News bulletin gets go-ahead for launch of BBC3

Liquid News: a hit for BBC Choice

A new 15-minute news bulletin has been piloted that will go out on BBC3 next year after the £97m-a-year channel was given Government approval this week.

Work on the programme was stalled during year-long negotiations between the Government and the corporation over the content of the new channel that will replace BBC Choice.

The new weekly bulletin, which has had the working title The News Show, will contain elements of the fast-paced 60 Seconds, a news update that has been aired on BBC Choice for the past year. Aimed at a 25 to 34-year-old, "savvy" audience, it is part of the boosted commitment to news and current affairs that finally swayed the Media Secretary Tessa Jowell.

"We’re delighted with the decision," said Chris Wilson, editor of showbiz and entertainment news programme Liquid News. "It’s a fantastic challenge to try to come up with a new kind of news service – that’s not something that happens very often."

New proposals for BBC3, submitted by the corporation last December, included a commitment to develop a new weekly bulletin as well as 60 Seconds. Current affairs, education, music and arts programming will make up more than a third of the programmes made for the channel.

What will amount to 15 per cent of its output will include 30 new half-hours of current affairs programmes.

BBC Choice’s success in creating innovative news programmes for younger audiences has long been acknowledged by BBC news chiefs who have sought to emulate the success of Liquid News.

The responsibility of the head of current affairs, Colin Savage, they will be similar in approach to the post-September 11 documentary, War: Do or Die, its anniversary programme Terrorvision and Jihad in Tipton.

By Julie Tomlin

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