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Peter Snow is to retire from the BBC’s general election coverage.

who has covered nine elections, said: “The BBC – quite understandably –
wants to freshen up its election team in this parliament. I shall be
over 70 at the next general election and that, frankly, is a bit old to
be dancing around in front of huge graphic displays.”

ITV has
launched a new schedule of midweek political programmes planned for
2006. For the first time, it will show politics programmes in the same
slot across its English regions, on Thursday at 11.30pm.

At the moment, regional political programmes are shown on Sunday.

content of the new programmes will be unique to each region, providing
a platform for politicians and their constituents to debate local
issues at a local level. ITV News Group resources in London will be at
the disposal of the new programmes, which also aim to connect
Westminster with viewers in the regions.

BBC Birmingham won prizes in six categories at the Royal Television Society (Midlands)n Awards on Saturday.

award for best popular factual programme went to All The Queen’s Cooks,
a documentary about people who have cooked for the Queen, from ordinary
citizens to celebrity chefs.

Best specialist factual programme
went to Marrying My Cousin, which looked at arranged marriages within
Pakistani culture. An Inside Out special, Siege Village, won the best
news/current affairs programme award for their investigative film
looking at the circumstances surrounding the desecration of Gladys
Hammond’s grave by suspected animal rights activists. The Royal
Television Society’s top honour, the Baird Medal, went to former
Central News controller Laurie Upshon (pictured). The medal is the
society’s most prestigious award and is given annually for an
outstanding contribution to the region’s television industry.

4’s new adult entertainment public service channel, More4, enjoyed one
of the most successful ever launch nights for a British digital
channel. The channel, which went on the air on Monday night at 8pm, won
an average 2% audience share across its launch night schedule between
8pm and midnight. This was the third most successful debut of a digital
channel in recent years, with only E4 and ITV3 garnering higher ratings
on their launch nights.

The first programme to go out – More4
News, presented by former Channel 4 News journalist Sarah Smith
(pictured), daughter of the former Labour Party leader John Smith –
attracted 140,000 viewers.

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