|Show:||BBC News at Ten|
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.
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.