BBC repeated same programme 11 times in a month after Papers show axe

BBC: Guide dog programme was repeated every night on News Channel

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On today’s (March 25) edition of Newswatch on BBC Breakfast, host Samira Ahmed informed viewers about one programme which had been repeated many times this month. The constant repeats left some audience members confused and writing to Newswatch about the matter. The BBC programme in question was a documentary about guide dogs for the visually impaired.

Ahmed said: “A valued and appreciated documentary then first broadcast on the BBC News Channel at 10.40pm on the evening of March 1st.

“It was repeated at the same time the following night and the next night and again at 10.40pm every evening Monday to Friday the following week.

“Again, this week, it’s been on every day at that same time, previously occupied by the Paper Review.”

Ahmed said the Paper Review was recently axed by the BBC in a “much-regretted decision” and the documentary appeared to take its place.

One viewer contacted Newswatch to express their regret at the cancellation and noticing the repeats.

Viewer Arlene Raw said: “So, I’m somebody who really used to enjoy watching the papers on BBC News at around 10.30pm every evening and so I was gutted when it was pulled at the start of January this year.

“What I am disappointed by is the BBC, certainly for the last few weeks, seem to be showing the same news article and input for the same time every night.

“And while I am hugely in respect of the reporter that’s been doing the feature on guide dogs and the shortage of them, and I really respect that, I’m just disappointed it’s the same article at the same time every evening.

“And I feel like I would really like to have the papers back or certainly a variety of news articles rather than the same thing every day.”

A BBC spokesperson told Newswatch: “We want to make the most out of our journalism, and therefore do show some programmes more than once.

“We appreciate the feedback on the number of repeats and we are looking into the issue.”

The documentary was made to highlight the pandemic’s impact on the dramatic drop in guide dog volunteers.

The charity supplying guide dogs lost a third of its volunteers and the guide dog service was paused during the COVID-19 health crisis.

But since the documentary was shown, the charity supplying guide dogs has had a record number of people applying to become volunteers with 450,000 so far.

In fact, the show was praised by viewer Jim Spence, who said: “Lovely guide dog feature on BBC News just now.

He added in his message: “I can think of few more worthwhile charities to back.”

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Newswatch takes a closer look at BBC News and features viewers’ comments with the programme holding the channel to account.

Shortly, before the repeat segment, Ahmed said: “As the BBC’s new unified channel to replace the current domestic channel and international new channel approaches its launch, viewers have been noticing more changes in the schedule for UK audiences.

“As of last week, The Context presented by Christian Fraser has been halved from an hour to 30 minutes.”

Ahmed went on to note: “Well, also spotted by a number of viewers is a rise in the number of programmes repeated on the News Channel.”

Today’s episode of BBC Breakfast also saw host Naga Munchetty left perplexed by her colleague Charlie Stayt during a science segment.

BBC Breakfast airs daily on BBC One from 6am

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