Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

Low graphics|Accessibility help
newswatch banner
Last Updated: Friday, 16 September 2005, 13:10 GMT 14:10 UK
What's bugging you?
England captain Michael Vaughan and his team celebrate reclaiming the Ashes
News of England's Ashes victory came during the Six O'Clock News
Too much cricket coverage and dislike of the new Sunday AM programme set were the dominant themes of complaints about BBC News this week.

Accusations of excessive cricket coverage when England won the Ashes last Monday were mainly levelled against the Six and Ten O'Clock News bulletins on BBC One.

Both bulletins led with the story and gave considerable space to reporting the victory - about 13 minutes on the Six and eight minutes on the Ten O'Clock News.

"I was shocked and disappointed to see the main headline for tonight's 10pm BBC One news devoted entirely to England's cricket victory over Australia," wrote Alison Malcolm.

There is a space for sports news - but surely at the end of the bulletin

"More than 10 minutes into the same news programme we learned of the escalating violence in Northern Ireland..., the horrific famine in Niger, leaving millions in severe poverty and on the brink of a painful death..., and further violence in the Middle East."

Another viewer felt similarly. "It is ridiculous to have a story on the Niger famine and riots in Northern Ireland pushed out by what is just a game.

"There is a space for sports news - but surely it is at the end of the news bulletin. I turn on the news to find out what is going on in the world."

In response, BBC News said it had given considerable prominence to these stories on other days as well as covering them on Monday.

It's been a series that has genuinely gripped the nation
Dan Kelly,
Assistant editor, Six O'Clock News
Dan Kelly, assistant editor of the Six O'Clock News, said, "The Ashes were won about two minutes after 6pm so it would have been very strange not to have had that at the top.

"We probably spent more time on it than we actually planned because it was breaking and unfolding before our eyes.

"But I do think it was a very important story - the first time in a generation that England have won the Ashes. It's been a series that has genuinely gripped the nation and sometimes it's good to celebrate success."

Set for change

"I have rarely seen such a dreadful set."

"It was bitty and unattractive."

"The set looks like a resurrected version of Noel Edmond's house at Crinkly Bottom. We were expecting Mr Blobby to come on at any time."

"The studio was full of tat and trinkets. It took away from what was being said."

These are just a few of the comments about Sunday AM, which launched on Sunday, 11 September. Appreciation for the content of the new show, which replaced Breakfast with Frost, far outweighed criticisms.

Barney Jones
Editor Barney Jones says the first Sunday AM had 1.4 million viewers
But it turns out that the set is not entirely to the liking of programme editor, Barney Jones. In an interview for this week's NewsWatch on BBC News 24, Mr Jones revealed that he planned changes to the set.

"We're listening to what people said and we're certainly going to make changes", he said.

"We wanted something that looked different from what we've had on Sunday mornings for years. I wanted something big and spacious and light and airy.

"I think the concept of what we were aiming for was right. I think the execution of it was wrong."



^^ back to top
BBC News frontpage | NewsWatch | Notes | Contact us | Profiles | History
BBC News Newswatch Friday 20:45 on BBC News 24 and Saturday 07:45 Breakfast