Yorkshire features in first episode of new BBC politics show about the north of England

A new BBC political show on Sunday mornings will focus on issues across the north of England - aiming to bring "humour and critical friendliness" to the viewing schedule.

Politics North will be shown immediately after the Andrew Marr Show this week and "will be more than a translation of Westminster politics".

Leeds.

Leeds.

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The first episode is set to feature an interview with Laura Collins, editor of the Yorkshire Post's Leeds-focused sister title the Yorkshire Evening Post.

Tim Burke, editor of Politics England at the BBC, said: “We should be a champion of truly local politics that affects so much of our audience and the population in general every day.

“The programme should be cheeky without being rude, with penetrating but polite interviews and segments which engage in new, refreshing and fun ways.

“At the same time we should challenge the audience and broaden understanding of how local politics functions."

Yorkshire Evening Post editor Laura Collins.

Yorkshire Evening Post editor Laura Collins.

Director of BBC England Helen Thomas said: “It’s never been more important to listen to people and the local issues which affect them."

Local stories have the power to shape the national picture and that was proved like never before in the 2019 General Election, she believes, claiming that Politics North will “put local democracy at the top of the agenda".

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The half-hour programme will be shown at 10am on Sundays on BBC One, straight after the Andrew Marr Show, and the broadcaster says it "will be more than a translation of Westminster politics".

“What was clear from the general election is that while people are interested in Brexit, they’re also passionate about local issues,” Ms Thomas said.

Guests each week will include politicians, industry leaders and experts.

Ms Thomas said: “But it’s people who will be at the heart of this programme. What is firing up the audience, what are their concerns and what stories do they want to hear about how local services are delivered?”

Over time, the programme will be exploiting as many digital tools as possible to engage the audience in conversations and offer longer form interviews and debates on platforms such as BBC iPlayer, the broadcaster said.

Politics North’s first programme will air this Sunday.

Mrs Collins will discuss the Evening Post's recent campaigning after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps visited Leeds.

The BBC has billed it as "conversational, fresh looking, exciting, fast-paced and accessible, using humour and critical friendliness".

Ms Thomas said: “The audience is well served by coverage of national politics on the BBC - but it’s our job to make sure we delve into what is happening on the ground in the North, discussing issues that really matter to local viewers.

“It will be packed full of interesting interviews, stories from the area and have a lightness of touch to make sure it’s engaging as many people as possible.”