I dunno what a folly is

Friday, December 9, 2005 by

Intriguing news in this week’s Broadcast that BBC1 are to bring back Nationwide – or, at least, an hour-long magazine show between 6.30 and 7.30 containing national and local news and fronted by, it says here, “a Natasha Kaplinsky-style presenter”. Of course the main reasoning behind it is to stop the nation turning over en masse to Emmerdale at seven.

Nice though this would be, I wonder if 90 minutes of news is really going to be that appealing every teatime – it worked in the past because both the news and Nationwide had distinct jobs, but now you tend to get on the Six the sort of lengthy reports and features that would have been ‘wide territory. Also, it will surely limit the sort of stuff that can be shown early in the evening, and it seems a bit daft to meddle with the regional news programmes when they’re thrashing ITV.

But it is true that the 7pm slot has always been a weak spot for BBC1, you never know what’s going to be on there and often it can get the evening off to a thoroughly flat note. Rather this than another docusoap, but it’s hard to see it becoming quite the hit it was three decades ago. Would the Consumer Unit drag viewers away from The Woolpack now?


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