Belfast Telegraph

Star names join BBC pensions strike

BBC radio and TV news programmes have been disrupted today after thousands of journalists, including newsreaders and presenters, went on strike in a bitter row over pensions.

Presenters including Radio Five Live's Nicky Campbell took part in the action and TV newsreaders Fiona Bruce and Huw Edwards were expected to join in.

BBC Breakfast on BBC1 was replaced by BBC News 24, fronted by Simon McCoy.

Radio 4's flagship Today programme was forced off the air and journalists said they expected that the World At One and PM programmes would also be scrapped.

Members of the National Union of Journalists began their 48-hour stoppage at midnight, immediately mounting picket lines across the country, including Bush House, Broadcasting House and TV Centre in London.

The union is planning another 48-hour strike on November 15 and 16, with threats of further disruption over Christmas.

Pre-recorded programmes filled Today's three-hour slot, while Radio Five was also forced to cancel a number of live programmes and replace them with pre-recorded shows.

BBC News was also playing recorded shows rather than live through-the-night news bulletins.

Jeremy Dear, general secretary of the NUJ, told the Press Association: "We are having a significant impact on news and current affairs programmes, demonstrating the depth of anger at the pensions proposals."

A BBC spokeswoman said: "We are disappointed that the NUJ have gone ahead with today's industrial action. This is despite the other four unions accepting our revised offer, and feedback from staff that indicates the same."

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