BBC North West Tonight covers the Northern North West of England rather more than ITV Granada Reports

16th October 2021

If you live in Lancashire you should always pick BBC1 North West Tonight over ITV1 Granada Reports if you want geographically- appropriate coverage. On Thursday evening, BBC1 North West Tonight had two news-features about Cumbria- one about raw sewage getting into Lake Windermere and the second about Moorside, next to Sellafield in west Cumbria being the proposed site of nuclear fusion power generation. There was also a mention about high Covid-19 cases in Barrow-in-Furness. There has also been two to three items of news-coverage about Lancashire each night of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week on BBC1 North West Tonight. Meanwhile, ITV1 Granada Reports has not had this amount of coverage of places north of Wigan- and South Cumbria only received one mention on this Regional News programme last week.

It is as consistent as the rain-bearing systems associated with depressions that always push in from the west at this time of year- or the Sun which rises above the east-southeast horizon at 7.30 to at this time of year: BBC1 North West Tonight inevitably covers Lancashire and south Cumbria in output better than does ITV1 Granada Reports. Thus, if viewers in the more northern areas of North West England (except northern Cumbria) want more geographic-appropriate news-coverage they should choose BBC1 North West Tonight over ITV1 Granada Reports every time. Meanwhile viewers in South Manchester, Liverpool and Cheshire should watch ITV1 Granada Reports because the metropolitan south of North West England and Cheshire are consistently heavily-covered by ITV1 Granada Reports.

However, for South Cumbria and North Lancashire, viewers should try and get ITV1 News Border Lookaround followed by BBC1 North West Tonight to get the best all- round local news-coverage. If you cannot get a signal for ITV1 News Border (parts of Lancaster and most of Morecambe can in fact get it), you can usually find a link to the most recent main evening bulletin on their website (here: This is because, although BBC1 North West Tonight usually covers Lancashire fairly well the programme does not always have news about Cumbria- and sometimes their coverage does not get north of Preston. If you feel you have to watch ITV1 News Border’s Lookaround – to get better coverage of areas just north of your community do drop an e-mail to BBC1 North West programmers at and explain why you feel it necessary to do this.

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.

2 thoughts on “BBC North West Tonight covers the Northern North West of England rather more than ITV Granada Reports

  1. If in Isle of Man BBC & ITV not good for you

    So no cover to any of the big news and sport and politics stories

    even over last cup month of election was no election debate snow no live interviews and not even a live television / online election night

    have use manx radio and 3fm and Energy fm and social media pages and Manx radio and newspaper

  2. Yes so on to bbc and working on get bbc Isle of Man output and as only week 1 of new government hopefully get there help bbc sort it out I. this new government

    lol Energy fm had live online steam of house of keys chief

    same for manx radio on AM so Chef minister election

    ween bbc not even live steam big thing on Isle of msn the Isle of Man General Election night and swearing in members of Isle of Man House of keys and Election of chef mister so yes bbc not even Be live News and Sport and politics

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