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James Cook returning to Scotland as chief news correspondent for nightly 9pm bulletin on new BBC Scotland channel

BBC North America correspondent James Cook will return to Scotland to take up the role of chief news correspondent for the corporation’s nightly news programme on the new BBC Scotland channel.

The channel will launch early next year, bringing national and international news to Scottish viewers.

Cook served as Scotland Correspondent for BBC News from 2008 until he moved to join the BBC’s Los Angeles bureau three years aho.

He has reported on stories across the US and covered US President Donald Trump’s recent UK and Europe visit, travelling with the president.

He recently had a lucky escape while delivering a radio report about Hurricane Lane in Hawaii when he was clipped by a falling tree.

In an audio recording of the broadcast the tree can be heard cracking before Cook makes a groaning sound, but later adds: “I’m alright”.  He can be heard saying that the tree had “smashed” his laptop.

Cook’s appointment follows those of ITN news correspondent Martin Geissler and BBC journalist Rebecca Curran as joint anchors of the 9pm news bulletin.

The new BBC Scotland channel was first announced in February last year, with 80 new posts for journalists reportedly created.

It will have a budget of about £30m a year (equivalent to that of BBC4) including a £19m yearly investment and existing £10m funding.

The creation of the channel represents the biggest BBC investment in Scotland in more than 20 years.

Programme editor Hayley Valentine said: “James has star quality and will be a huge asset. This is one of the key appointments on the new programme and James was the outstanding candidate.

“He will bring all of his editorial rigour, authority and energy, and we are delighted that he has chosen to come back to Scotland at such an exciting and important moment in BBC Scotland’s history.”

BBC Scotland’s head of news, Gary Smith, added: “James has a fantastic track record of journalism with the BBC and his return highlights the ambition we have for the new programme.”

The news programme will broadcast from BBC Scotland’s Pacific Quay centre in Glasgow.

Picture: BBC

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