News 24 relaunch postponed after blackout at BBC

The much-trumpeted relaunch of BBC News 24 has been put back a week following a power failure at Television Centre.

The 24-hour rolling news channel was due to unveil its new look last Monday, but the electricity blackout interrupted last-minute set preparations and pilot runs, prompting the postponement.

Radio 4’s Today programme went off air for 15 minutes and was replaced by classical music during the blackout, which occurred just before 8am last Friday. Radio Five Live also stopped broadcasting for two minutes before playing an interview with Sir David Attenborough.

News 24 was not able to get back on air until after 10am and was replaced by BBC Breakfast and a previously recorded edition of Hard Talk.

The news channel resumed broadcasting from a studio in Westminster, with the full service restored at 4pm that afternoon.

The BBC has launched an investigation into the incident, which was triggered by an electrical fault that caused a failure in the main power supply and also prevented back-up generators from starting.

By Sarah Boden

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