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Tuesday, 24 April, 2001, 17:37 GMT 18:37 UK
ITV unveils election team
Mary Nightingale
Mary Nightingale will front election night coverage
Former Wish You Were Here presenter Mary Nightingale will co-present ITV's general election coverage.

The 37-year-old newsreader will join Jonathan Dimbleby to present the network's election night programme.

News At Ten
News At Ten will be lengthened to include the regional news bulletin
Nightingale only started reading ITV's national bulletins in January to provide maternity cover for Kirsty Young.

She made her name hosting Carlton and LWT's news programme, London Tonight.

ITV unveiled the details of its general election coverage plans in the broadcaster's first ever statement of programme policy.

'Ambitious' coverage

"ITV will mount its most ambitious election night programme to date, with live results from 80 key constituencies and analysis led by John Sergeant and Dermot Murnaghan, in a programme presented by Jonathan Dimbleby and Mary Nightingale," the programme policy stated.

The broadcaster is planning to increase the slot for News at Ten to 30 minutes during the election campaign, which will include a regional news bulletin which currently goes out after 2300.

ITV's political current affairs programme, Jonathan Dimbleby, will also be scheduled during the week in addition to the regular Sunday show.

The midweek editions of Dimbleby will be broadcast from studios around the country.

'Substantial report'

Tonight with Trevor McDonald will carry a "substantial" election report each week for the duration of the campaign and ITN's digital service will offer "dedicated interactive text... to complement on-air coverage".

The ITV Lunchtime News will also include an integrated regional bulletin and on election night ITV will have live reports from 80 key constituencies.

A spokeswoman for ITN, ITV's news provider, told BBC News Online: "All we can confirm at this stage is the presenter line-up."

The spokeswoman said that contrary to some reports that newsreader Katie Derham had been snubbed, "she will play a full part in ITN's election coverage".

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See also:

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Battle of the bulletins
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