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Series / News at Ten

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Bong! (break for bed music)

ITV's most famous news programme, running from 1967 to 1999, then being brought back from 2001-2004 and again from 2008 onwards. The Revival has not been doing too well ratings wise, peaking at only 4.3 million, largely as the BBC pushed their own news back an hour to capitalise on an horrific example of Executive Meddling.


Its main anchor currently is Tom Bradby, and viewers certainly got what they ordered when his 'conversational' style of news arrived in late 2015. He's often drafted in when there's a particularly political news story or something he can react to with his Comically Serious facial expressions. He's replaced by Julie Etchingham, Rageh Omaar or occasionally Chris Ship or Paul Brand when he's not needed. Notable very much for Trevor McDonald, a trope of his own.


And this show always ends with "And Finally", a fluff piece after the real news has been covered, a more light-hearted or Heartwarming way to end the show after an intense half hour of news - a novelty when this show first came about.

This is ITV Tropes at Ten... with Troper McDonald:

  • Actor Allusion: When Trevor McDonald left in 2006, the 1992 News at Ten theme tune was played as a tribute to him.
  • Alphabet News Network: An interesting swap. Originally it was called "ITNnote  News at Ten"note , and continuity announcers would often Name Drop the company such as "and now we'll link to ITN in London, for the News at Ten." Since 1999 or so, ITN was replaced with ITV in the titles.
  • Carried by the Host: Tom Bradby remains a significant draw for many of the modern viewers of News at Ten, given the show often lags behind the BBC in the ratings these days. The facial expressions... the tie choices...
  • Catchphrase: "Hello, and Welcome to News At Ten." said by Trevor McDonald.
  • Chroma Key: Yes, really - the studio isn't real! In fact, look carefully behind the presenter at the start and you'll notice that same natural disaster has been playing on loop since 2013...
  • Drop the Cow: NoT liked to end the half-hour on an off-beat or ridiculous news item, largely to fill any odd space at the end. For a long time there was no official term for this until one day they covered a frankly bizarre cultural/religious ceremony from Spain that honoured the local patron saint; this involved, for time-honoured reasons, getting a donkey up a church tower and then gently lowering it on ropes to ground level. NoT became interested when the people lowering the donkey lost their grip on the ropes, and... from that moment on, the bizarre story that ended the night's news broadcast to Great Britain became known as The Dead Donkey. If there was no odd spare time to fill at the end, or if more serious/important news over-ran, the show had no option other than to "drop the dead donkey". It became such a recognised piece of broadcast news jargon that it became the name of a satirical comedy show set in a TV newsroom. note 
  • Drinking on Duty: long-standing news anchor Reginald Bosanquet, who was notorious for his red face, slightly "not-altogther-with-it" demeanour, and an extremely slurred voice. His alcoholism was an open secret in the business; ITN bosses put up with this as it was suspected viewing figures were boosted by people tuning in to see if he lost it completely.
  • Foreign Correspondent: Rohit Kachroo became a hit with viewers for his coverage on the Ukraine war, and later the Israel-Palestine conflict in 2024.
  • Long Runner: 1967 to 1999, then 2001 to 2004 then 2008 onwards.
  • Oh, Crap!: On one occasion, Reginald Bosanquet wished co-presenter Anna Ford's mother a happy birthday, having somehow found out the date... but she had died some years before.
  • Rearrange the Song: The theme tune was rehashed in a slightly higher pitch in 1992. It was done again for the 2008 and 2016 reboots.
  • Revival: in 2001 and then again in 2008.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Trevor McDonald┬ákept coming back... and then back... and then back again whenever ITV needed to boost ratings, with varying degrees of success.
  • Thanking the Viewer: Invoked by every presenter at the end, to keep the feelgood spirit after 'And finally...' alive.
  • We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: The show unexpectedly hit the headlines in 2019 after the fire alarm went off at ITN during the broadcast. Tom Bradby simply had to say goodbye to the viewers before ITV put up a slide with one of these. The intention was to continue the broadcast after it was all sored, but when producers got back into the studio ITV had already cut to the next programme in the schedule.
  • Yet Another Baby Panda: Mostly at the end, with the cute good news story or bizarre news story. See Drop the Cow above.