BBC South's area within the UK
|TV transmitters|| Hannington |
|Radio stations|| BBC Radio Berkshire |
BBC Radio Oxford
BBC Radio Solent
|Area|| Oxfordshire |
Isle of Wight
West Sussex (majority)
eastern and central Dorset
|Nation||BBC English Regions|
(Head of Regional
& Local Programmes)
BBC South is the BBC English Region serving Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Dorset, Berkshire and parts of Gloucestershire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Surrey, West Sussex and Wiltshire, with geographic coverage varying between digital, television and radio services.
The region is headquartered in Southampton and has smaller offices in Dorchester, Oxford and Reading.
BBC South's television output (broadcast on BBC One) consists of its flagship regional news service BBC South Today and includes an opt-out service for viewers served by the Oxford transmitter, the current affairs programme Inside Out and a weekly half-hour Sunday Politics show dedicated to the region.
The region covers television services for Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, most of Dorset and West Sussex and parts of Buckinghamshire and Wiltshire.
The television output also produces occasional regional documentaries, the such as Titanic – Southampton Remembers and Sea City. The former, broadcast in April 2012, looks at the impact of the disaster on Southampton, where most of the ships staff were recruited while Sea City looks behind the scenes at Southampton Docks and was broadcast in January 2013 with a second series in March 2014.
The region is home to local radio stations BBC Radio Oxford, BBC Radio Berkshire and BBC Radio Solent.
Radio Solent, BBC Radio Oxford and Radio Berkshire broadcast between 5 am and 1 am with local programming broadcast between 5 am and 7 pm on weekdays. The three stations carry networked programming with the two stations in the BBC South East region every evening. The stations also simulcast overnight programming from BBC Radio 5 Live each night after closedown.
BBC South produces online articles and video for Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire, Dorset and Berkshire which featured on BBC News Online, as well as producing content for the region's social media accounts.
Text-based red button services come from the articles produced for the BBC website.
The BBC's television news operation in Southampton began on 5 January 1961 with the launch of South at Six, presented by Martin Muncaster, who had defected from Southern Television. The programme was later renamed as South Today. In 1967, Bruce Parker joined BBC South and went on to become its longest-serving presenter, anchoring South Today for over 30 years.
In 1969, South Today became part of Nationwide, with its own opt-out section of the main programme for local news. In 1984, following the end of the short-lived Nationwide replacement Sixty Minutes, South Today became a standalone programme, competing heavily ever since with the long-defunct Southern Television's news programme Day by Day, TVS's Coast to Coast and the present incumbent ITV News Meridian .
The region itself has changed in size and shape on a few occasions. On 16 October 2000, areas served by the Oxford transmitter were transferred from the large former BBC South East region, served by news programme Newsroom South East , and transferred to an opt out of the BBC South region served by South Today. Additionally, following the digital switchover of the Whitehawk Hill transmitter on 7 March 2012, Brighton and Hove transferred to the coverage of BBC South East.
BBC South's regional broadcasting centre is based in Southampton, with local radio and television studios also in Brighton, Oxford and Reading.
Prior to moving to the current studios in 1991, BBC South was based next to the disused Southampton Terminus railway station at South Western House, a former grand hotel set up to cater for first class passengers using the transatlantic liners from Southampton and latterly used as a military HQ during the planning of the D-day landings. The building was famed for its clear views of Southampton docks, making events such as the departure of the Queen Mary easy to film, as cameras only had to set up on the roof of the building, though the technology used at South Western House was famed for its unreliability, as most of this equipment was second hand and brought in from other BBC buildings.The introduction of colour television in the early 1970s led to a major reconstruction of the building, which had a main studio (used largely for South Today) and a small presentation studio for news bulletins and continuity – unusually, the camera for the small studio was situated in the outside corridor and looking into the room.
In 1991, BBC South moved into new, purpose-built facilities at Havelock Road in Southampton. The new studios were built on to the side of the hill at the top of the city with the railway tunnel running directly underneath. This slope meant that the new television studios were far larger than the previous ones, as they could take up vast amounts of space on a lower level. The new facilities also included brand new equipment and technology, radio studios for BBC Radio Solent and editing suites.
The extra space was because BBC South, at the time, was one of the new regional production centres. Previously production centres had been in the large regions with studio facilities, these being the nations, BBC Midlands, BBC North West and BBC West. However, some smaller production centres were being trialled in the South and the North East. As a result, the new studio was made slightly larger so that it could accommodate a network production. When the BBC decided to reduce regional productions as a cost-cutting measure, the fact that BBC South's studio was not too large meant that it was allowed to remain open, unlike many of the other studios and production centres.
The complex has two studios. Studio A, the larger is used for South Today and is audience capable, while Studio B, the smaller is occasionally used by South Today and was originally used for the Oxford opt-out.
The studio at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth was closed in June 2020, as part of a wider programme of cost reduction across BBC English Regions.
BBC London is the BBC English Region producing local radio, television, teletext and online services in London and parts of the surrounding area. Its output includes the daily BBC London News and weekly Sunday Politics on television, the BBC Radio London radio station and local coverage of the London area on BBC Online and BBC Red Button. The region's headquarters are situated in the new eastern extension of the BBC's Broadcasting House.
BBC Radio Oxford is the BBC Local Radio station for Oxfordshire, UK.
BBC Radio Berkshire is the BBC Local Radio service for the English county of Berkshire, Northern Hampshire, and South Oxfordshire. Radio Berkshire broadcasts on 94.6 (Henley-on-Thames), 95.4 (Windsor), 104.1 (Hannington) and 104.4 (Reading) FM from its studios at Thames Valley Park near Reading. The station is also available on DAB, Freeview, and through live streaming on the internet, also on demand for thirty days after broadcast through the BBC iPlayer.
BBC Radio Solent is the BBC Local Radio service for the English counties of the Isle of Wight, Dorset and the southern two-thirds of Hampshire. Its studios are located in Southampton, in the same purpose-built office block in Havelock Road as the BBC South Today news studios, and Dorchester. It was based until 1991 in South Western House, the former railway hotel at the old Southampton Terminus station.
BBC Midlands is the BBC English Region producing local radio and web content for Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, the West Midlands, and Worcestershire. Although the region has been unofficially called BBC West Midlands since BBC East Midlands became a separate region in 1991, it retains the BBC Midlands name and brand, with its history dating from 1927, for public use.
ITV Meridian is the holder of the ITV franchise for the South and South East of England. The station was launched at 12:00 am on 1 January 1993, replacing previous broadcaster Television South, and is owned and operated by ITV plc, under the licensee of ITV Broadcasting Limited. Meridian Broadcasting Ltd was one of several ITV plc-owned regional companies to have its legal name changed on 29 December 2006, when it became ITV Meridian Ltd. This company is, along with most other regional companies owned by ITV plc, listed with Companies House as a "Dormant company".
BBC London News is the BBC's regional television news programme for Greater London, Surrey and east Berkshire. Its local competitor is ITV News London, which is produced by ITN for ITV London.
BBC South Today is the BBC's regional television news service for the south of England, covering Hampshire, Isle of Wight, West Sussex, much of Dorset and parts of Berkshire, Surrey and Wiltshire.
ITV News Meridian is the evening news programme produced by ITV Meridian and broadcasting to the South, South East and Thames Valley. It broadcasts for thirty minutes each Monday to Friday from 18:00, covering regional news stories, features, sport and weather. It is presented by Sangeeta Bhabra, Stacey Poole, Amanda Piper, or Fred Dinenage. Shorter bulletins air at other times.
Thames Valley Tonight was a regional news programme broadcast to part of the ITV Network in the Thames Valley area of southern England. The Thames Valley news region was launched on Monday 4 December 2006 and ceased to exist on 8 February 2009.
BBC North East and Cumbria is the BBC English Region covering County Durham, Northumberland, Teesside, Tyne and Wear, Cumbria and parts of North Yorkshire.
BBC North West is the BBC English Region serving Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Cumbria and the Isle of Man.
BBC East Midlands is the BBC English Region covering Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, South Kesteven in Lincolnshire and some northern parts of Northamptonshire.
BBC West is the BBC English Region serving Bristol, most of Wiltshire, northern and eastern Somerset, most of Gloucestershire and north Dorset.
BBC South West is the BBC English Region serving Cornwall, Devon, Isles of Scilly, West Somerset, West Dorset and Channel Islands.
BBC South East is the BBC English region serving Kent, East Sussex, part of West Sussex and a small part of Surrey.
BBC Dorset FM was a BBC Local Radio station based in Dorchester, covering the county of Dorset in England which broadcast from 1993 to 1996. It was the last BBC Local Radio station to launch which covered a previously unserved area. It operated as an opt-out station from BBC Radio Devon for around 23 hours a week.
This is a timeline of BBC Local Radio.
Heart South is a regional radio station owned and operated by Global as part of the Heart network. It broadcasts to the south and south east of England from studios in Fareham, Hampshire.