New News-Reporter and Weather Presenter standing in- and No Coverage of Cumbria on BBC North West Tonight

7th January 2022

Dear Readers

Just two news-items about Lancashire on BBC1 North West Tonight this evening, Friday 7th January. And there was nothing about Cumbria! Mind you, this often happens when the main News- anchor Roger Johnson and Weather-presenter Owain Wyn Evans are away and new metropolitan news-reporters and/ or weather-presenters stand in. Tonight presenting the news on BBC1 North West Tonight was Lorraine Smith and the stand-in weather presenter was Simon King. I don’t know what it is about stand-in presenters, but when they are doing the Regional News on BBC1 North West Tonight places north of Preston or on the Isle of Man really take a back seat!

This evening, there was some coverage of a feature highlighting children’s deaths in Chorley but the northernmost “news” was the excitement of Morecambe Football Club fans travelling to London over the week-end. Morecambe folk should be happy for the coverage, as at least the North Lancashire town received some coverage, but most folk living there would have wanted news about issues affecting them and their day-to-day lives (most of whom are not preoccupied with football!). Travel conditions in northern Lancashire have been tricky of late, with some icy surfaces and (if folk needed to travel North) some roads in Cumbria have been almost impassable. The A592 at Kirkstone Pass was very difficult to navigate earlier today, whilst the A66 east of Brough was closed due to snow and ice early this morning.

In fact, it is South Cumbrian viewers -those who cannot get ITV1 News Border Lookaround on their televisions, and who are thus stuck with the choice of ITV1 Granada Reports or BBC1 North West Tonight– who have a greater right to be thoroughly annoyed at their BBC1 Regional News when they have metropolitan stand-ins. That’s especially when, as was the case tonight, BBC1 Look North (NE/ Cumbria version) covered bird flu near Penrith (after two earlier cases at Aspatria and also Silecroft, near Millom), a Lakeland mountain-rescue dog having an unprecedented start to 2022 and an Ulverston hair-dresser naming his shop with the name given to him by school bullies! BBC1 Look North (NE/ Cumbria) is transmitted across North East England and northern Cumbria- but programmers often cover pieces about South Cumbria for the benefit of northern Cumbrian viewers. But the South Cumbrian viewers (the most appropriate audience), who get BBC1 North West Tonight, did not find out about those happenings in South Cumbria that were aired on BBC1 Look North!!

BBC1 North West Tonight will often have a few days in which Cumbrian issues get some coverage, then perhaps nothing for a week: Even northern Lancashire suffered for lack of news-coverage this evening, and it does seem that when the main presenters are on holiday (or it is the holidays or the weekend) that viewers who live North of Preston and on the Isle of Man are acutely short-changed. And when ITV1 Granada Reports are heavily Manchester/ Merseyside dominated all the time that means there are several lengthy periods during the year when Manx, South Cumbrian and North Lancastrian viewers get no representation, no coverage of issues that concern them or their areas from either of the two mainstream Regional Television News-services in North West England.

It is this lack of geographic-appropriate coverage and representation that this Website will help campaign to rectify. At the very least there should be collaboration between BBC1 North West and ITV1 Granada news-programmers to ensure that at least one of them (ideally BBC1 North West) devotes considerable and regular air-time to Cumbrian, North Lancastrian and Manx news-issues so that viewers in the north of the transmission area see that they get effective coverage of their communities and the near-by places they like to visit. A more generous consideration would be for the BBC to find the resources to create a new BBC1 North West Region covering Lancashire, Cumbria and the Isle of Man, with an opt-out for the Isle of Man. Alternatively, ITV1 Granada could consider transferring all areas north of Preston (plus the Isle of Man) to ITV1 News Border’s remit. Then ITV1 News Border could fully resurrect seperate southern Scottish/ North Northumberland Regional News-programming so that Cumbria, northern Lancashire, the Isle of Man and westernmost Northumberland get a more bespoke Regional News-service (albeit with some coverage of significant southern Scottish news retained).

None of this is going to happen without South Cumbrian, Manx, and North Lancastrian viewers jumping up and down. So the first port of call is to write to BBC1 North West Tonight at: and to ITV1 Granada Reports at: Make it clear that you find the local news-coverage largely irrelevant and metropolitan-dominated for where you live. If this does not yield a satisfactory response you can write to your local MP, details of whom will depend on where in northern North West England you live. See here for further details: The link here also has contact details for the Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport, and to OFCOM (for ITV1 Granada Reports) who will put pressure on the BBC and ITV1 Granada in North West England to improve your local news-coverage.

If you live on the Isle of Man you can write to the Hon. Julie Edge at the Department of Education Sport and Culture (part of the Manx Government)- at this address:

Corporate Services Division

Thie Slieau Whallian

St John’s

Isle of Man


Or you can send an e-mail from this contact page to the Isle of Man’s Department of Education Sport and Culture here: Do tell them that the BBC in the North West of England and ITV1 Granada Reports do not cover the Isle of Man at all adequately in view of the fact that it is a small nation in it’s own right in the middle of the Irish Sea (and over three hours by ferry, then train from most of the areas covered on both BBC1 North West Tonight and ITV1 Granada Reports)!

Meanwhile, if you live in northern Lancashire and South Cumbria you could e-mail Amy Lea and Ian Payne who co-present ITV News Border’s Lookaround and say that you would rather get ITV News Border Lookaround “Because our area has more affinity to Cumbria than Manchester/ Liverpool…and I believe that we would get more local coverage from ITV1 News Border than from ITV1 Granada Reports or BBC1 North West Tonight“. Amy Lea can be contacted at: and Ian Payne can be contacted at: You can also e-mail ITV1 News Border directly at Be sure to also C.c. in e-mail addresses to ITV1 Granada Reports and BBC1 North West Tonight! A bit of real competition, and the thought they might lose viewers to another more northerly local news-outlet would sharp concentrate minds in the Media City, Salford HQs of both BBC1 North West and ITV1 Granada!

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.

6 thoughts on “New News-Reporter and Weather Presenter standing in- and No Coverage of Cumbria on BBC North West Tonight

  1. We in Isle of Man have be on then for yaer the bbc form MHk in Tynwald are Parliament even local people and Isle of Man people still not have a Isle of Man news service like I be busy fight this last cup month

    In last cup month be no news or Sport on
    No Iom Press conference on bbc
    No isle of man COVID19 news on Isle of Man
    No Fc Isle of Man results yes Isle of Man has team in UK football league not even get any big Isle of Man story on Isle of Man if ween do on stuff that month old news or news that big to Uk but samll to Isle of Man news as change stores look good for Uk ween Isle of Man not in uk

    the manx people have be email bbc for yaer on this all time there make lies say do something and make a bbc service but Never happened then not do it

    the bbc even lie to tynwald when they head was last on the island 5 yaers ago was for 5 yaer Isle of Man media report do by government that’s actually funny enough come up soon go funny here what bbc say to what there say to all MHk and MLC both house of Tynwald that funny there not even done only thing bbc sort was the over 75 TV license problem

    Also Offcom say all manx people there say have nothing to do with Isle of Man have no power there say only deal with Uk even on bbc ween the BBC HQ in Uk

    Let hope 2022 Isle of Man sort bbc out hope new government sort bbc

    we do best we can over this side or Irish Sea get a bbc Isle of Man tv service a thing but as see hard get done so yes 100 yaer of bbc not do for service on Isle of Man

  2. On itv bit of Isle of Manwell news stuff same as what bbc do for us nothing and us to be ITV1 Border until we was move to Granada today

    Also department of sport and education and culture doesn’t actually deal with bbc has Never has

    Head of department Julie edge well she not very good MHk as let say she in last government was responsible for Isle of Man post office and she not do good job as what she did was not good

  3. Also Isle of Man used to be on ITV1 News Border’s we have more news lot put out on YouTube back then itv more as Isle of Man report then days was Paul Moulton he done MTTV now call isle of man tv

    1. I agree. The decision to move the Isle of Man from ITV1 Border to ITV1 Granada was a mistake. As part of an ITV Region with a total population in ITV1 Border’s (albeit large) transmission area of just one million inhabitants the Isle of Man got more coverage than it does being in ITV1 Granada’s transmission area with a population of seven million inhabitants.

      However, the best solution is for the Isle of Man to have it’s own TV News-service as other countries of similar size populations- like the Faeroe Islands- do. It is worth writing to the new Chief Minister The Honourable Alfred Cannan about this, requesting that resources be put into setting a Manx- only TV service up, because it is ridiculous- and I would say insulting- that Manx viewers have to get “Regional News” that is 95% about another country! The Hon. Alfred Cannan’s email address is:

      Ian Pennell

      (NorthWest Is NorthWest)

  4. Well from what Kown itv was itv and a public vote at time but I will take to new CM but then agin he not done his island plan yet

    but then agin the other day had MHk say think what bbc north west

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