The BBC has shaken up its Sunday night schedule to make room for a special announcement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The 10-minute special message to the nation, described by the BBC as ‘an update from the Prime Minister on the coronavirus epidemic’, will air at 7pm on BBC One. The announcement will be followed by a BBC News special.
This means the preceding programme, Countryfile, has been moved 15 minutes forward (now starting at 6pm).
The evening’s edition of Chris Packham show Primates has been postponed until the following Sunday (17th May), replacing Antiques Roadshow, in order to accommodate the Prime Minister’s broadcast and news special.
The change also affects Penguins: Spy in the Huddle and the normal BBC News bulletins.
The BBC1 schedule for Sunday is now as follows:
4.35pm Penguins: Spy In The Huddle
5.35pm BBC News, Regional News And Weather
7pm A Ministerial Broadcast From The Prime Minister
7.10pm BBC News Special
7.45pm Antiques Roadshow VE Day Special
8.45pm Captain Tom: We Salute You
Where can I watch Boris Johnson’s lockdown announcement?
As well as being broadcast on BBC One, the broadcast will be simulcast live on ITV with a special programme from 7pm to 7.15 pm, Channel 4 as part of an extended Channel 4 News between 6.45 and 7.30pm and on Channel 5 between 7pm and 7.10pm. This will mean that some shows on those channels have also changed their previously advertised times to accommodate the special programming. Check out our TV Guide for the latest changes to schedules.
The live address, followed by expert reaction and analysis will also be broadcast on the BBC News Channel and Sky News.
Radio coverage of Boris Johnson’s address to the nation will be available on BBC Radio 4 and BBC radio 5 Live.
What will the Prime Minister say in his announcement?
Mr Johnson is expected to address the UK’s current lockdown situation, which has been in force since 23rd March 2020. There has been large-scale speculation in the press that Mr Johnson may announce more details to the nation on the Government’s pathway to opening up the British economy again and steps to ending the current rules where almost everyone is required to stay in their home for the majority of the time.
On Friday, Welsh First Minster, Adam Drakeford, announced modest changes to the lockdown rules in Wales – allowing exercise more than once a day and the re-opening of some garden centres where they are able to ensure strict social distancing measures are put in place from Monday. The rest of the stay at home lockdown message remains the same in Wales for the next three weeks.
Although Boris Johnson is expected to start to reveal a roadmap for easing the full lockdown in England on Sunday, the Government have repeatedly stressed that there will be “no dramatic overnight change” to the current restrictions and it is expected only very modest changes to the rules will be implemented in England from Monday.
Some reports are suggesting that one of the key announcements Mr Johnson will make could outline a Covid-19 alert system for England, similar to that which is used for terror alerts. It is understood that this may comprise a scale of one to five (one being green and five being red) and could be adjusted according to the latest data available in certain areas of the country. It is thought Mr Johnson may announce that the country is currently on a level four alert, with aspirations to move soon to level three.
The Prime Minister’s previous announcement, outlining strict new measures to combat the coronavirus crisis, was watched by 27.1 million viewers in the UK and is one of the most watched television broadcasts of recent times – it is expected that this broadcast will attract similarly large national interest on the television.
You can find out more information about the government’s daily coronavirus briefing with our guide. A Ministerial Broadcast From The Prime Minister will air 7pm on BBC1, Sunday 10th May