BBC plan to make Watchdog a segment on The One Show as bosses are ‘forced to make cuts’ as the show follows Victoria Derbyshire’s show from the schedules
BBC bosses have axed Watchdog as its own series after 40 years and more than 1,000 episodes.
The consumer rights programme has been a fixture on BBC One for 40 years, often on for two series a year, but will now feature on The One Show instead.
It will appear from Spring on the BBC show, throughout the year.
Watchdog originally started as a weekly feature on BBC One’s news magazine programme Nationwide before it became a standalone series in 1985.
A BBC source confirmed: “It’s expected to be a weekly fixture within The One Show not just twice a year so better for consumers to have year round presence to react to their issues.”
The culling of Watchdog comes just a month after it was announced that Victoria Derbyshire’s show was being dropped from the schedule.
This prompted more than 70,000 people to sign a petition to have it reinstated as investigative journalism at the BBC was dealt a huge blow.
There is expected to be a similar furore over the news that Watchdog will become just a segment of another show.
This signals a return to it’s ‘roots’ as it started as part of current affairs programme Nationwide.
After having 23 presenters, the show was still on a good stead with more than three million people tuning in during the Autumn episode, when it was last aired.
Hosts Matt Allwright and Nikki Fox will continue to be the faces of Watchdog, it’s been confirmed, and will investigate and expose the companies, institutions and fraudsters who rip off members of the public.
Alison Kirkham, controller BBC Factual, said it will mean Watchdog “will achieve even greater prominence and success in raising awareness” of viewers’ rights.
Carla-Maria Lawson, head of daytime and early peak, said: “Watchdog has been tenaciously fighting for viewers rights since the strand started 40 years ago within Nationwide, so it’s fitting that in its anniversary year we are able to open up the potential for viewers to connect with the brand through The One Show.”
A TV source told The Sun that the BBC was “forced to make cuts” and that bosses “cannot justify” Watchdog being a twice yearly show.
There has been some head scratching though as it is believed that Watchdog “still pulls in good figures and is performing a public service.”
The source continued to say that the move could “infuriate a lot of people.
News from The Mirror