The Wokingham Paper

New BBC political show for the South will be 'cheeky without being rude'

BBC politics South
The logo of the new Politics South programme

POLITICIANS across the south will be taking part in a new TV show launching this Sunday. 

And the aim is to show how local stories can help develop the national picture. 

The 30-minute show Politics South, will be screened after the Andrew Marr Show at 10am from this weekend and BBC bosses are promising that it will be more than just a look at Westminster. 

“It’s never been more important to listen to people and the local issues which affect them,” says the Director of BBC England, Helen Thomas. She says Politics South will “put local democracy at the top of the agenda“.

It will be conversational, fresh-looking, exciting, fast-paced and accessible, using humour and critical friendliness. The aim is to make sure the programme also covers the non-Westminster politics that happen in the villages, towns and cities across the BBC South region.

Guests each week will include local politicians, industry leaders and experts. “But it’s people who will be at the heart of this programme. What is firing up the audience, what are their concerns and what stories do they want to hear about how local services are delivered?” Ms Thomas said.

“What was clear from the general election is that while people are interested in Brexit, they’re also passionate about local issues,” Mrs Thomas said.

And the show will also offer longer form interviews and debates on platforms such as BBC iPlayer.

“The audience is well served by coverage of national politics on the BBC – but it’s our job to make sure we delve into what is happening on the ground in the South, discussing issues that really matter to local viewers,” Ms Thomas said.

“It will be packed full of interesting interviews, stories from the area and have a lightness of touch to make sure it’s engaging as many people as possible.”

The new programme will feature local talent including local radio political journalists. 

Tim Burke, Editor of Politics England, said: “We should be a champion of truly local politics that affects so much of our audience and the population in general every day.

“The programme should be cheeky without being rude, with penetrating but polite interviews and segments which engage in new, refreshing and fun ways.

“At the same time, we should challenge the audience and broaden understanding of how local politics functions.”

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