITV News West Country in Cornwall, Devon, southern and western Somerset and western Dorset and ITV Channel Television's main evening programme ITV News Channel TV in the Channel Islands.

Spotlight is broadcast from BBC Broadcasting House in Seymour Road, Plymouth – this is the main headquarters for all BBC South West programming, on TV, radio and online. There are also smaller studios in Barnstaple, Exeter, Paignton, Taunton and Truro.


Although local radio had been broadcast from Plymouth as station 2PY between 1924 and 1934, the first regional television programme was not broadcast until 20 April 1961, just nine days before the rival ITV service from Westward Television began broadcasting. At first a ten-minute bulletin called News from the South West was read by Tom Salmon, but in under a year it had doubled in length and had been renamed as South West at Six, hosted by Sheila Tracy. The name Spotlight was adopted on 30 September 1963.[1][2]

Those early radio broadcasts had been made from the Athenaeum Chambers in Athenaeum Lane in Plymouth (ironically, next to what would become Westward and TSW's headquarters), but just before the Second World War the BBC started looking for alternative premises. A Victorian villa named Ingledene in Seymour Road was bought from the Douglass family and this building has, as of 2012, remained the BBC's headquarters in the South West. It has been considerably extended over the years, including the addition of a new and larger television studio in 1974 in preparation for the conversion of Spotlight to colour the following year.[2] A replacement purpose-built broadcasting centre on the opposite side of Sutton Harbour from the Barbican has been under construction since 2008 and was due to open in mid-2011,[3] though it has since stalled due to the effect of the recession on the construction industry and a change in the original plans. In late 2012, the owner of the harbour expressed fears the move may never happen and admitted other parties had expressed an interest in moving to the site earmarked for the BBC.[4] In 2013, the BBC confirmed it would not be moving to Sutton Harbour, but would instead be refurbishing its existing Plymouth headquarters.[5]

A lighthouse motif had been in use within the programme's title sequences for many years until May 2000, when Spotlight adopted the generic BBC regional news design. The motif returned in May 2006, and the use of a lighthouse in the titles remained with the latest BBC News relaunch in 2008.

Current on air team


Person Title(s) Related note(s)
Natalie Cornah Main presenter/newsreader (Spotlight)
Justin Leigh
Clare Burton Main presenter/newsreader (Channel Islands opt-out)
David Braine Weather presenter
Dan Downs Programme director
Emily Wood


Person Title(s) Related note(s)
John Ayres South Devon Correspondent
David Earl Alderney Correspondent
Penny Elderfield Guernsey Correspondent
David George Cornwall Correspondent
Amy Harris Jersey Correspondent
Philip Loat North Devon Correspondent
Hamish Marshall East Devon Correspondent Newsreader
Mark Patterson Somerset Correspondent
Clinton Rogers Somerset Correspondent
Mike Wilkins Guernsey Correspondent
Simon Clemison News Correspondent Newsreader
Heidi Davey
Carys Edwards
Lucie Fisher
John Henderson
Jonathan Hudston
Aysha Iqbal Newsreader
Alison Johns
Carole Madge
Eleanor Parkinson
Leigh Rundle
Johnny Rutherford
Edward Sault Newsreader (Channel Islands opt-out)
Samantha Smith Newsreader
Janine Jansen
Jenny Walrond
Louise Walter
Rebecca Wills Newsreader
Marcus Wraight
Scott Bingham Defence Correspondent
Andy Breare Sport Correspondent
Dave Gibbins
Adrian Campbell Environment Correspondent
Neil Gallacher Business and Industry Correspondent
Simon Hall Home Affairs Correspondent
Sally Mountjoy Health Correspondnet
Martyn Oates Political Editor

Former on air team

BBC Channel Islands

BBC Channel Islands is the dedicated opt-out service for the Channel Islands.

Local news for the Islands had existed since the 1990s when a short bulletin aired following the BBC Nine O'Clock News. Since 16 October 2000, two evening bulletins have been broadcast at 6:30pm and following the BBC News at Ten – until April 2008, these bulletin had been known as Spotlight Channel Islands. Originally broadcast from a studio at the Fremont Point transmitter, the news service is now entirely based at the studios of BBC Radio Jersey in St Helier.

The opt-outs are presented by either Gwyn Garfield Bennett, Clare Burton or Edward Sault and produced by a team of multi-skilling journalists who write, film and edit their own stories, as well as producing and directing the three bulletins for the islands on weekdays. The main opt takes up the first twelve minutes of the nightly 6.30pm programme with a full opt at 10.25pm and a short 30-second update at 8pm. No opt-outs are broadcast during the day and at weekends, except for special occasions such as local elections or major sporting events such as the Island Games.

Like other BBC enterprises in the Channel Islands, funding comes primarily from television licence fees collected within the Channel Islands themselves.[6][7]


BBC portal

External links

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