And Finally... News At Ten Is Back
ITV can today (10.01.08) reveal News at Ten's return to ITV1 on Monday 14th January will combine the programme's great heritage with a completely new set and the latest production techniques.
The return of the landmark programme will see former News at Ten anchor, Sir Trevor McDonald, return to ITV News for the first time since 2005. He will be joined by Julie Etchingham, who joins from Sky News where she hosted the Sky News Today morning strand. Established ITV News presenter Mark Austin also joins the News at Ten team, and will be anchoring on-location reports and host Friday's Late News, as well as continuing to copresent the ITV Early Evening News.
The ITN team has developed a brand new look for the return of News at Ten that builds on the great heritage of the News at Ten brand but is fresh and contemporary and incorporates the latest production techniques.
News at Ten will open with a new title sequence, based on the classic News at Ten 'Big Ben'sequence of the late 1980's but remade with the latest CGI production techniques. As the famous theme tune begins, the titles zoom in on the earth, before following the path of theriver Thames and landmarks such as Canary Wharf and St Paul's Cathedral and ending onBig Ben as the iconic 'bongs' are struck and the day's headlines introduced.
The new studio has the backdrop of a sweeping view across the Thames, continuing thetheme of the opening titles. Set in front is the desk where the two presenters will be seated and where they can talk to ITV News correspondents or view statistics from clear screens oneither side. There is also a separate area where presenters can explain events in detail viathe use of a state-of-the-art touch screen that allows them to directly interact with images and objects on screen.
A unique set of graphics has been created, focussing on the iconic X from Big Ben's clock,and will be used across platforms - in both the studios, on screen and online.
News at Ten will also have a separate sub-site section within ITV.com/news which, as well asthe chance to view reports from the programme, will include a weekly blog from Sir TrevorMcDonald and exclusive behind-the-scenes video packages from ITV News correspondents giving a unique insight into covering big breaking news stories here and abroad.
Mark Sharman, ITV's Director of News and Sport said: 'News at Ten has a proud place in the history of broadcasting and we intend it to have a proud place in the future. We are building on the programme's values of authority, understanding and fearless reporting, combined with the newest production techniques. It will be news programming relevant to the ITV audiencein 2008.'
David Mannion, Editor-in-Chief of ITV News said: 'Mannion said: "ITV's decision to bringback News at Ten is a huge vote of confidence in the quality of ITN's journalists, camerateams and production staff. It is a big challenge but we are very well equipped to meet it."
For further information:
James MacLeod ITV Press Office Tel: 084488 18018
Saskia Wirth ITV News Press Office Tel: 020 7430 4825
New pictures of the presenters, the set and the opening titles will be available from www.itvpictures.com
Sir Trevor McDonald
Sir Trevor McDonald OBE was born and educated in Trinidad where his career in the media began.
He came to London in August 1969 to work as a Producer in the BBC Overseas Regional Service.
He joined ITN as a General Reporter in 1973 and went on to anchor every ITN News programme. He has conducted some of the most important interviews of his time: ColonelGadaffi, Yasser Arafat and President Bill Clinton amongst others. He can also claim the first British television interview with Nelson Mandela upon his release from prison and the only British television interview with Saddam Hussein.
He returns to ITV News after a break of two years to co-present News at Ten. Sir Trevor was awarded the OBE in 1992 and a Knighthood in 1999.
Talking about the return of News at Ten and his memories of working on the programme, Sir Trevor McDonald said:
'The other day I heard on a radio programme somebody replay my final sign off from News atTen which sounded as though it had happened many, many years ago and I said 'good nightand goodbye' …so it is strange to come back but of course it's rather nice to be asked to beback.'
'I was terribly, terribly lucky to do the first interview with Nelson Mandela when he was released from prison. We got there a day before it happened. That's exciting. And then toanchor News at Ten from Soweto on the night that he was released was just about the most exhilarating experience that one can have.'
'News at Ten made its name for things which are very clearly identifiable in the television world: We told the news in a very easy manner and in a very accessible manner. The reporting was always great, it was always innovative, it was always interesting. And I think that's what News at Ten did - it made people want to watch. Hearing those bongs was almosta kind of call to arms to make sure you were sitting in front of your television to watch what was happening.'
'We hope to do the stories of the day in a very interesting, accessible manner and in a way that will make viewers feel part of the News at Ten family - which is something that we always try to cultivate - so we hope that they'll tune in. Watch this space.'
Julie Etchingham joined ITV in January 2008 and will present News at Ten alongside Sir Trevor McDonald and Mark Austin.
Julie graduated with a degree in English from Newnham College, Cambridge, joining the BBC to train as a journalist. She worked at BBC Midlands as a presenter on Midlands Today before moving on to present national BBC programmes including Newsround and Breakfast News.
She joined Sky News in 2002 and has most recently fronted Sky News Today, the channel's main morning strand.
Talking about her memories of News at Ten and its return to ITV1, Julie Etchingham said:
'I grew up with News at Ten. I was aware that it was the thing that my parents sat down towatch when I was growing up. That was the appointment-to-view news programme.'
'And as I got older and became interested in news it was where I would go too. And Iremember being at university and having a little black and white screen in my room that wouldsort of flicker away and I'd always try to make sure that I'd sat down and watched it at the endof the day and caught up with what had been happening - because that was simply the placeyou went for your news.'
'I think News at Ten has always resonated with the public, mainly because it has a huge place in their affections. They have great memories of those iconic stories that it covered: Stories like the fall of the Berlin wall and when Margaret Thatcher left office. News at Tenwas the place that people touched base with to get the full picture of the day.'
'It was always done in a very friendly way. You are in a special place to be in someone's home at that time of the evening. It is the time when they are, perhaps, sitting down trying tomake sense of the day. They may have caught bits and pieces of the news throughout the day but never really settled down to catch up precisely on what happened and, importantly,why it happened. And I think that is why News at Ten still has such a compelling role.'
'It is a strong and enduring brand because of the way it tells its stories. It gets to the human heart of stories and tells them in an eyewitness way. It takes people to the centre of theaction but also gives viewers human accounts of the experiences within those issues andstories.'
'It's an enormous opportunity to revive News at Ten and bring it back to its slot in the nation's affections but I think we've got to do it in a modern, bright and fresh way. It has the heritage ofthe News at Ten brand but it has got to make sense in a 21st century world. That means we have got to tell the stories in the most imaginative way possible, using all the means possibleand the technology that is available. And I think that is an enormously exciting challenge.'
Emmy award-winning journalist Mark Austin currently anchors the ITV News at Ten Thirty andhas been the co -presenter of the ITV Evening News since 2002.
Most recently, Mark anchored The Big Melt live from Antarctica - a week of special programming across ITV News bulletins to highlight the effects of climate change - as well as a week-long series of special reports live from the Zimbabwean border.
In October 2006, Mark Aust in presented the ITV Evening News and News at Ten Thirty from across Beijing for a week for the 'Welcome to China - Inside the World's New Superpower' series. ITV News made broadcasting history when it became the first news programme to broadcast live from Tiananmen Square to mark the opening of its China bureau.
During the escalating hostilities between Israel and Lebanon in the summer of 2006, Mark and this team were the first and only TV News crew to anchor live from the ravaged town of Tyre at the epicentre of the fighting.
Previously Mark was Senior Correspondent for ITV News, covering major foreign anddomestic stories. For fifteen years he was a foreign correspondent based in Africa and Asia and travelling all over the globe. His reporting of the devastating floods in Mozambique in February 2000 won him an International Emmy award as well as a Gold Nymph at the 2000 Television Festival of Monte Carlo and Gold and Silver Medals at the New York Television Programming Awards. Mark's reporting of the war in Kosovo helped win ITN the covetedGold Nymph at the 1999 Television Festival of Monte Carlo.
Talking about his experiences as a foreign correspondent for News at Ten and its return to ITV1, Mark Austin said:
'News at Ten is one of the great television programmes - a programme of massive authority. Ican remember watching News at Ten when I was young - watching the coverage from Vietnam. I can remember watching when I first started as a journalist - coverage of the Falklands War, later the Berlin Wall coming down. I took part as a reporter in the coverage ofthe first Iraq War for News at Ten. It's a programme that has been part of my life and it's fantastic to have it back.'
'When you can go to the scene of a major story and report and then the same night present the programme - it's a fantastic feeling to be able to get right to the scene of a story and to take the viewer there in a way that we couldn't years ago. But now we can and that is what News at Ten will try to do.'
'My favourite memory is when I first started working on News at Ten in late 1980's - I covered the Seoul Olympics for the News at Ten in 1988 and then had my chance to go to a war zone. My first war zone was the first Gulf War and I was sending back reports of five or six minutes- which is a long time for a news programme… and I was sending back those reports and it was often the lead on the News at Ten and this was a great feeling for me as a young correspondent. All the time, foreign correspondents were battling to get onto the News at Ten- it was a programme they wanted to be on - and to have it back at the right time is fantastic.'