Roger Johnson and the new weather forecaster on BBC North West Tonight- and no Cumbria!

19th August 2020 , Updated 19th October 2021

The last few days (17th- 19th August 2020) have seen, once more, an absence of coverage of the northern half of North West England on both BBC North West Tonight and ITV Granada Reports. On BBC North West Tonight there have been indications of intent NOT to cover Cumbria properly after all as Keswick has been ceremoniously removed from the list of places shown in the weather-forecast whilst a new  weather- presenter by the name of Emmanuelle Lhoni has replaced the excellent Owain Wyn Evans: Clearly, the Right-on Politically-correct BBC has to make sure that there are sufficient numbers of BAME employees so that the BBC is seen to be right-on. Talent would seem to be a secondary consideration!

Ms Lhoni clearly does not have the same rapport with viewers that Owain Evans has- and one would hope that Mr Evans is not being permanently removed as main weather-presenter on BBC North West Tonight. But an interesting side-effect of the new weather forecaster is less pressure on BBC North West programmers to cover Cumbria in any news-output, as they probably know Mr Evans was (briefly) a weather- presenter on BBC Look North (North East/ Cumbria)- and that he is a bit too sympathetic for their liking towards the northern half of the geographical North West of England. BBC North West programmers also know that Owain Wyn Evans is Welsh- and perhaps it infuriates the programmers for North West Tonight that Mr Evans keeps referring to “Merseyside, Cheshire and North East Wales” in the forecasts!

Anyway, I digress. It is not the little things in isolation that matter, but what it adds up to as a whole. If BBC North West Tonight have decided after all that Cumbria (and certainly not the bit north of their transmission area) is to be covered very little in regional news, then they will sideline weather-presenters who are deemed too sympathetic to Cumbria and other “fringe areas” of the BBC North West transmission area- like those near the Welsh border.One thing has to be said to that is that is a completely unacceptable attitude for Regional News programmers for the North West to have towards folk who live in North Lancashire and South Cumbria: Folk, that is, who do not have the option of switching over to ITV Border to get the excellent coverage of Cumbria that that produces instead!

This Website will campaign to bring about a much-needed and complete re-appraisal of Regional Television output instead- by reminding viewers of BBC North West Tonight who live in North Lancashire and South Cumbria (in those areas where the only alternative is the non- Cumbria covering ITV Granada Reports) that they have the collective Power of Complaint by Email to a powerful Government Department capable of jumping on BBC North West and ITV Granada from a great height to literally DEMAND changes to Regional Television News programming for the area.That Government Department is the Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport- and the Secretary of State in charge is one Right Honourable Lady Nadine Dorries, MP. You can write to her at this address:

The Right Hon. Lady Nadine Dorries, MP; Secretary of State for the Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport,

House of Commons, LONDON. SW1A 0AA

Alternatively write to the Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport directly at: Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport,   100 Parliament Street, LONDON. SW1A 2BQ.  Or email:

My assertion is that if you want your complaint noticed, it is best to write- putting F.A.O THE RIGHT HON. LADY NADINE DORRIES, MP at the top of your letter: Government Departments and Members of Parliament get thousands of emails each day. Most emails end up in the Email Spam box and get deleted, 99% of the remainder get filtered through secretaries and a pat response is sent out (i.e. “Thank you for your email of 19th August 2020, the contents of which have been noted.”).Thus, a letter directly addressed and marked URGENT and F.A.O. THE RIGHT HON. LADY NADINE DORRIES, MP; SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF DIGITAL CULTURE MEDIA AND SPORT stands a much higher chance of being noticed. That’s because not many people write letters and send them in the post compared to those who communicate electronically. If one is prepared to pay seventy pence for a stamp it also demonstrates that the writer really wants the issue about which he writes addressed.

Thus I would encourage anyone unhappy with their Regional News not covering the northern half of the Region to complain by writing. Mark the letter urgent and F.A.O. who really needs to read the letter. By doing that you are telling the Secretary that you do not want the letter intercepted and a pat-reply sent back. You communicate that you want the letter to reach the intended recipient and that you expect a satisfactory reply to the effect that your concerns will be addressed.

Published by northwestisnorthwest

My name is Ian Pennell and I am a freelance Book-keeper: I live near Alston, in the North Pennines in north-east Cumbria. I have friends who live in northern North West England - near Lancaster (which is where I went to University and used to live until 17 years ago) and in other parts of Cumbria. I have two Website Campaigns that seek to promote more localised Regional TV coverage for large rural areas across the North of North West England and North East England. . A big problem is that the Regional Television Bulletins for the North West covers the southern third of the Region about 90% (plus a part of Derbyshire which is NOT the North West of England), covers the middle third of North West England poorly and covers the northern third of North West England not at all! When I was studying at Lancaster University, I used to watch BBC1 North West Tonight because it covered areas up around where I was brought up- in northern Cumbria as well as more immediately locally around Lancaster. Then I came home one day, turned on BBC1 North West Tonight wondering why they were silent on Cumbria and discovered why: Most of Cumbria had been chopped off the weather-map! . People living in the westernmost part of North West England (around St. Bees Head) have local BBC news on their televisions which is 90% about North East England! In rural and northern Northumberland too, Regional TV, as is received by viewers, tends too often to be Tyneside/ Wearside/ Teesside- focussed with little news locally. Communities in North Northumberland have strong links across the Border into south-east Scotland and towards Edinburgh but none of the Regional TV News- services serving Northumberland today ever goes across the Scottish Border for significant happenings of interest to North Northumbrians. I have also done walking in the area, including around the Cheviots in the past- and the Northumberland/ Scottish Borders/ East and Mid Lothian area is vast- but it is largely overlooked by mainstream Regional TV! . North Yorkshire, the largest county in England also falls in the gaps between coverage from BBC Look North (NE/ Cumbria) or ITV1 News Tyne Tees in the north of the county, and the Leeds-based BBC1 and ITV1 Regional TV- services in the south of the county: North Yorkshire is a huge, yet beautiful county, which I have visited and explored in the past, yet is poorly covered in Regional TV. . Based near Alston, near the Cumbria/ Northumberland boundary I am well-placed to discuss Regional TV in all these large rural areas, in which collectively some two million folk live, yet they are poorly covered by the Regional TV News- services set up to serve them. These huge areas are an hour to two hours' drive from where I live: North Lancashire and South/ West Cumbria are to the south-west, Northumberland and the Scottish Borders and Lothian are to the north and north-east, and North Yorkshire is to the south-east of my home near Alston. I am well-placed to draw attention to deficiencies in Regional TV coverage for folk in all these areas. The North Pennines, where I live, is arguably another large area that touches on the other three where Regional TV coverage falls through the gaps completely (and that is despite the North Pennines running north to south down the middle of the BBC1 NE/ Cumbria Region). . In two websites, one for northern North West England and the Isle of Man (a country in it's own right that does not have it's own TV service!), and another Website focussing on Northumberland, North Yorkshire and the North Pennines I make the point that Regional TV that informs viewers of important things in their local area is a Public Service, funding for which should be given a higher priority (and if necessary via statute through the BBC's Charter), than funding for Soaps, Films or Sport- which are for leisure. I also give viewers the tools to fight effectively for better- and more geographic-appropriate Regional TV where they live- and to seek it through alternative (often little-known) local TV services, some of which may only be available on the Internet.

%d bloggers like this: