Why is the BBC splashing out your licence fee on 22 weather forecasters when the segments last just two minutes long on average?
- BBC’s main TV and radio channels are hosted by 22 weather forecasters
- A further 23 presenters can be seen on the BBC’s regional programmes
It may be Britain’s favourite topic – but does the BBC really need 22 national forecasters to tell us about the weather?
The astonishing number of presenters are appearing across the corporation’s television and radio output, anchoring forecasts which are, on average, just two minutes long.
Twenty-two forecasters are presenting the weather on the BBC’s main TV and radio channels, while a further 23 can be seen on its regional programmes.
Viewers and corporation staff are questioning why – at a time when the licence fee is increasingly unpopular – there seems to be a different weather presenter for each bulletin.
One Twitter user said: ‘Why does the BBC have so many weather presenters? We have the national, regional, and then superfluous ones on in the evening.’
Among the BBC’s most high- profile forecasters is Tomasz Schafernaker (pictured), 44, who was voted the UK’s most popular weather presenter in a public poll
Last night, the BBC was criticised by pressure group TaxPayers’ Alliance, which is fighting to stop taxpayers being forced financially to support the BBC.
Spokesman Joe Ventre told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Taxpayers have had enough of funding bloated broadcasting.
‘Under the licence-fee system, the BBC forces households to cover the costs of an enormous payroll. The Beeb should do Brits a favour by waving goodbye to the TV tax and taking full responsibility for its own finances.’
Among the BBC’s most high- profile forecasters is Tomasz Schafernaker, 44, who was voted the UK’s most popular weather presenter in a public poll.
The Polish host joined the BBC Weather Centre in 2000 as a broadcast assistant and became the youngest man to present the broadcaster’s regional forecasts at the age of just 22.
Mr Schafernaker, who trained at the Met Office college in Exeter, Devon, is best known for raising ‘the finger’ at former BBC news presenter Simon McCoy when he thought he was off screen.
Then there is Carol Kirkwood – one of the main weather presenters on Breakfast, who also appears regularly across the corporation’s other outlets.
She rejoined the BBC in 1998 and has since presented across all of its weather bulletins.
Carol Kirkwood (left)– one of the main weather presenters on Breakfast – also appears regularly across the corporation’s other outlets. Owain Wyn Evans (right) is among the other big name presenters
Louise Lear (left) is another presenter for BBC Weather as well as Matt Taylor (right)
Alina Jenkins (left) was the main weather presenter for BBC South Today until she left the programme in 2006. Darren Bett (right) joined the BBC in 1994 as the main weather presenter for BBC Look North
Ben Rich (right) , 38 – another popular face – began as the weather presenter at BBC Midlands Today in 2009 and three years later moved on to the national airwaves. Helen Willetts is also a meteorologist for BBC Weather
Lucy Martin (left), who is the BBC’s first disabled weather presenter, joined the corporation in 2015. Chris Fawkes (right) is also a popular presenter
Sarah Keith-Lucas (left) studied Geography at Durham University before becoming a presenter. Simon King (right) was assigned to BBC Weather in August 2008, presenting across the entire BBC News output
Susan Powell (left) began broadcasting from November 2001 and now broadcasts across a range of BBC channels. Following a successful and popular time at Reporting Scotland, Steve Danaos (right) joined the BBC’s national news channel to present regular forecasts in 2013
Sabrina Lee (pictured) joined the corporation in October 2019. Prior to that she spent six years as a Meteorologist at MeteoGroup
Prior to this, the 61-year-old worked for two years as a presenter on The Weather Channel and then as a forecaster on Talk Radio’s ‘Drivetime’ shows.
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Owain Wyn Evans is among the other big name presenters. As well as reading national updates, the 39-year-old is also the senior weather presenter for the nightly news programme North West Tonight and is a reporter for The One Show.
In April 2020, at the start of the Covid pandemic, a video of him playing the drums to the main BBC News theme tune just moments after he had finished presenting a weather report from home went viral.
Ben Rich, 38 – another popular face – began as the weather presenter at BBC Midlands Today in 2009 and three years later moved on to the national airwaves.
Lucy Martin, who is the BBC’s first disabled weather presenter, joined the corporation in 2015.
Ms Martin, who was born without her right forearm and hand, has presented regional weather bulletins on East Midlands Today, North West Tonight, South East Today and London News. Meanwhile, Sabrina Lee joined the corporation in October 2019 after spending six years as a meteorologist at MeteoGroup.
Other popular presenters include Chris Fawkes, Stav Danaos, Darren Bett, Louise Lear, Alina Jenkins and Helen Willetts.
In August 2015, the BBC announced that it was changing its weather forecasting provider to ‘secure the best value for money for licence-fee payers’.
At the time, it said that the contract change would save the corporation ‘millions of pounds’.
The contract ended in March 2018 and MeteoGroup took over providing meteorological data for television, radio and online.
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