South Today titles
|Also known as||BBC South Today Oxford|
|Presented by||Sally Taylor (Main anchor, South Today)
Geraldine Peers (Main anchor, South Today Oxford)
|Theme music composer||David Lowe|
|Country of origin||England, United Kingdom|
|Location(s)||Southampton, England, UK|
|Running time||30 minutes
(main 6:30pm programme)
|Production company(s)||BBC South|
|Original channel||BBC One South|
|Picture format||576i (SDTV 16:9)|
|Original run||7 January 1961– present|
|Related shows||BBC News,
ITV News Meridian
South Today is the BBC's regional television news programme for Hampshire, Isle of Wight, the majority of West Sussex, Brighton and Hove, eastern Dorset, eastern Gloucestershire, southern and eastern Oxfordshire, southern Northamptonshire, western Berkshire and parts of Buckinghamshire, Surrey and Wiltshire. Since 2000, an opt-out of the main programme (originally called South Today Oxford, then BBC Oxford News and now re-branded back to simply South Today) has also covered most of Oxfordshire, eastern Gloucestershire, western Buckinghamshire and northern parts of Berkshire and Wiltshire.
The BBC began broadcasting a regional TV news programme for the South of England (then known as South at Six, but changing to the current title in the mid 1960s) in January 1961, getting on air four months before the launch of Southern Television's rival magazine programme Day by Day. Originally, the BBC's Southampton operations were based in South Western House, the former Cunard shipping line headquarters near the city's docks. In 1991, the programme moved to purpose-built studios in Havelock Road.
The original presenter was Martin Muncaster. Bruce Parker joined the programme in 1967 and remained as a regular presenter until 1989, continuing to provide holiday cover and present weekend bulletins until 1997. The current main presenter, Sally Taylor, started co-presenting the programme in 1987 (replacing Debbie Thrower), initially alongside Parker and then successively with Paddy Haycocks, Mark Longhurst, Harry Gration, Andrew Harvey and Roger Finn, but in recent years she has been the regular solo presenter of the main programme.
Currently, South Today produces eleven bulletins each weekday: 6 bulletins in the morning during BBC Breakfast, a short bulletin at 15:00, a 15-minute programme at 13:30, the half-hour main programme at 18:30, a headlines update at 20:00 and a 7-minute late night bulletin at 22:25. An additional four bulletins air during the weekend: a lunchtime bulletin on Saturday, early evening bulletins on Saturday & Sunday and a late night bulletin on Sundays, following the BBC News at Ten. The times of these bulletins usually vary.
The programme is broadcast live from studios in Southampton.
Prior to September 2001, South Today's region included areas served by the Heathfield Transmitter and its relays which covered eastern Sussex and southern Kent. These areas are now covered by the BBC's South East Today.
Following digital switchover on 7 March 2012, the Whitehawk Hill transmitter (which serves the Brighton, Hove, Shoreham and Worthing area) now carries BBC South East output instead of BBC South.
Since 16 October 2000, BBC South has produced a distinct news service for the area served by the Oxford transmitter. Previously, the area was covered by Newsroom South East, which also served Greater London and the South East. As part of a three-tier restructure of regional coverage, the Oxford transmitter area was transferred to the BBC South region and began dedicated opt-out bulletins within South Today. A year later, London and the South East split into two distinct regions: BBC London and BBC South East.
The opt-out programme is presented by Geraldine Peers on weekdays. Originally, South Today Oxford was broadcast from BBC South's studios in Southampton and presented by Heather McCarthy and Caroline Richardson on a rotating basis. Peers became the main anchor of the opt-outs in 2001 and studio production of the bulletins was transferred to a new television studio in Oxford in 2004.
On 21 April 2008, the South Today Oxford opt-out service was renamed as BBC Oxford News (referred to on-screen as BBC Oxford). New titles and graphics were introduced as part of an on-screen overhaul across the BBC's national, international and regional news services. From 29 October 2012, this has been re-branded back to South Today.
The Oxford sub-opt covers the first 10–15 minutes of the main evening South Today at 6:30pm, before joining Sally Taylor for the latter part of the Southampton edition of the programme thereafter. Until April 2013, a full 30-minute Oxford edition was produced every Friday evening, but this has since been scaled back to 10–15 minutes, as was already the duration of the sub-opt on the other weekdays.
Although no longer a regular weekly occurrence, 30-minute Oxford editions still occasionally occur if there is a major news story in the sub-region. For example, there was a full 30-minute Oxford sub-opt on Tuesday 14 May 2013 – the day of the verdict of a long-running sex abuse trial involving a group of offenders from Oxford.
Viewers in these areas also receive dedicated bulletins at 8:00pm and after the BBC News at Ten by Laura Trant, but see pan-regional bulletins from Southampton at breakfast and lunchtime and on weekends.
On air team
N.B. Persons marked with an asterisk are also a stand-in presenter/newsreader.
|Sally Taylor MBE||Main presenter/newsreader|
|Geraldine Peers||Oxford opt-out main presenter|
|Alexis Green||Weather presenter||News Correspondent|
|Dan Downs||Based at BBC South West|