BBC Nine O'Clock News

The BBC Nine O'Clock News was the flagship BBC News programme. It was launched on 14 September 1970 and ran until 13 October 2000, when it was controversially replaced by the BBC Ten O'Clock News.

BBC Nine O'Clock News
BBC Nine O'Clock News.jpg
Final title sequence, 1999-2000
Also known asBBC News at Nine (1999-2000)'
Created byBBC News
Presented by
Theme music composerDavid Lowe (10 May 1999 - 13 October 2000)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
Running time30 minutes
Original networkBBC1
Picture format
  • 576i (4:3 SDTV, from 14 September 1970 until 29 September 2000)
  • 576i (16:9 HDTV, from 2 October 2000 until 13 October 2000)
Original release14 September 1970 (1970-09-14) –
13 October 2000 (2000-10-13)
Preceded byThe Main News
Followed byBBC News at Ten


The first week was presented by Robert Dougall, followed by Richard Baker and Kenneth Kendall, each presenting five consecutive nightly bulletins. The choice of these three was significant, echoing the original BBC television bulletins of 1955, which they had also presented.

Other notable presenters have included John Edmunds, Peter Woods, Richard Whitmore, Angela Rippon, Jan Leeming, John Humphrys, John Simpson, Sue Lawley, Julia Somerville, Andrew Harvey , Moira Stuart, Nicholas Witchell, Martyn Lewis, Michael Buerk, Peter Sissons and George Alagiah.

The Nine O'Clock News replaced The Main News at 8:45 pm, in a response to the launch by ITN of the News at Ten. It was the first bulletin to have a closing set of music; other bulletins would show weather forecasts at the end instead. The set used by the bulletin was designed to differentiate from the day's bulletins; an example of this was on 7 September 1981, where the Nine O'Clock bulletin had a wooden effect whereas other bulletins used a plain blue background instead.[clarification needed]

A bulletin presented by John Humphrys and Julia Somerville. The bulletin design was in use from 1985–1988.

On 13 April 1993, all the BBC News bulletins were relaunched with a more uniform look. This programme and some others were given a darker set and a stereo orchestral version of the previous mono title music. A more comprehensive relaunch of all the BBC News output came on 10 May 1999, after which this programme once again shared a common theme and set with its daytime counterpart.[clarification needed]

Between 10 May 1999 and 13 October 2000, the programme was advertised as the BBC News at Nine. The final bulletin, before the transition to the BBC Ten O'Clock News (2000–present), was presented by George Alagiah in Jerusalem and Peter Sissons in London.

The programme was broadcast on BBC1 and inspired a BBC2 comedy show running in the same time slot, Not the Nine O'Clock News.

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