The BBC has set out new changes to its output during the coronavirus pandemic, which include turning the One Show into a consumer programme for “all aspects of the crisis”.
The nightly magazine-style show will offer health and well-being advice, tips on keeping fit and eating healthily and link to other BBC output that can help and support people currently staying at home.
Yesterday, One Show co-host Matt Baker revealed he was self-isolating because someone in his household had a cough and shared presenting duties with Alex Jones (pictured) via video link from his home.
The new raft of measures announced by the BBC today follows the decision to take Politics Live and the Victoria Derbyshire Show off the air.
Question Time is also impacted and will now be filmed without a studio audience. The BBC confirmed today that the topical debate show would use “call-in audiences and remote guests”.
It will air at the earlier time of 8pm on Thursdays, hosted by Fiona Bruce.
In other measures being taken at the BBC:
– A primetime coronavirus special will broadcast on Wednesdays on BBC One
– A new daytime show on BBC One, Health Check UK Live, will offer tips on how to keep healthy and happy at home
– The Coronavirus podcast will publish daily and be filmed, where possible, for the news channel
– Local radio will focus on news, phone-ins and expert advice from 6am to midday daily
-A virtual church service will be held on Sundays across BBC local radio in England, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury
– Exercise and fitness programmes targeting older-age-groups will be broadcast on TV or radio
– The BBC Food website will be used to share recipes and advice on using essential foods, particularly to support the elderly and low-income families
– Every local radio station will join up with local volunteer groups to help co-ordinate support for the elderly, house-bound or at risk
The BBC has said it will do everything it can to maintain BBC Breakfast and the One, Six and Ten news bulletins.
Outgoing BBC director-general Tony Hall said: “We all know these are challenging times for each and every one of us. As the national broadcaster, the BBC has a special role to play at this time of national need.
“We need to pull together to get through this. That’s why the BBC will be using all of its resources – channels, stations and output – to help keep the nation informed, educated and entertained.
“We are making a series of changes to our output to achieve that.
“We will continue to deliver all the essential news and information – with special programming and content.”
The Prime Minister has declared a virtual lockdown across the UK, advising people to avoid non-essential contact and travel.
Lord Hall added: “Clearly there will be disruption to our output along the way, but we will do our very best.
“It will take time to emerge from the challenges we all face, but the BBC will be there for the public all the way through this.”
The BBC said it will launch a “new iPlayer experience for children” that will offer “a wide range of entertaining and educational series”.
It also has plans to offer more educational content should the Prime Minister decree that schools must close, a step not yet taken.
Planned cuts to children’s news service Newsround, which would have axed the after-school bulletin, appear to have been suspended. The BBC said it will keep Newsround bulletins on-air throughout the day on the CBBC channel.
A planned closure of the Red Button text news service has also been delayed.
The BBC website homepage will be used as a bulletin board “supplying clear information” including answers to key questions, public information, health advice and recipes, the corporation said.
“We also will do everything from using our airwaves for exercise classes for older people, religious services, recipes and advice on food for older people and low income families, and should schools close, education programming for different age groups,” said Lord Hall.