BBC unveils changes to Election coverage

Huw Edwards has been confirmed as lead presenter for next month's BBC Election coverage, in what will be a night of firsts.

As the exit polls are announced at 10pm on 12th December 2019, the BBC's television broadcast will be a Dimbleby-free zone for the first time in decades.

Huw has played a major role in the BBC’s election and political coverage over the decades and was formerly a political journalist in Westminster for 13 years.

For the first time the BBC News website will be using semi-automated journalism to write stories on the election results for all 650 constituencies in English and 40 in Welsh.

Arthur remixed
And, the BBC Election 2019 programme will also feature the return of classic election theme tune, Rick Wakeman’s 'Arthur', in a newly remixed version, marking an end to the theme tune introduced with the 2010 Election.

On TV, Huw will be joined by Reeta Chakrabarti, Andrew Neil, Tina Daheley and Jeremy Vine with his swingometer.

The 2019 election programme team will include BBC experts including Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg, Europe Editor Katya Adler, Economics Editor Faisal Islam, and Media Editor Amol Rajan, alongside Professor Sir John Curtice.

BBC presenters in key constituency locations, including Naga Munchetty, Andrew Marr, Martha Kearney, Nick Robinson and Lucy Manning will bring news and results from across the UK throughout the night. Sarah Smith and Kirsty Wark will broadcast live from Scotland.

Meanwhile, Sophie Raworth will analyse the results as they come in on a giant constituency map of the UK.

After polls close, the exit poll - and eventually the election result - will be projected onto Old Broadcasting House.

On Friday, coverage will be presented by Emily Maitlis, with Clive Myrie in Downing Street.

Coverage will be broadcast on BBC One, BBC News channel and BBC World News.

BBC Director of News, Fran Unsworth, says
Huw is the perfect presenter to have at the helm as a trusted and authoritative guide throughout election night. This is one of the most important - and unpredictable - elections for years. The BBC’s aim is simple: we want to give audiences the information they need to help them decide how to cast their vote. Over the next six weeks, we will broadcast from up and down the country to ensure political parties are scrutinised on their election pledges and we will give the audience the chance to hold them to account. In polarised times, the BBC is here for everyone in the UK.

Huw Edwards says: 
Our aim in BBC News is to provide the best possible service to voters in a very uncertain world. It is my job - both during the campaign and on the night - to guide viewers through the most important election for decades. I hope to put my 35 years of experience to good use and to offer our viewers a service they can trust.

Image: BBC