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BBC issues pledge on weather presenters as MeteoGroup deal confirmed

The "vast majority" of BBC weather presenters will remain on screen d espite the broadcaster replacing the Met Office forecasting services with a new provider, MeteoGroup.

BBC employees include presenter Carol Kirkwood while Met Office employees include names such as John Hammond, Helen Willetts, Louise Lear and Alex Deakin.

Nigel Charters, from BBC Weather, has reassured viewers about their favourite presenters, saying: "Some things won't change."

Mr Charters, the project director for BBC Weather procurement, wrote in a blog following the announcement: " We know how fond people are of our weather presenters.

"We have taken steps so the vast majority of our well-known and much-loved presenters will continue to front BBC Weather."

The Met Office has traditionally provided the corporation with presenters, as well as data, across the BBC network of services.

MeteoGroup will take over in the spring of 2017 and will provide forecasting and graphics for weather services across BBC platforms worldwide, including TV, radio, web and mobile.

The corporation's new provider is the UK's largest private-sector weather business, with offices in more than 15 countries around the world.

The group's chairman, Richard Sadler, said: "MeteoGroup is honoured to have been chosen to partner with the world's leading broadcaster.

"The BBC is dedicated to offering the best possible weather service to its audience and it has been a demanding selection process."

The Met Office confirmed in August 2015 that it had lost the contract, marking the end of a more than 90-year partnership between the state-owned forecaster and the broadcaster.

Their data has been used by the BBC for forecasts since the first radio weather bulletin was broadcast on November 14 1922.

A few months later, in March 1923, daily radio forecasts became a fixture before the world's first television weather chart was broadcast in November 1936.

When news about the contract emerged last year, the BBC said it was legally required to open up the bidding and secure the best value for money for licence fee payers.

The corporation will still work with the Met Office when it comes to severe weather warnings while national agencies will assist with flood warnings, and they will work with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for coastal and shipping forecast information.

MeteoGroup started out as MeteoConsult in the Netherlands in 1986 and was the first major European weather business in the private sector.

Its London headquarters was established in 2005 when PA Group, the parent company of the Press Association news agency, acquired a majority share in the business.

It was sold to global growth equity firm General Atlantic in 2014.


From Belfast Telegraph