7th February 2022
This evening, Monday 7th February 2022 I again watched both BBC1 North West Tonight (which again did not cover Cumbria or the Isle of Man at all) and ITV1 News Border’s Lookaround. Of the non- sport news, three news- items concerned South Cumbria, including two separate, extensive pieces about a boy with a rare cancer near Kendal and a farmer diversifying into tourism at Ings (just north-west of Kendal). There was a historical news- feature about Carlisle Castle. The other two really non-sport news items featured upper Tweeddale (Innerleithen) in southern Scotland and Dumfries. The prelude to the weather-forecast showed three pictures of the Lake District fells, a couple of these with the fell-tops covered in snow. The Sports, which was quite extensive being a Monday (to provide coverage of folks’ favourite teams over the weekend) had coverage of Carlisle United Football Club and the West Cumbria Rugby League matches. All told, Cumbria accounted for some 60 to 65% of the total coverage, and almost half of that was about South Cumbria.
BBC1 North West Tonight did have extensive coverage of the Blackpool area this evening, one news-item being extensive coverage of poverty in the area and folk needing to rely on foodbanks, then with Annabel Tiffin interviewing the local MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys about food poverty in the area. Effectively this counted as two news-items because the total coverage lasted almost ten minutes. There was also coverage of a farmer near Lytham St Annes, just a few miles down the coast from Blackpool. It was also good to see the charismatic weather-forecaster Owain Wyn Evans return, and he does at least mention Cumbria in his weather-forecasts: Perhaps we can see a return to (at least) some half- decent coverage of the northern two-thirds of North West England on BBC1 North West Tonight as a result!
Even so, much of the coverage on BBC1 North West Tonight was about knife crime in Greater Manchester (which is very worrying for Mancunians), further items of coverage of Greater Manchester (including some-one else with a rare cancer) and also Merseyside. Blackpool was the very furthest north the news-coverage came this evening. But near to two-thirds of the total news-coverage on ITV1 Border’s Lookaround was about Cumbria this evening, 7th February 2022, and much of that concerned South Cumbria!
This just confirms a fact that this Website has been trying to show the viewers of Regional Television who live in South Cumbria and northern Lancashire, who must surely find the lack of “Immediate Local” and “Locally North of You” news-coverage on both BBC1 North West Tonight and ITV1 Granada Reports quite infuriating, that viewers who live north of Preston would benefit from watching ITV1 News Border’s Lookaround, not ITV1 Granada Reports. There are ways for viewers to watch Lookaround if they cannot pick up reception from their televisions, they can get the news from the ITV1 News Border website from about 8.30 pm (two hours after airing live). The website link is here: https://www.itv.com/news/border/2021-11-22/watch-the-itv-news-border-evening-programme. If you live in Morecambe or Carnforth, in North Lancashire, there were at least two news-items on Lookaround that were within thirty miles of your home this evening, but the extensive news- piece about Blackpool (the furthest north news-item on BBC1 North West Tonight) will have happened a little more than thirty miles away! With ITV1 Granada Reports, little news reported will have happened within an hour’s drive of you.
Despite the name of the BBC1 Regional News programme, North West Tonight, remarkably little coverage is from north of Preston, thus two-thirds of geographical North West England are effectively omitted from the coverage! If you want good all-round local news-coverage there is real merit in helping yourself to it. Even as far south as Blackpool, BBC1 North West Tonight and ITV1 Granada Reports are not the two Regional news services that provide you with best local and all- round news-coverage: That’s TV Lancashire, aired at 6.pm on week-days on Freeview Channel 7 (and which one should be able to get from Blackpool) will provide local viewers with local news (i.e., about Lancashire), whilst ITV1 Border’s Lookaround will provide plenty of news about places less than an hour up the A586 and the M6. Contrary to common misconception, ITV1 News Border is not “Mainly about Scotland” and there is often a lot of coverage of the Lake District- with which northern Lancastrians have greater affinity to than to Greater Manchester and Merseyside (even from Blackpool, the South Lakes are certainly quicker to get to by road than central Manchester). Switching to ITV1 News Border and watching Lookaround does not preclude watching BBC1 North West Tonight which, though it covered Blackpool well this evening, often does not come north of Preston.
However, there are options to find out what is happening locally more regularly and to find out what is happening a bit further north, so that you get better and more all-round local news-coverage. If you have Freeview, which most people now have in 2022, you can get That’s TV Lancashire (Freeview Channel 7) at 6.pm on week-days if you live in the Blackpool and Fylde area, oddly enough the programme is harder to pick up further north! It is just a matter of finding the right channel. Further north, around Morecambe, you can instead watch ITV1 Border’s Lookaround if you tune your television and make sure your aerial has a clear view north. That airs at 6.pm on week-days and that will provide news from just north of where you live. You can then watch BBC1 North West Tonight to find out what is happening to the south of you, but you may be pleasantly surprised to find much of the content of ITV1 Border’s Lookaround more local to where you live than most of what is on BBC1 North West Tonight: I can guarantee that you would wish that you had switched from ITV1 Granada Reports to ITV1 Border’s Lookaround sooner!
In you live in North Lancashire, around Morecambe or Carnforth and want news specifically about Lancashire you can either go to the Lancs Live website for news and clips (website here: https://www.lancs.live/) or you can watch the news- clips from the That’s TV Lancashire website- and it has all that day’s news by the evening (website here: http://www.thats.tv/lancashire/). For that you will need a computer with a good Internet connection. Since watching That’s TV Lancashire on your television requires a direct signal from the Winter Hill transmitter, it is very difficult for many North Lancastrians to watch it directly. However, viewers will find that where there is a will, there is usually a way to find good local television news outlets, even if the news cant be “Watched on the TV” like a real Regional News programme!