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BBC poaches ITV talent and promotes its own in naming anchors for flagship daily news programme on new Scotland channel

By Sam Forsdick

The BBC has announced the two presenters for its nine o’clock news bulletin set to air on the new BBC Scotland channel from February next year.

Rebecca Curran and Martin Geissler will present the daily, hour-long news programme covering UK and national stories from a Scottish perspective.

Curran currently works for the BBC in its Aberdeen newsroom, while Geissler is a correspondent with rival broadcaster ITV News.

During Curran’s two years in the Aberdeen newsroom she has broken stories including an exclusive interview with a rape survivor and a raid on a puppy farm in Aberdeenshire.

Speaking of her appointment, she said: “This is an amazing opportunity for me personally and professionally, at what is an exciting time for broadcasting in Scotland.

“I have enjoyed every minute of working in the Aberdeen newsroom, covering a fantastic patch with great colleagues, but I am looking forward to this next challenge.”

Curran started her career in the newsroom at Northsound Radio, and then spent three years at STV before joining the BBC in 2016.

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Geissler began working for ITV News in 2002, serving as its Brussels, Africa and Scotland correspondent.

While there he reported on the Iraq war, Hurricane Katrina, the Boxing Day tsunami, the conflict in Darfur, the crisis inside Zimbabwe and Donald Trump’s election.

Geissler started his television career with Sky News in Scotland and has worked as a reporter and presenter for STV as well as a correspondent for Sky Sports.

He said: “I’ve seen every stage of my career as a privilege and this is an exciting new chapter.

“The opportunity to front a fresh programme, covering the world from a Scottish perspective, was impossible to resist.

“The nine o’clock news will be a bold programme with its own character and personality, produced by a talented team. I can’t wait to get started.”

Programme editor Hayley Valentine said: “Rebecca has gained a reputation as one of the BBC’s most talented reporters over the last two years, and brings with her a passion for original journalism that will continue to shape the agenda on the show every night.

“She’s also smart, warm and engaging.”

She added: “Martin has earned his status as one of the stand out journalists on British television, covering some of the major world events of the last 25 years.

“His knowledge of world, UK, and Scottish affairs is difficult to beat, while his hunger to get beneath the skin of a story will be a huge asset to the new programme.

“I’m delighted he’s chosen to join BBC Scotland at such an important time.

“What the two of them have in common is their energy, curiosity, drive to set the agenda, passion for original stories and desire to put the audience at the heart of their journalism.”

The BBC announced the launch of a new TV channel in Scotland in February last year. It was given the green light by Ofcom last month.

The new channel is expected to create more than 80 new journalism jobs.

Gary Smith, head of news and current affairs at BBC Scotland, said: “The appointment of Rebecca and Martin is brilliant news.

“They’ll bring a commitment to bold, challenging and original journalism to the channel and our audiences.

“With Rebecca and Martin at the front of a talented team, the news at nine o’clock will be able to compete with the strongest TV news programmes in Scotland and anywhere across the UK.”

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