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Friday, March 5, 1999 Published at 07:31 GMT


Final bong for News at Ten

Trevor McDonald will now present ITN's earlier bulletin

The end of an era in broadcasting arrives on Friday night as News at Ten goes out for the last time.

BBC Media Correspondent Nick Higham: The end of an era
ITV viewers will watch the channel's final 10pm week-day news bulletin, which is being replaced on Monday by a new 6.30pm programme.

The ending of News at Ten after more than 30 years was fiercely opposed by many politicians and former staff of Independent Television News (ITN), which produces ITV's bulletins.

The BBC's Torin Douglas: "The main TV news focus will now switch"
ITV said its research showed that many of its viewers switched off or over at 10 o'clock, preferring to watch the news earlier.

An ITN spokeswoman said Friday's show would feature a special report looking back over the history of the programme, which has been running for nearly 32 years.

Veteran presenter Trevor McDonald has admitted to a flurry of nerves ahead of the final edition.

"I do get nervous about everything," he told a farewell party at London's Marriott Hotel earlier this week.

New schedule

Mr McDonald will present ITN's new 6.30pm bulletin, which has a new set but will retain many of News at Ten's features, including the trademark "bongs" at the start of the programme, and the "And Finally" slot, at the end.

A new 20-minute late bulletin presented by Dermot Murnaghan will be screened nightly at 11.

According to the BBC's Media Correspondent, Torin Douglas, the change is likely to spark a new ratings war.

As well as the new ITV evening news at 6.30pm and regional bulletins, Channel 5 news is switching from 7pm to 6pm, while the BBC's Six O'clock News is to be relaunched in the spring.

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