BBC East's area within the UK
|Nation||BBC English Regions|
|TV transmitters||Sandy Heath
in this area
|BBC Radio Norfolk
BBC Radio Suffolk
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
BBC Radio Northampton
BBC Three Counties Radio
|Key people||Mick Rawsthorne
(Head of Regional
& Local Programmes)
BBC East's television output (broadcast on BBC One) consists of its flagship regional news service BBC Look East, including an opt-out service for the west of the region, the topical magazine programme Inside Out, a 20-minute opt-out during Sunday Politics and football magazine show Late Kick Off (produced by the independent production company Kevin Piper Media).
On weekdays, all six stations open transmission at 4am with a networked overnight show before carrying local programming between 6am and 7pm. The stations carry further networked[clarification needed] programming, together with hourly BBC News in the East bulletins, between 7pm and closedown at 1am each weeknight (with the exception of Three Counties Radio on Friday nights). The stations also simulcast on weekend evenings.
Online and Interactive
BBC East also produces regional news & local radio pages for BBC Red Button and the BBC Local News websites for each county.
BBC East was officially introduced as a region in 1969 after the Broadcasting in the Seventies report recommended the large Midlands and East Anglia region should be split into two. At this point, regional television news for the Eastern Counties had been long established with the first edition of Look East airing on 5 October 1959. During 1997, an opt-out service (originally titled Close Up) was introduced to provide local bulletins for Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Peterborough and Milton Keynes.
Until 1980, regional radio programming was provided by an East Anglia opt-out on BBC Radio 4, consisting largely of daytime news bulletins and a weekday breakfast show, Roundabout East Anglia. The first BBC Local Radio station in the region, Radio Norfolk, was opened on 11 September 1980 and followed by the rollout of stations in Cambridgeshire (1 May 1982), Northamptonshire (16 June 1982), the Three Counties of Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire & Buckinghamshire (24 June 1985), Essex (5 November 1986) and Suffolk (12 April 1990).
BBC East's main headquarters and studios are based at The Forum at Millennium Plain in Norwich. Until 29 September 2003, the region was based at a listed Georgian building at All Saints Green in St Catherine's Close, Norwich, which had been converted from a family house into studio facilities. The move to The Forum was a result of a number of factors: the listed status of the building restricted much of what the BBC did there, the location was less central than the BBC wanted, their ideal location being in Norwich city centre, the equipment was becoming old and needed replacing, and the Disability Discrimination Act meant that their headquarters now needed major modifications to comply with the law.
BBC East also has radio and television studios at the Cambridge Business Park, on Cowley Road in the city, where both Look East's West opt-out and Radio Cambridgeshire are based. Local radio studios and television bureaux are also located in Chelmsford, Northampton, Ipswich, Luton and Milton Keynes.