ITV1 Border’s Lookaround provides Lots of Cumbrian News: Northern North West Viewers should watch it.

7th February 2022

Dear Readers

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: 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 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 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 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: 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: 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!

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.

One thought on “ITV1 Border’s Lookaround provides Lots of Cumbrian News: Northern North West Viewers should watch it.

  1. Yesterday was a big stuff in hosue of keys not one bit on the bbc

    Jsut good mttv there

    But point agin lot of tynwald and house of keys and news and sport not get on to bbc for Isle of Man

    how can the #bbc think it ok get away miss out a population of 85,716 of there local news , sport, travel , politics, entertainment , weather?

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