ITV has confirmed it is extending News at Ten and broadcasting a Leaders' Debate as part of its plans to cover the snap election on 8th June.
The 10 minute extension will start on 8th May 2017, with News at Ten followed by regional news as normal. Additionally, weekly political show Peston on Sunday will have a series extension, with programmes now scheduled through until 25th June.
ITV will also broadcast primetime half-hour Tonight programmes presented by Julie Etchingham ahead of the election. These Tonight Election Specials - starting with Tim Farron on May 8th, followed by further films featuring interviews with Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, Paul Nuttall, as well as Nicola Sturgeon, Leanne Wood and Caroline Lucas - will focus on the leaders covering their lives, interests, policies and their vision for the future.
ITV will again broadcast a major debate programme in 2017, inviting the leaders of the seven parties that were represented in the 2015 ITV Leaders’ Debate – the Conservatives, Labour, SNP, Liberal Democrats, UKIP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens. The ITV Leaders’ Debate will air on Thursday 18th May at 8pm, and will be moderated by ITV News anchor Julie Etchingham. During the live debate, the leaders will have the opportunity to each in turn answer questions that are asked direct by members of the studio audience, before the floor is opened up to a period of free flowing debate.
ITV viewers in Wales will be able to watch a live ITV Wales Election Debate programme on Wednesday May 17th at 8pm, with five party leaders in Wales. The debate, in front of an invited audience, will be moderated by ITV Wales' Political Editor, Adrian Masters.
In Northern Ireland, UTV will broadcast a 60 minute debate at 9pm on Wednesday May 24th, which will be moderated by UTV presenter Marc Mallett.
STV’s Scotland Debates programme will air on Wednesday May 24th in ITV Border Scotland and will include the leaders of the four main political parties in Scotland - the SNP's Nicola Sturgeon, Ruth Davidson of the Scottish Conservatives, Scottish Labour's Kezia Dugdale and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie.
On the night itself, News at Ten’s Tom Bradby will take the chair on election night leading ITV’s coverage of the battle for Number 10. Tom be on air with the fastest results and the best analysis from an expert panel.
He will be joined in the studio by two of the country’s leading psephologists: Professor Colin Rallings, ITV News’ election analyst for nearly 30 years; and Professor Jane Green, from Manchester University, one of the Directors of the British Election Study, an organisation which has been monitoring British election behaviour for more than 50 years.
On 9th June, Good Morning Britain will be on air for an extended programme from 6am until 9:25am, hosted by Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan, with reporting from Ranvir Singh, Good Morning Britain’s Political Editor, who will be leading the coverage throughout the General Election Campaign.
At 9:25am ITV News will be back on air throughout the morning of June 9th, with a live ITV News Special programme presented by Julie Etchingham.
ITV’s Director of News and Current Affairs, Michael Jermey said:
"ITV will be offering our viewers a wide range of programmes on this snap election. Listening to voters and helping them put their questions direct to the politicians will be at the heart of what we'll do.
We have a strong record on organising debate programmes and giving viewers the chance to put their questions straight to the politicians. The ITV Leaders' Debate moderated by Julie Etchingham and the debates in the nations will give viewers an opportunity to get answers.
On election night we plan to have the fastest results service and hope more viewers than ever will choose to spend a dramatic night with ITV."