BBC's Panorama moves to peak time slot

The BBC's flagship television current affairs programme Panorama will return to peak time transmission on BBC One.

From January 2007, Panorama will be shown at 8.30pm on Mondays, taking the programme back to a regular weekday slot which it occupied before its move to late night Sunday evenings in October 2000.

The switch to Mondays will see Panorama's peaktime output increase from 15.5 hours to 28 hours, made up of 48, 30-minute episodes and four one-hour specials.

BBC One Controller Peter Fincham said: "This is the right move for BBC One and I'm really excited about it.

"In its new slot, Panorama will continue to be the flagship of serious, rigorous, trustworthy journalism on the channel, covering a range of topics.

"The programmes will look to engage audiences, producing reports that resonate with viewers.

"Original, investigative journalism from reporters of real calibre will remain a vital ingredient of the programme."

BBC director of news Helen Boaden said: "I am absolutely delighted to see our most important current affairs programme return to the heart of the BBC One schedule.

"It's a ringing endorsement of the team and the new editor and demonstrates the BBC's commitment to putting serious, provocative journalism where it matters."

Panorama was launched on 11 November, 1953 and claims to be the longest running public affairs TV programme in the world.

BBC head of current affairs George Entwistle said: "I'm thrilled at the move. It's a statement from the BBC – loud and clear – about the depth of its commitment to serious current affairs in peak."

Panorama's move to late night on Sunday evenings led to criticism that it was being buried away in an off peak broadcasting slot.

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