Five Live opts for 24-hour coverage of September 11

Ground Zero: Mayo will be on site for Five Live

BBC Radio Five Live is to clear its schedules for round-the-clock coverage to mark the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the US.

The news station will have its main presenters in New York, Washington, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East, who will contribute throughout the day from 5am on Wednesday to 5am on Thursday.

Simon Mayo, who was on air when news of the first attack broke, will be at Ground Zero in New York and will broadcast from the remembrance ceremony there; breakfast presenter Victoria Derbyshire will be in a diner next to the fire station that lost many of its crew; and Peter Allen, who will be close to the White House, will report on the memorial ceremony in Washington.

Julian Worricker will be in Kabul, Shelagh Fogarty will be in Jerusalem with Lesley Ashmall, while Up All Night presenter Rhod Sharpe will be in Ames, a Midwest town in Iowa, where a public debate will take place.

"It is probably the most ambitious broadcast outside of sport that we’ve done. And it means we won’t have our main presenters the day before or after," said Steve Kyte, commissioning editor for news. "We wanted to avoid doing something mawkish, so we thought by going to all the countries affected we could look ahead and see how we can move forward."

Sky News presenter Jeremy Thompson will be the mainstay of the news channel’s coverage of events, based at Ground Zero for four days along with Simon McCoy.

The 24-hour news channel will also be showing a special hour-long documentary that will be shown in full or in half-hour slots from 7 to 10 September. September 11th – In Their Own Words will include interviews with survivors of the attacks, the rescuers and the families of those who died.

ITV’s coverage of events on 11 September is being anchored by Sir Trevor McDonald in New York for 90 minutes from 12.30pm, with highlights at 5.30pm. Washington correspondent Robert Moore will give an overview of the response in the US to the anniversary, James Mates will report from Ground Zero and Julian Manyon will be back in Afghanistan.

Channel 4 News will broadcast a live five-minute programme that will cover the two-minute silence to mark the first attack on the World Trade Center. The evening programme will be anchored from Ground Zero and will include special reports from across America and worldwide.


By Julie Tomlin

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