Bizarre playout decision by BBC Two

At 11.30am today, BBC Two and the BBC News Channel were showing a special news programme, covering Boris Johnson’s first appearance at the despatch box as Prime Minister.

At 12.15pm, whilst Boris Johnson was in full flow, responding to questions from Ian Blackford, leader of the Scottish National Party’s parliamentary group in the House of Commons, BBC Two presentation faded to black momentarily and then joined presenter Jo Coburn, for a scheduled edition of Politics Live.

No explanation from the continuity announcer regarding the abrupt termination of the Commons coverage – or so much as a quick pointer in the direction of the BBC News Channel to continue watching the exchanges in Parliament. In fact, no intervention from the continuity announcer at all – not even to introduce the next programme.

Fading to black out of a programme that’s in progress is usually only resorted to when interrupting the schedule to cross to the newsroom for an important news event.

Not sure what the circumstances were to cause BBC Two playout to leave the Commons coverage in this manner. But as a viewer – and yes, also with my presentation enthusiast hat on – this could’ve been handled better.

Here’s how it looked on air:

VIDEO: BBC Two handover from live coverage of Boris Johnson’s first stint at the despatch box as PM to Politics Live. TX DATE/TIME: 25th July 2019, 12.15pm. SUPPLIED BY: Online/BBC iPlayer. COPYRIGHT: BBC. VREF: 1655-01.

The transition between programmes attracted some criticism online, including these comments from former BBC presentation director, Chris Cook:

Oh god @BBCTwo that was terrible… #junction #presentation #youhaveannouncers #fadetoblack

Dip and cue the announcer: “To continue to watch turn to BBC News as now we join Jo Coburn for analysis and chat in Politics Live” – V fade to PL – sorted #simple

Once a Pres man always a Pres man…

Chris Cook

Picking up on the tweet from Chris, broadcaster Andrew White remarked:

What was so wrong with a fade to a BBC Two ident and CO saying “And we have to leave the new Prime Minister there to talk all things politics with Jo Coburn and Politics Live”…and dissolve?

Andrew White



PICTURED: presenter Jo Coburn introducing an edition of Politics Live on BBC Two. SUPPLIED BY: Online/BBC iPlayer. COPYRIGHT: BBC.

Posted by The Voice

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