North East Tonight – Part 7 

29 March 2006

It was a sad day. On 1 July 2005, the last news bulletin was broadcast from Tyne Tees’s studios at City Road. The building had been used for broadcasting since the station went on air in 1959.

However in the new world of ITV plc, it was one of many regional studio complexes which would face the axe. On 2 July 2005, broadcasting commenced from Tyne Tees’s new, downsized home of Television House – a building in the Watermark Business Park, near the MetroCentre in Gateshead.

Mark Waugh in the new studio in 2005

Mark Warr presents the first bulletin from Television House, during GMTV

For the news team, it saw a new way of working. As part of the move, the newsroom went digital, which naturally resulted in some redundancies. It also saw a new set – pretty much a replica of the set used for London Tonight since 2004, but using a shot of the banks of the Tyne River as it’s backdrop.

Mike Neville in a wide shot of the new studioMike Neville sitting in the new studio

The first show also saw the temporary return of Mike Neville, who had been off air for a few weeks, and who would, in the end, never actually return to the programme.

The size of the studio was also notable – looking cramped and uncomfortable. Also notably absent was a proper desk – the illuminated table leaving the presenter looking slightly uncomfortable in wide shots of the studio.

Mike Neville hands over to Jonathan Morrell, standing at the plasma screenJonathan Morrell, standing at the plasma screen

The new set also left little room for the co-presenter, now resorting to presenting the roundup of the news whilst standing in the gap between the sofa. Distinctly less flexible than the long desks of old.

Side shot of the studio wall with Mike

The need to show the presenter sitting ‘comfortably’ in their studio, also leads to some slightly odd shots of empty sofas.

Mike and Bob mull the days goings onBob Johnson

However, as long as there is room for Bob, we can all be happy.

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