ITV Evening News

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ITV Evening News
ITV News titles 2013.png
ITV News opening sequence
Presented by Mark Austin
Mary Nightingale
Theme music composer Dave Hewson
Opening theme "Global Broadcast"
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
Editor(s) Geoff Hill[1]
(Editor, ITV Network News);
Richard Frediani[2]
(Programme Editor, ITV Evening News)
Location(s) ITN headquarters,
London, England, UK
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 25 minutes (approx.)
Production company(s) ITN
ITV News
Original network ITV, STV, UTV
Picture format 1080i (HDTV 16:9)
Original release 22 September 1955 (1955-09-22) – present
External links

ITV Evening News is the evening news bulletin on the British television network ITV. It is produced by ITN.

The 30-minute programme, currently presented by Mark Austin and Mary Nightingale covers British national and international news stories and broadcasts at 6:30pm from Monday to Friday. In the event of a major news story, one of the programme's presenters will front the first ten to fifteen minutes of the programme from the scene of the story. The other newscaster will remain in the studio and read the day's other news.

On Bank Holidays, the main evening bulletin usually airs at either 6:15pm or 6:45pm, running for 15 minutes.


On 22 September 1955 when the ITV television service was launched, ITN provided an early evening news service at 5:50pm. ITN's News at 5:50 broadcast was screened in the evening, presented by Gordon Honeycombe. This simple bulletin made use of a single camera, and was intended as a round-up of the day's headlines and looking at stories to be covered in more length by that evening's edition of News at Ten.

On 6 September 1976, News at 5:50 moved back to 5:45pm was renamed News at 545. The 545 marked a major departure in presentational style from the ITN News that had preceded it. Initially, the bulletins were broadcast from the Police Five studio, which enabled the producers to make extensive use of chromakey to display images behind the newscaster, several studio cameras, interviews with correspondents in the studio and on a TV monitor, and wide screen shots of the studio set at the beginning and end of the programme, and when handing over to correspondents.

Alastair Burnet was the original host of the News at 545. Michael Nicholson presented the bulletin on Fridays, and was also a relief presenter. Immediately after the visual 'roll' and electronic audio at the beginning, the announcer intoned in a hushed tone: "The news at 5:45, with Alastair Burnett/Michael Nicholson". Other relief newscasters in the late 1970s included Leonard Parkin, who at the time also regularly hosted the News at One, and Martyn Lewis. In March 1980, when Burnet departed the 545 to present News at Ten, Nicholson replaced him as main anchor, with Carol Barnes taking over as relief presenter. In September 1986, Nicholson left the 545 to return to war reporting, and was replaced by Alastair Stewart.

On 4 April 1988 the News at 545 underwent some cosmetic changes, with the visual 'roll' logo and electronic audio being dropped in favour of a new computer-generated opening sequence and a more contemporary theme tune; the studio images were still inlaid using chromakey, although these were now also generated by computer. The programme was moved to the main newsroom within the ITN headquarters building, and full-length reports were now featured as part of the programme. ITN dispensed with the "main" presenter and relief host format, and instead a "team" of newscasters - Alastair Stewart, Fiona Armstrong, Nicholas Owen, Trevor McDonald, Sue Carpenter and Carol Barnes - began presenting the show on a "rotation" basis. On 13 February 1989, the introduction of a national weather forecast at the end of the programme led to the bulletin's timeslot starting earlier at 5:40pm, being extended in length and the title being changed to News at 540.[3]

Due to the Gulf Crisis of 1991, ITN were temporarily granted a full half-hour slot each evening; the continued change of time (and length) of the bulletin around this time led to the News at 540 being known simply as the ITN News, although the theme tune and set stayed the same with the 540 logo removed from the titles until the bulletin returned to the 5:40pm after the Gulf War ending.

On 2 March 1992, ITN News at 540 was renamed ITN Early Evening News. The new look made good use of ITN's impressive headquarters in London with opening sequence consisting of a camera panning across the building towards the newsdesk giving a panoramic view of the newsroom. John Suchet was the main newscaster.

On 6 March 1995 all of ITN's news programmes on ITV were relaunched with a more unified look, with exception to News at Ten which maintained its separate identity. The new look however brought elements of News at Ten to ITN's other bulletins such as the use of the clockface of Big Ben and the News at Ten theme-tune, however the tune was rearranged differently. The studio at the time made use of the colour blue which was ITN's corporate colour at the time. The intro showed different images of Big Ben's clockface with the hands of the clock eventually striking the time at 5:40 - the time at which the programme began. The programme was usually presented by John Suchet at this time.

The ITV Evening News was launched on the 8 March 1999. The launch coincided with major changes to the scheduling of news programmes on ITV. ITN's Early Evening News programme was moved from 5:40pm to 6:30pm and renamed the ITV Evening News. The programme was extended to become a 30-minute programme effectively replacing News at Ten as the channels flagship news programme which itself was also axed at this time and replaced with a shorter 20 minute bulletin at 11pm entitled the ITV Nightly News. Initially, the programme was anchored by Trevor McDonald. The axing of News at Ten proved unpopular at the time and caused outcry from politicians and the general public and ratings for ITV news programmes fell. The following year McDonald left to present the short-lived ITV News at Ten. Following McDonald's departure from the ITV Evening News on 22 January 2001, Dermot Murnaghan and Kirsty Young became the programme's main newscasters. Mary Nightingale replaced Young a few months later when Young decided not to return following maternity leave. Mark Austin replaced Murnaghan following the latter presenter's defection to BBC News in 2002. The period from 1999 to 2001 also saw the gradual removal of the ITN brand from ITV news programmes, initially from the programme titles in 1999 and from reporter checks and voice-overs in late 2001.

The programme relaunched on 2 February 2004 in what was then a state of the art virtual studio set dubbed the Theatre of News along with the other ITV News programmes. The move saw the ITN newscasters standing (or walking) in front of a news-wall and present graphics to viewers. The Theatre of News was scaled back following a relaunch 9 February 2009 with a return to a more traditional presentation style at a news desk.

On 3 August 2009, it was announced that after 16 years co-hosting London Tonight, Alastair Stewart was to leave the regional news programme to become main co-anchor of the ITV Evening News. Mark Austin would focus on ITV News at Ten, but continue as a stand-in anchor for the 6.30pm bulletin.[4]

On 2 November 2009 the programme was retitled as the ITV News at 6:30. The studio set was virtual, using a new green screen electronic compositing system known as 'Ultimatte'. Virtual sets can be created instantly and at low cost.[5] Unlike traditional Chroma key systems, Ultimatte allows for such things as full camera movement and can generate artificial reflections on glass and metallic surfaces.

It was announced in June 2015 that, as part of a wider restructure at ITV News, Mark Austin would return to the programme full-time, alongside Mary Nightingale from October 2015. Alastair Stewart continues to appear on the programme as a relief newscaster, alongside his duties on the ITV Lunchtime News.[6] Coinciding with the main presenter line-up, the programme is once again being referred to as the ITV Evening News.[7]

Theme Music[edit]

The opening title music has been composed by Dave Hewson since 1992. The current title sequence was designed by Lambie Nairn and the music is called "Global Broadcast".[citation needed]


Current newscasters[edit]

Newscaster Duration Role
Mary Nightingale 2001–present Main Newscaster
Mark Austin 2002–present Main Newscaster
Alastair Stewart 1986-92; 2003–present Deputy Newscaster
Charlene White 2014–present Deputy Newscaster
James Mates 2002–present Occasional Relief Newscaster
Nina Hossain 2004–present Occasional Relief Newscaster
Steve Scott 2005–present Occasional Relief Newscaster
Ranvir Singh 2014–present Occasional Relief Newscaster
Rageh Omaar 2015–present Occasional Relief Newscaster

Former newscasters[edit]


  1. ^ "Geoff Hill appointed as Editor of ITV Network News". ITN. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "Richard Frediani moves to network news at ITV". How-Do. 29 December 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "ITV News - Evening (1980s)". TV Ark. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Plunkett, John (19 August 2009). "More Mark Austin on News at Ten". MediaGuardian. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  5. ^ "Chroma Key For Virtual Sets and Virtual Studios". Retrieved 18 May 2016. 
  6. ^ "Tom Bradby set to become main presenter of ITV News at Ten". ITV News. 25 June 2015. Retrieved 2015-06-25. 
  7. ^ "ITV Evening News". DigiGuide. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  8. ^ Robinson, James (25 June 2015). "ITV News announces changes to award-winning presenter line-up". ITN Press. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Tonight with Trevor McDonald
RTS: Television Journalism
News Programme of the Year

Succeeded by
BBC News at Ten
Preceded by
BBC News at Ten
RTS: Television Journalism
News Programme of the Year

Succeeded by
BBC News at Ten
Preceded by
Channel 4 News: Leak of Attorney General Advice on Legality of Iraq War
RTS: Television Journalism
News - Home
(Selly Oak - A Soldier's Story)

Succeeded by
Channel 4 News: The Crevice Trial: Links To 7/7