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This article is about the BBC programme. For the more general journalist role, see beat reporting.
Genre News
Running time 15 minutes )
Country  United Kingdom
Language(s) English
Home station BBC Radio 1,
BBC Radio 1Xtra
BBC World Service (2014-)
Host(s) Chris Smith
Producer(s) BBC News
Recording studio Broadcasting House, London
Air dates since 1973
Audio format Stereophonic sound

Newsbeat is the flagship news programme on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra. Newsbeat is produced by BBC News but differs from the BBC's other news programmes in its remit to provide news tailored for a specifically younger audience.[1] It is primarily hosted by Chris Smith.

The 15-minute Newsbeat programme is broadcast at 12:45 and 17:45 during the week on Radio 1 and 1Xtra. Short bulletins are also heard throughout the day on both stations on the half hour with extra bulletins broadcast at peak times.

Following changes in September 2012, the vast majority of Newsbeat bulletins are simulcast on both BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra. Each station has bespoke bulletins during the weekday Breakfast Show with the first shared bulletin at 10:30.

Although unconfirmed by the BBC, it's widely thought that the name "Newsbeat" was taken from the Radio Caroline news service of the same name, as was the concept of short bulletins on the half hour. Caroline first used the name (and broadcast 1/2 hour headlines) in the 1960s. Roger Gale, who had previously worked on Radio Caroline North, was the show's first producer.

Newsbeat won gold for best news & current affairs programme at the Sony Radio Academy Awards on 13 May 2013.[2]

BBC Radio 5 Live daytime editor Louisa Compton was appointed editor on 27 March 2014.[3]


BBC Radio 1's remit as a public service broadcaster meant it had to broadcast news. Newsbeat was launched in 1973 in response to the launch of a network of commercial radio stations across the UK which supplied a news service very different from the style of traditional BBC News. The programme's first presenter was the Radio 1 DJ Ed "Stewpot" Stewart and he was succeeded by Laurie Mayer and Richard Skinner.

Newsbeat's jingles were produced on-and-off by Music 4 between 1998 and 2011, and from 2005 to 2011 have been notable for using the four note Radio 1 'logo'. A new logo and jingles were introduced in June 2011 produced by Koink. It was Peter Horrocks, director of BBC Global News that a Global editions will launch in 2014 on BBC World Service


In keeping with its specific targeting of young audiences, Newsbeat has its own set of reporters based in the newsroom of Broadcasting House in Central London. The team's reporters are themselves young, and often report on the location of the big news stories of the day.

Presenters and reporters[edit]

Current and former team members on Newsbeat include:


Former editor and controller of Newsbeat was Rod McKenzie, himself a former presenter of the programme and the news presenter on the Simon Mayo breakfast show on Radio 1 from 1988-1993. Newsbeat's first editor was Mike Chaney - hired from The Sun by the Director-General to inject a populist flavour to the news coverage of Radio 1.

Newsbeat's Oddbox[edit]

In 2007, Newsbeat's Oddbox was launched. A four minute video which looked at the week's strangest news, it was mostly presented by Dominic Byrne. When he was unavailable Tulip Mazumdar[4] and Nat Jamieson as deputy. Old episodes are available to watch at BBC Online, on the BBC Red Button and on the BBC News channel. The last ever episode of Oddbox was released on 14 September 2012.[5]


  1. ^ BBC Radio 1 Service Licence BBC Trust, August 2009; Retrieved 31 March 2010
  2. ^ "BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat wins Sony Radio Academy Award". Newsbeat. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "BBC announces new Editor of BBC Newsbeat and 1Xtra". Newsbeat. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Oddbox presented by Tulip
  5. ^ The last ever Oddbox

External links[edit]