New correspondent for the BBC in Australasia

BBC News has appointed Hywel Griffith as the new Australia and New Zealand correspondent, commencing in September 2016. Hywel will be relocating to Sydney, Australia from Wales, where he is currently the BBC’s Wales correspondent.

In his new posting, Hywel will report on the latest political, economic and cultural news from the region for the BBC’s international news channel BBC World News (SKY Channel 089) and BBC.com, as well as covering news stories for the BBC’s news services within the UK.

Hywel joined the BBC in 2000 after winning a place on the graduate training scheme. A placement at BBC Wales’ Cardiff newsroom led to him basing his career there. His first on-screen role was as the West Wales reporter for BBC Wales Today in 2002, before becoming BBC Wales’ Health Correspondent in 2005. In 2012, after a stint in the London newsroom, Hywel was appointed the Wales correspondent for BBC network news. This role has seen him report regularly across the BBC’s flagship news programmes such as the News at Six and News at Ten, as well as BBC Radio 4’s Today and PM programmes.

Hywel has covered a huge range of stories, from murder trials to major international sporting fixtures, as well as several elections. His work has taken him across Europe, and has led to reporting assignments in Australia, USA and the Caribbean.

Andrew Roy, Foreign Editor, BBC News comments, “Hywel is an experienced journalist who has enjoyed a long career with the BBC in Wales covering some of the most significant domestic stories. I know he will embrace this next chapter getting to the heart of the biggest stories in Australia, New Zealand and across the Pacific for the BBC’s audiences in the UK and globally.”

Hywel comments, “This is an incredible opportunity, and one which I relish, as there is so much happening in the region at the moment. Some of the issues are already familiar from my time working in the UK, such as concerns over immigration, the economy and the future of heavy industries. But there many other stories which need to be told – around the changing shape of society, the region’s relationship with the rest of the world, and the challenge of environmental change. Until now my time in Australia and New Zealand has been as a visitor, but I look forward to getting to know the region and telling the stories which I know will be of interest to the BBC’s audiences around the world.”

Hywel Griffith replaces Jon Donnison who has concluded his three year posting in Australia.

AUDIO: BBC host pulled off air after drunken last day

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BBC Radio’s Paula White was pulled off air after appearing to be drunk on her last day.

White has defended herself saying she was not drunk but had “had a couple of drinks.”

Judge for yourself….

Staff Picks: BBC profiles music legend John Williams

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Film music legend John Williams speaks exclusively to BBC Radio 3’s Composer Of The Week, with more than four hours of music spanning Williams’ entire career – including his scores to Star Wars, E.T., Schindler’s List, Harry Potter.and many many more.

John Williams is probably the most recognised – and popular – composer in the world today. In a career spanning more than half a century, he’s delighted and entranced audiences with his scores to an unparalleled roll-call of movie blockbusters, and taken film music out of the cinema and into the living rooms of millions of people worldwide. He’s been nominated for more Oscars than anyone in history, after Walt Disney.

In Williams’ 80th birthday year, he discusses his remarkable life in music and film with Donald Macleod, in an interview recorded last Autumn at Universal Studios, Los Angeles – with five hour-long episodes showcasing some of Williams’ most beloved film scores and works for the concert hall.

Listen here.

Prime TV renews BBC Worldwide programming deal

Prime Television is delighted to announce a long-term renewal with BBC Worldwide to ensure New Zealand viewers see original Top Gear episodes first free-to-air.

The BAFTA and Emmy award winning quirky British motoring lifestyle show, hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, has long been a favourite with Prime viewers. The agreement also includes first run episodes of international versions of Top Gear Australia and Top Gear US.

Channel manager Kathy Wright said demand for great British content is stronger than ever with series such as Doctor Who, Scott & Bailey, Downton Abbey, Monroe and the channel’s Weekend Murders slot, featuring Midsomer Murders, Lewis, Marple and more, proving incredibly popular.

“We are delighted to be able to complement our programme line up with quality British content from BBC Worldwide. Prime prides itself in having a diverse, eclectic schedule with a broad appeal and our renewal also includes a significant package of quintessential BBC British drama, factual content and natural history which adds a further dimension to our prime-time offerings, particularly for those who are looking for more intelligent viewing,” she said.

New BBC Worldwide content coming to Prime includes Case Sensitive: The Point of Rescue a psychological police thriller of identity, guilt and the dark side of motherhood based on the award-winning novel by Sophie Hannah, starring Olivia Williams (An Education, The Sixth Sense) and Darren Boyd (PA’s Green Wing); Silk, a fast-paced law drama starring Maxine Peake (Criminal Justice II, Little Dorrit) and Rupert Penry-Jones (Spooks, Whitechapel); Silent Witness, one of the BBC’s most successful and longest-running crime dramas; and Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer on the hunt for the perfect holiday, from the budget and bijou to the grand and glamorous in Vacation, Vacation, Vacation. The factual and natural history content includes Madagascar, the latest from long-time Prime favourite Sir David Attenborough.

“We are very pleased to be able to provide content of this quality and range,” said Robyn Campbell, BBC Worldwide’s Sales Manager, New Zealand. “With smart storytelling, entertaining factual and stunning natural history, this diverse array of titles is sure to make a big impact on New Zealand audiences.”

“We are simply thrilled to have secured these titles, with more to be announced in the coming months,” said Ms Wright.

– Prime TV