Channel 4 News at Noon to stay on air

Channel 4 and ITN bosses have agreed a new contract to continue broadcasting its lunchtime news bulletins for two years.

Presented by Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Channel 4 News at Noon was launched in March last year to cover the Iraq war. When it was over, the programme continued to broadcast more wide-ranging news, as well as daily money news, focusing on personal finance, stocks and shares.

Guru-Murthy said: “We first launched to cover the war in Iraq, and when the war ended it was decided that it should stay, so we had no time to pilot anything.

We had to feel our way and winning this contract is a huge tribute to the team’s talent.

“It’s fantastic news for the channel, everyone on the programme said that as soon as we went on air it felt like we had been there forever. We will keep the attitude and pokiness, but with more fun. I will especially be looking at our business and finance coverage finding new ways to tackle that agenda.”

Dorothy Byrne, head of news and current affairs at Channel 4, added: “The new contract underlines C4’s commitment to placing news in the heart of the schedule. The News at Noon will continue to focus on the big political and business stories as they break and the bulletin will continue to develop.”

The extension means the contract will end at the same time as the evening programme at the end of 2006. ITN now produces eight hours of programming for Channel 4. The Saturday evening bulletin was introduced at the time of its relaunch in 1999 with the Sunday edition following a year later.

By Sarah Lagan

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