ITV News at 6:30

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ITV News
ITV News titles 2013.png
ITV News opening sequence
Presented by Mary Nightingale
Alastair Stewart
Theme music composer Dave Hewson
Opening theme "Global Broadcast"
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
Editor(s) Geoff Hill [1]
Richard Frediani [2]
(Programme Editor)
Location(s) ITN Studios,
London, England, UK
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 25 minutes (approx.)
Production company(s) ITN
ITV News
Original channel ITV, STV, UTV
Picture format 1080i (HDTV 16:9)
Original run 22 September 1955 (1955-09-22) – present
Related shows Good Morning Britain,
ITV News at 1:30,
ITV News at Ten,
ITV News weekend bulletins,
ITV Weather
External links

The ITV News at 6:30 is the evening news bulletin on the British television network ITV. It is produced by ITN.

The 30-minute programme, presented by Mary Nightingale and Alastair Stewart 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 to 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.

In 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 continual 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.

In 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 begun. The programme was usually presented by John Suchet at this time.

The 8 March 1999 saw major changes to the scheduling of news programmes on ITV. ITN's Early Evening News programme was moved from 5:40pm to 6:30pm, was renamed the ITV Evening News and was extended to become a 30 minute programme. The bulletin was to become the channels flagship news programme as News at Ten was also axed at this time. Initially, the programme was anchored by Trevor McDonald. At the time the axing of News at Ten 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 Mary Nightingale became the programme's main newscasters. 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 voiceovers in late 2001.

In 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 co-presents the ITV News at Ten, but continues 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.

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]


Main anchors[edit]

Relief anchors[edit]

Guest anchors[edit]

Between 19 September and 23 September 2005, former ITN anchors returned to present the ITV Evening News alongside either Mark Austin or Mary Nightingale as part of ITV and ITN's 50th birthday celebrations:


  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. 

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