The Evening Standard’s new TV channel, London Live, will be launching on March 31, and it’s being hyped as the most important launch in the UK since Channel 5 came to our screens in 1997.
As the excitement for the station builds, we met with one of the news planners at London Live headquarters to understand more about what they are hoping to achieve.
The new 24-hour channel promises that their content will be ‘modern, urban, knowing and celebratory’ – and it will, as the name suggests, focus on London.
The station has announced that they’ll be kicking off with five and half hours of news a day, with a one hour current affairs programme.
The planner at London Live revealed that they hope their news programming will be an example of where the industry will be heading. The channel will boast brand new studios and state of the art technology, which will allow them to broadcast from locations without having to use cumbersome satellite trucks.
London Live is also hoping their content will be groundbreaking. The planner told us that, unlike other news programmes, they will be looking to give air-time to positive headlines about London, and hope to broach appropriate topics with a sense of humour and irony. They will also try and make stories as visually exciting as possible, avoiding ‘talking heads’ in the studio where possible, preferring to film out on location across London instead.
On top of that, they’ve commissioned three new series to reel in Londoners; two of these will be factual lifestyle programmes and the other will be an entertainment show. You’ll also be able to catch classics that were set in London like ‘Whitehall’ and ‘Spaced’.
The channel will also be offering dedicated coverage of events in London that have never been given such big slots on TV before. For example, you’ll be able to see all the sparkles, fun and glitter of the Notting Hill Carnival and all the sweat, tears and laughs of London’s Bicycle-Polo.
London Live has hand-picked four presenters, who will host the news and current affairs programmes: Gavin Ramjaun, Claudia Liza Armah, Louise Scodie and Marc Edwards. All in their thirties, the four live in different parts of the city and are all mad about the capital. You may recognise them from their previous stints on different TV shows. Gavin has come from Daybreak, Louise from Bid TV, Claudia fronted BBC3’s 60 Seconds and Marc was the voice of Danny Boyle’s 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.
Behind the scenes, London Live has a strong team of employees who will run the channel. The Chief Executive is Andrew Mullins, who led a remarkable financial turnaround at the Evening Standard. Responsible for the daily five and half hours of News and Current Affairs is Vikki Cook, who has worked at major news stations Sky, Channel 5 and the BBC. Heading up the programming is Jonathan Boseley, who spent years at the Disney Channel overseeing their programming and production.
According to our contact, the London Live staff all share the same passion in creating a new kind of TV that will serve Londoners by providing fantastic news and programming. They also want the channel to provide a platform for fresh talent to showcase their work. Their brand identity is one of many examples of how they are dishing out opportunities to Londoners who are looking for their big break. Each year the graphic artists responsible for the branding of London Live will change to give new, up and coming artists a chance to have the creative reigns. Yoni Alter together with Kemistry and Kara Atwell-Bennett has designed this year’s branding identity. You’ll see the artists’ four idents of iconic London sites: the City, Southbank, Box Park, Oxford Circus and Wembley at the launch, with more rumoured to be released throughout the year.
After going to the London Live headquarters we couldn’t help but get excited about the shiny new station. The planner promises it’ll give Londoners something fresh, different and personal, and by the sounds of it, it’s looking like those promises aren’t empty.