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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 August 2005, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Ditching the schedules for news
Grab from BBC One
News 24 took over the BBC One schedules for most of July 7

In the past month, BBC News specials have interrupted the normal schedules of BBC One and Two to cover the latest on the London bombings.

But many of you have asked why normal programming needs to be jettisoned - especially when there is Ceefax, the BBC News website and News 24.

On 7 July, News 24 took over BBC One for much of the day and, since then, updates on the hunt for the bombers has seen normal programming affected.

For instance, viewer Martin Rutley, of Devon, said: "Where is the point in having News 24 when the whole of BBC One is taken up with padded-out news?

"Most of the time there is no real news, just regurgitated stories over and over again. Let us have some normal programming."

Barry Oakley, of Somerset, asked: "Why is it that BBC One always seems to get hijacked when some 'breaking news' occurs?

"Over and over again, the same stupid questions 'let's go over for the very latest to our reporter on the spot'. If he had been telling the truth, he would have said 'same as the last time you asked - which was only 10 minutes ago'.

"A short 'newsflash' and a 'for more information tune to News 24' would surely be more appropriate?"

'Massive demand'

And Tony Sharp said: "If something had happened, then I would prefer to hear about it in my own good time. I would tune in to one of your scheduled news programmes."

However, BBC daytime controller Jay Hunt said there was a massive demand for breaking news for major events tapping into the schedules.

We get a similar number of complaints from viewers who feel we should break in to the schedule even more frequently
Jay Hunt
BBC daytime controller

She said: "The decision to interrupt normal programming is never taken lightly and is always done in consultation with our colleagues in news.

"While it is true that news is available on other BBC services, some events will be of such magnitude that they merit being brought to the widest possible audience."

She added: "The disruption to the capital was in that league and the number of viewers who chose to stick with the breaking news coverage on BBC One suggests there was a real appetite for information.

"I appreciate that some viewers will be unhappy that their favourite shows are interrupted but we get a similar number of complaints from viewers who feel we should break in to the schedule even more frequently with updates, particularly on the developing terror threat situation."


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