|ITV News Central|
|Presented by||Sameena Ali-Khan|
|Theme music composer||David Hewson|
|Opening theme||Global Broadcast|
|Ending theme||Global broadcast|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Executive||Liz Hannam (Head of News)|
|Production location(s)||Gas Street Studios, Birmingham, West Midlands, England|
|Running time||30 minutes (main 18:00 show)|
|Original network||ITV ITV HD|
|Picture format||16:9, 576i 1080p HD across various regions where no HD Channel Available PAL|
|Original release||1 January 1982 -|
|Preceded by||ATV Today|
|Related shows||ITV News|
Launched on Friday 1 January 1982, replacing ATV Today, Central News was initially a pan-regional service based in Birmingham airing a 6pm programme on weeknights alongside shorter weekday bulletins after ITN's News at One and News at Ten. During the rest of the decade, the region was eventually broken up into three sub-regions, receiving their own news service.
Separate services for the West and East of the region were planned to begin from day one, but an industrial dispute over the launch of the East Midlands service - and the opening of new studios in Nottingham - resulted in the entire region continuing to receive a sole pan-regional programme from Birmingham. The launch of the Nottingham-based service was initially delayed for a month,. but the dispute was not resolved until September 1983, when the news service for the East Midlands was finally introduced. Within a few months, Nottingham operations were moved from a temporary set-up at Giltbrook to Central's new complex at nearby Lenton Lane.
On Monday 9 January 1989, a separate South Midlands service covering Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and parts of Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire and Wiltshire was launched from a new computerised news centre in Abingdon. Thereafter, the Birmingham edition covered solely the West Midlands region (Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, the West Midlands and Worcestershire).
Originally, the main weekday evening programme did not have a different title from other bulletins. This finally changed in the late 1990s, when the title Central News at Six was adopted - coinciding with being rescheduled from 6.25pm to 6pm. By Monday 24 July 2006, the 6pm programme had been renamed again, to Central Tonight (except for the South Midlands edition, which retained the Central News at Six name until its final 6pm programme on 1 December 2006). By December 2006, Central News bulletins during GMTV had become pan-regional across all three sub-regions. Weekend bulletins became pan-regional across the West and East Midlands earlier in the year, whilst the South Midlands retained its own weekend bulletins right up until the end of Central News South on 3 December 2006.
On 4 December 2006, the South Midlands sub-region was disbanded, as follows:
Central News bulletins during GMTV were now pan-regional across the West Midlands and East Midlands only. Meanwhile, in what had now become the ITV Thames Valley region, bulletins during GMTV were pan-regional across the entire combined ITV Meridian and ITV Thames Valley regions (i.e., the entire South and South East of England), and branded as GMTV News. While weekend Meridian News bulletins were pan-regional in the South and South East sub-regions, Thames Valley Today/Tonight continued to produce its own weekend bulletins.
As of 23 February 2009, lunchtime and early evening bulletins in the West and East Midlands on weekdays became pan-regional. The final sub-regional 6pm editions of Central Tonight were broadcast on Friday 20 February 2009. Sameena Ali-Khan and Bob Warman were announced as main anchors. Matt Teale rejoined the programme on 2 February 2012 and job shares with Warman.
The previous sub-regional elements were:
Both sub-regional editions utilise the same presenter(s) and studio, therefore one of the two opt-outs (depending on the days news) is pre-recorded 'as live' shortly before broadcast.
On Monday 14 January 2013, the news service was relaunched and rebranded as ITV News Central.
On 23 July 2013, proposals for a more localised Channel 3 news service were approved - latterly, ITV News Central extended the East and West opt-out services from 6 minutes to at least 20 minutes during the half hour 6pm programme, in addition to separate lunchtime and weekend bulletins for the two sub-regions. The late night bulletins are also retained.
In the former Thames Valley region, plans were approved for a 10-minute opt out within the 6pm edition of ITV News Meridian for the south of England and a late night bulletin after News at Ten. The expanded sub-regional service launched on Monday 16 September 2013.
ITV News Central airs on ITV Central seven days a week