Sky News presenter Emily Maitlis is to leave the rolling news network to anchor the BBC’s new bulletin for London when it launches in the autumn.
Maitlis, who joined Sky News in 1998, will join the BBC at its new Marylebone headquarters to front the new programme, which will replace Newsroom South East.
The new London service has been created as part of the break-up of the current BBC South East region into two dedicated services for the capital and for Kent and East Sussex.
The launch, expected this summer, has been delayed as a result of setbacks with new equipment at the Tunbridge Wells newsroom and to allow time for staff training.
While Maitlis – who currently alternates between presenting Sky News’s Sunrise at the weekend, News at Ten and Sky World News – will present the London news programme, which is still to be named, another former Sky presenter, Laurie Mayer, will be her counterpart on the programme for Kent and East Sussex, South East Today.
Maitlis was business correspondent until she began presenting in July last year. She began her career working for Radio Television Hong Kong, where she lived for six years.
She later presented a series of documentaries from around Asia for TVB Pearl in Hong Kong, before moving to NBC as business correspondent, Asia.
"I’m looking forward to working on a solid half-hour programme, which will be very different from rolling news," said Maitlis.
"Working for Sky News I think I have got to the stage where nothing fazes me — it’s a very smooth operation and leaves everyone else standing when there’s breaking news. Now I hope to use my journalistic skills, come up with ideas and have some input in the programme.
"I’ve got a lot of confidence in the team and the editorial direction they want to go in, so I’m thrilled to be working on the programme."
By Julie Tomlin