BBC Strike Action Has Mixed Impact

24 May 2005

Monday's twenty-four hour strike at UK broadcasting icon the BBC, called by the National Union of Journalists, BECTU and Amicus staff unions, had a varied impact on the corporation's radio, TV and online services.

News output was particularly hard hit with BBC News 24 and BBC World Service running a mix of live and pre-recorded programming. The flagship One O'Clock news bulletin was a 30-minute broadcast, simulcast on BBC News 24 and dealing solely with national and international news. Local news, which normally follows the national bulletin, was cancelled.

Refusing to cross union picket lines were such eminent broadcast egos as John Humphries and Jeremy Paxman - a brace of fearsome interviewers whose absence gave Britain's quavering politicians twenty-four hours respite. Other high profile BBC presenters such as Natasha Kaplinsky, Jeremy Vine and Fiona Bruce also displayed their solidarity with the strikers.

Current affairs and news programmes excepted, the majority of TV and radio programmes were unaffected by the strike, most being pre-recorded.

Thousands of BBC staff walked out at midnight Sunday and returned as the witching hour struck last night. They were protesting at plans by BBC director general Mark Thompson to cut 3,750 jobs. More strikes are planned if BBC management continues to refuse to discuss the cuts with the unions.

Data sourced from BBC Online and BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff