Media release: First look at ‘The Nine’, BBC Scotland’s new nightly news programme


THE first official pictures of ‘The Nine’ set have been released, highlighting the look of the news hour which will launch on the new BBC Scotland channel in February 2019, bringing national and international news to audiences across Scotland.

The Nine set is a permanent open-plan studio space on the third floor at BBC Scotland’s Pacific Quay, Glasgow headquarters and the programme will be anchored by two of the country’s leading journalists, Rebecca Curran and Martin Geissler.

Hayley Valentine, editor of The Nine, revealed plans for the news programme: “The Nine aims to be a world-class programme combining international, UK and Scottish news with the needs of a Scottish audience at the heart of everything we do. We hope to bring the audience the best of the BBC both from Scotland and around the globe, plus some exciting new on screen talent.

“We want to bring audiences stories they won’t find anywhere else. We are looking at fresh, creative and engaging ways of telling stories that matter to Scottish audiences.”

The flagship news programme will be at the heart of the schedules, broadcasting Monday-Friday between 9.00-10.00pm in addition to weekend bulletins. Rebecca and Martin will co-present Monday-Thursday while Laura Miller and John Beattie will present the news hour each Friday.

Weekend coverage comprises a 15-minute bulletin on Saturday evenings at 7.00pm followed by a 45-minute review programme presented by Fiona Stalker and Nick Sheridan.

On Sundays, the 15-minute 7.00pm bulletin will be presented by Lucy Whyte. The programme will have a distinct social media presence and audiences will be able to access the best of The Nine on digital platforms.

Rebecca Curran says: “I am thrilled to be a part of this programme. It is an amazing opportunity for me personally and professionally, at what is such an exciting time for broadcasting in Scotland. The Nine will have a real focus on original journalism, and the whole team is looking forward to bringing our audience a fresh format with stories they won’t see elsewhere.”

Martin Geissler adds: “It’s been fascinating watching The Nine grow from concept into reality. What we’re offering is something completely different, a bold new programme with its own unique character and personality, covering international news in a style that’s accessible to everyone.

“We’re assembling an exciting team of journalists, our newsroom is currently buzzing with enthusiasm, ideas and ambition. I just can’t wait to get started.”

The Nine is part of the biggest investment in the BBC in Scotland for a generation. This investment includes 80 new jobs in news services in Scotland, covering a range of roles both in front of and behind the camera. Journalists have been hired across the whole of Scotland, enhancing news teams at Holyrood and Westminster and, for the first time in 20 years, BBC Scotland will have a dedicated Europe Correspondent.

For further information contact

BBC Scotland Press Office (0141 422 6381

The Nine biogs

Gary Smith, head of News and current affairs, BBC Scotland

Gary is responsible for BBC Scotland’s news output across TV, radio, online and social media. He joined BBC Scotland three years ago from his previous London-based BBC post as UK news editor and in that time has focused on a multi-platform approach to news coverage, with the emphasis always on quality journalism. His previous roles include editor of Political News at the BBC, assistant editor on what was then the BBC’s Nine O’Clock News, and programme editor and senior political producer at Channel Four News.

Hayley Valentine, editor The Nine

Hayley will be the driving force behind The Nine. Her vision will steer the programme to have its own distinctive style and tone, embracing a Scottish and global news agenda with the priorities of the Scottish audience always at its core. Formerly the BBC’s executive editor of Question Time, Hayley was also director of Current Affairs at Mentorn Media, the company which makes the programme for the BBC. She also held the position of head of News for 5Live where she led her team to a Radio Academy Gold Award for news coverage of the 2010 election.

Rebecca Curran, presenter The Nine

Rebecca moves into her new role as co-anchor after two years in BBC Scotland’s busy Aberdeen newsroom. Widely recognised as one of the most tenacious broadcast journalists in the country, she has a wide-reaching and proven track record in reporting a diverse range of subjects ranging from hard-hitting investigations to moving human interest stories. She started her career at Northsound Radio and then spent three years at STV before joining the BBC in 2016.

Martin Geissler, presenter The Nine

Most recently a news correspondent with ITN, Martin has reported on some of the biggest news stories this century: the Iraq war, the Afghan conflict, Hurricane Katrina, the Boxing Day tsunami, the crisis inside Zimbabwe, and many more. Previously Europe, Africa and Scotland correspondent for ITN, he started his television career with Sky News in Scotland, and has worked as a reporter and presenter for STV and as a correspondent for Sky Sports.

Notes to editors:

In 2017 Tony Hall announced a new BBC television channel for Scotland. The channel will be called BBC Scotland and will launch on Sunday 24th February, 2019.

The channel is part of the BBC’s additional £40m a year investment into the BBC in Scotland which will also increase output for the UK. The initial budget for the channel is just over £32m.

A channel for modern Scotland, it will be the home for compelling, quality content which will enable viewers in Scotland to see more of their lives, tell more of their stories and show more of their interests on screen as well as watch great content from elsewhere.

The multi-genre channel will feature a mix of documentary strands, factual entertainment programming, comedy, drama and sport with a dedicated one hour news programme sitting at the core of the weeknight schedule. Ultimately this means hundreds of more hours of content for audiences in Scotland.

The channel has a content target of 50 per cent originations/acquisitions to 50 per cent repeats.

BBC Scotland will be multiplatform. It will have a home on iPlayer and be connected to BBC Scotland’s full range of Radio, Online, Social and other TV services.

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BBC Scotland contact details…

Contact: Julie Whiteside