BBC News at Ten: A review

Show: BBC News at Ten
Channel: BBC1
Release Date: 30/04/2014
Tside Rating: Tside Rating: 3 out of 5Tside Rating: 3 out of 5Tside Rating: 3 out of 5Tside Rating: 3 out of 5Tside Rating: 3 out of 5


BBC NEWS AT TEN: A familiar sight for many Brits

BBC NEWS AT TEN: A familiar sight for many Brits

THE BBC News at Ten has been a nightly staple in British homes since the year 2000, giving us the most up to date details on national and international affairs. We should all know what to expect from tonight’s show then, right?

It starts with a  shock, however, when Sophie Raworth sits in the anchor position. Where is Krishnan Guru-Murthy? News doesn’t feel like news without Krishnan Guru-Murthy. But it’s just one of those things we have to accept, like the lack of snow at Christmas or buying a Pot Noodle to find the flavour sachet missing.

Raworth opens up the show looking a bit scared and her roots are begging to be dyed, but we’ll forgive her and put that down to the recent cuts the BBC have faced. In the face of adversity, with her roots becoming ever more obvious under the glare of the studio lights, she delivers a rundown of the night’s top stories.

After that quick introduction (bit of a spoiler for the rest of the show), the starting credits burst onto the screen in bold red and white. The accompanying music builds up a sense of excitement, rivaling that of the Countdown theme tune, as the program officially begins with the camera panning over the newsroom. Everything feels so important.

The night begins with coverage of Gerry Adams and his alleged involvement in the abduction and murder of Jean McConville in 1972. Initially, the voice-over by June Kelly reminds me of Janet Street-Porter, which immediately throws my concentration. However, this piece manages to hit the jackpot with an interview with Adams, the most important person they could have interviewed.

The show also puts another angle to the story as an emotional clip of the ten children Mrs McConville left behind shows them talking about their mother following her disappearance. This clip, although short, left a lump in my throat. I thought it was a brilliant addition; humanising the often cold approach taken to presenting serious news.

Following this, Andy Martin, the show’s Ireland Correspondent, reports live from Antrim on a dark road with no other people in sight. For me, this boring shot gave nothing extra to the story and was effectively just an Irish man, in Ireland, talking about a case which occurred in Ireland.

A quick shot of Raworth introducing the next segment answers the burning question that would have lurked in the mind of any respectable viewer when she was sat behind the news desk earlier.

Yes, she is wearing trousers and they are black.

The saddening theme continued with more care home horror stories. Although distressing and definitely highly worrying, this kind of story is constantly reported and the BBC News at Ten didn’t really bring anything new to it. This made it feel a bit like recycled news, however, the hidden camera shots of the abuse redeemed it for me as the shock factor remains no matter how much of this we see.

Again, we are bombarded with more misery when the next story is on Ann Maguire, the teacher stabbed to death in a Leeds school earlier this week. A montage of the same pictures we’ve been shown all week from various publications appears, which is disappointing coming from media big shots like the BBC. This piece feels like they have yet to find a more interesting story so decided to lump all previous parts of the case together and combine it with a bit of new information. Lazy BBC, lazy. In spite of this, a part of me wants to praise them for not thrusting cameras in the faces of her relatives or vulnerable school children. Ethical, but still boring.

That segment does not get a Vine from me.

Following this comes an assortment of stories including criticism of police stop and searches in South London, a chunk of Farage bashing and results from the Champions League.

The death of Bob Hoskins is the final story of the night. I found this to be a well thought out and respectful tribute. Clips of Hoskins in various films as well as one of him talking about getting into the industry is a nice way to end things on a more cheerful note, even if it’s bittersweet.

After quite possibly the most depressing thirty minutes of my week, Sophie Raworth delivers the final tragedy. Jeremy Paxman is leaving BBC Two’s Newsnight after 25 years and is looking forward to going to bed at the same time as most people. In a refreshing, light-hearted touch, Raworth ends the show with a joke…

Maybe I’ll let her stay.

Tonight’s BBC News at Ten may not  have been the most thrilling or gripping show on earth, but the kind of issues discussed and reported on required a more serious approach.

Although I feel they set the right mood for the stories selected, as one of the biggest media companies in the world, they could have searched for fresher material, which for me, would have boosted the show a great deal.



from Tside

The war on drugs continues – But who is winning?

Jonathan Hayes - Received a caution for ketamine as a class C days before it was reclassified

Jonathan Green – Received a caution for ketamine as a class C days before it was reclassified

TWENTY-TWO-YEAR-OLD Jonathan Green is one of the last people in the UK to receive a caution for ketamine as a class C drug.

Jonathan, from Yarm, was given a caution for possession of the drug, just before it was reclassified from class C to class B.

While many countries are taking a more liberal approach to drug policy, it appears the UK is going the other way and imposing tougher laws.

As opinion and statistics divide the world, LEWIS DENISON reports on why everyone can’t agree on the best way to deal with drugs.


Jonathan Green may have been a regular drug user but he believes the Government should bring in tougher laws to deal with what he sees as a growing drug problem.

“Even though I was lucky to receive a caution this time around, I think there should be tougher penalties for those taking drugs such as ketamine. There needs to be a stronger message sent out,” he said.

“Drugs have ruined my life – not just ketamine, which is one of the less harmful drugs, but drugs in general. Especially MKAT, which unbelievably used to be legal.”

Throughout the past decade, legal highs have flooded the streets of the UK, but as people started to have serious health problems linked to these drugs, the Government was forced to tackle the issue.

Legal highs are often labelled as “plant food”, to allow legal sale on the internet, and in 2010, one of the most dangerous legal highs, MKAT, was classified as a class B illegal drug.

The Government is also imposing tougher laws on current illegal drugs, such as the reclassification of ketamine, which according to government figures, killed six people last year.

Probation worker Stephanie Kelly, 30, who works with hard drug users, blames cannabis for leading people on to taking more dangerous substances.

“Offenders are sent here so we can try to rehabilitate them. My job is always easier when the offenders have drug problems, because the solution is easy – get them off the drugs,” she said.

“Once I can be sure they are off drugs, they generally begin to behave. Most of these offenders, who take heroin and crack cocaine, started smoking cannabis at an early age and I feel that is why they have moved onto harder drugs.”

This is an opinion held by many.

However, the CLEAR-UK party, a political party in the UK campaigning for the legalisation of cannabis, released a report suggesting 47% of UK residents would support the decriminalisation of soft drugs such as cannabis, compared to 45% who would oppose it.

The report also stated that the UK could benefit from an estimated £6.7 billion a year if it were to be legalised and regulated properly.

So why are one of the UK’s closest friends, the USA, gradually looking to legalise the drug in selected states, while the British government is staying firm on zero tolerance?

Peter Reynolds of the CLEAR-UK party, believes British politicians are scared to change their mind on policy because they will be seen as being “wishy washy”, adding that any reform won’t be until after the 2015 general election.

Jonathan Green, explained that he started smoking cannabis when he was 15.

By the time he was 20, he was taking MKAT most days, which resulted in him splitting up from his girlfriend, and being banned from seeing his baby daughter.

After that he started taking the popular party drug ketamine, which recently killed public school girl Ellie Rowe.

Jonathan said: “I started taking different drugs because I was curious. It’s because of the other drugs that I am not allowed to see my daughter, not because of cannabis.”

Jonathan, who is now attempting to stop drugs all together, says he hopes penalties will get tougher for drug offences.

“I know I need to stop taking drugs if I want to see my daughter and I want my experience of drugs to be a lesson to everyone. I might have only got a caution for ketamine, but now people will go to jail,” he added.

“Not only can drugs ruin your life – it can end it too. Only the other day I read about a young girl who had died after taking ketamine.

“I need to do everything I can to stop something like that happening to my daughter 15 years down the line.

“The Government needs to focus its attention on preventing people taking harder drugs and I think the only way to do this is to scare people with tough sentences.”

from Tside

Stockton’s PoundPub

Britain’s first £1 pub has opened it’s doors to the residents of Stockton-on-tees.

The PoundPub opens at eight in the morning and offers punters half pints for one pound and pints for just £1.50.

Tside Reporter LEWIS DENISON went to the “PoundPub” to find out what all the fuss was about.

The story has also been picked up by national newspapers, who focus on not only very cheap price of alcohol, but also the opening time.

Although many passers by in our video are vocal about their delight at the Pound Pub, many residents voiced their concern.

Andrea Parkes, 39, who did not want to be filmed,  said: “It’s a disgrace opening a pub that early! Who in the right mind wants to drink at eight in the morning?”

And the complaints don’t stop with the residents, even members of the council had something to say.

Councillor Jim Beale, Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Health told The Daily Mail: ”We know our Borough has higher than average rates of hospital stays for alcohol-related harm.

“We want to reduce the harmful impact of alcohol on communities, families and individuals.

“The sale of cheap alcohol in this pub, and indeed anywhere, does nothing to help us tackle these issues.”

However, with the national average price of a pint up to £3.03, a five percent increase on last year, Mike Wardell, a director at Here for Your Hospitality Ltd, which owns the pub’s building told how business’ now need to think “outside the box”.

He said: “It is an eye-catching logo and, I suppose it’s a bit cheesy, but the phrase we’re going for is get more round for your pound”.

from Tside

Start of an era?

Danny Miller enjoying a night in Rehab

Danny Miller enjoying a night in Rehab

Since the unexpected closing down of the GLAM nightclub, almost a year ago, Stockton high street’s nightlife has been standing on its last legs, with not one major club open to the public.

However, after “six long months of hard work”, last Saturday the doors of Stockton’s new nightclub were finally opened.

Rehab, which is an extension of the old Bianco’s building on Prince Regeant Street which closed several years previously, boasts many features which have been absent from the town in the past year.

“We have four bars, three rooms and two floors, which is something no where else in Stockton can compete with,” said Danny Miller, events manager of the Rehab Club.

Danny, 21, who spent the last six months putting the club together along with the help of around 90 labourers, said the night was a “massive success” and “a dream come true”.

The night, which saw around 1000 people pack into the club until the lights came on at four in the morning, is a sign of success not just for Danny and his team, but for Stockton town centre as a whole.

Danny, of Thornaby added: ”I want to regenerate business on my home turf, we all live here so lets make the most of it.

“Stockton has been struggling for a while now. Instead of agreeing with the critics, we need to stand up for the place we live and support what’s going on in our home town.”

John Maule, a doorman at The Wobbly Goblin said: “The opening of a major club in Stockton is a boost for everyone.

“Not only will it put us back on the nightlife map, but It is a massive boost for all the other business’ in the town.

“With the opening of Rehab, we here at the wobbly noticed a massive boost in attendance, and after speaking to doormen at the towns other pubs, it is clear last Saturday was a busy night for everyone”.

Although there have been no major clubs in Stockton for almost a year, KUbar has received good reviews now for sometime and is recognized for its outstanding live shows, which have kept nightlife alive in Stockton during the absence of GLAM.

Marc Walker, 19 of Stockton, who regularly attends KUbar said: “Its been sad to see Stockton go from being packed out every weekend for GLAM to being almost dead everywhere except KU.

“I think with KU still going strong and with the opening of Rehab, I really do think Stockton is going to build a good reputation, as long as everyone else enjoyed Rehab as much as me, and I’m sure they did.”

With the aim of continuing their success, the Rehab team have pledged to be open for business every Friday and Saturday night.

Mr Miller said: “It’s my dream for Stockton to become centre for north east nightlife. The people of Stockton need to come together to save our town from dying a horrible death.

“Anyone that came last week, will know how good it was and of course they should return this week for at least one of the events we have planned for over the weekend.

“Anyone that never came last week, don’t worry that you missed out because it is going to be just as good this week and I hope I see everyone there.”

Rehab is six pounds entry on the door or five pound if you are on the guest list and is open from 11 until four every Friday and Saturday.


from Tside