ITV rival won't force Sunday AM to revamp

The editor of the BBC's flagship Sunday politics show said the corporation will not revamp the programme in response to ITV's newly announced Sunday Edition.

Andrew Rawnsley and Andrea Catherwood will front the new ITV political show, replacing the longrunning Dimbleby programme.

Sunday AM editor Barny Jones told Press Gazette: "Are we going to relaunch to counter this new bright, fresh, double-header? Absolutely not. Will we continue week-by-week and month-by-month to examine what we do and evolve? Absolutely."

His comments came as ITV announced that its new Sunday show will launch on 17 September in time for the start of the party conference season.

The Sunday Edition will be a live studio-based show featuring long format interviews interspersed with debate from key players in politics, the arts and business.

The programme will start with breaking news items that will be updated by interviews with key figures and commentators, while the show will be centred around an in-depth political interview.

The final segment of the programme will be a discussion on the major issues of the day featuring leading commentators from a variety of fields.

ITV has long sought an opportunity to prove that it is committed to serious programmes and meaty political coverage.

According to Jones, whether or not the Sunday Edition is the vehicle that brings this success depends on what the programme delivers.

He said: "They've got a good start by getting good journalists who know their stuff and I'm sure they are putting money into the production team."

Jones said that he was not at all worried that the well-connected Rawnsley would prove to be a formidable opponent to Marr in terms of securing big-name interviews.

He said: "Sunday programmes are not like a hundred yard sprint where one person crosses the finishing tape first and wins the prize and the prize is gaining the exclusive interview with the politician who counts every Sunday.

"I would fervently hope that any other weekend programme doesn't eclipse my show. That doesn't mean that on any given Sunday, my show has one key guest and other shows are left scrabbling for the bits. It just doesn't work like that."

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