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ITV Meridian News

I’ve received some news, via email, regarding the ITV Meridian News Region. As you know, Meridian East, South and Thames Valley will form one big ITV Meridian region.

The new presenters for this region will be Fred Dinenage and Sangeeta Bhabra. The rumour around the stalled official announcement is that Ian Axton and Fred Dinenage aren’t best pleased with the decision.

The email goes on to say that, the current morale in the newsroom is “abysmal”. Staff have been restricted from taking annual leave for 3 months now since December. There is still no start date for the new service and the staff that have accepted redundancy are now leaving, so its becoming a skeleton team working each day.

ITV is cutting the number of regional news outputs in England and the Scottish borders from 17 to 9.

Updated: Thursday 8 January 2009

I’ve been scanning the internet for the latest on who’ll be presenting the new ITV regional news bulletins and when they are likely to launch. Meridian Presenters: Fred Dinenage and Sangeeta Bhabra Launch Date: 9th February 2009 AngliaPresenters: Becky Jago and Jonathan Wills Launch Date:…

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  • Mr. White

    It’s Dinenage with two n’s. Sangeeta hasn’t been offered the top job with Meridian.

  • Peter

    Do you know who the new hosts are?

  • Matt

    The two main anchors are Fred and Sangeeta. I can fully understand why Fred has been chosen as he’s a household name. As for Sangeeta, please don’t tell me she is the best female talent Merdian has!!! It’s a farce!

  • Jack

    How are viewers in the Thames Valley part of the new uber-region supposed to feel about the the total lack of any anchors familiar to them? This is the problem with merging THREE programmes – it’s impossible to achieve a totally neutral new anchor line-up. What with “staff culling” seemingly all the rage at ITV plc, it’s surprising that the over-65-year-old Fred isn’t being shoved into retirement! Sangeeta is a wooden “autocue zombie”, surely Mary Green or Debbie Thrower are preferable?

  • Dave

    Fred apparently is under contract until July 2010 so they are obliged to ‘use’ him. Getting rid of Debbie though is odd, 16 years she has co-presented with Fred so this makes no sense. I really think though ideal replacments would be Ian Axton and Helen James, they are bright and articulate and quite silly, perfect combination IMO !

  • Marco Green

    Fred is hugely popular and should be allowed to stay as long as he wants.But I am astonnished with Sangeeta’s appointment.It may have been a bit of a laugh having her do the travel on Meridian West.She never should have been given the South East show and for her to get the job over Debbie and Mary not to mention Hannah Shelswell is a joke.Lindsay Charlton obviously never watches Meridian Tonight.

  • Lee Penfold

    I Think Fred will stay around for a while whats happened with Wesley Smith Mary Green and Hannah Shellswell are they staying with ITV Meridian or are they Leaving whos the Sports Presenters going to be for the new ITV Sub Region Meridian Tonight

  • Jonathan

    No! Really, Sangeeta? She comes across as a lovely girl but the main presenter of this massive new region…? Are Meridian hoping to turn it into a cult programme? Ha Ha. I wish her Fred and the rest of the depleted team the best of luck. They will need it!

  • Dave

    What about the weather presenters ? Currently there’s 3 or 4 of them. Have a guess who I would like to see stay on ;-)

  • Brisy

    Well Well Well, yet another ridiculous decission from ITV and sadly another nail in its coffin.

    Fred may be on contract until 2010 but that contract I have it on good authority that his contract also includes a release clause that will allow him to leave when he feels the time is right.

    He and Debbie are very good friends and I am sure this will see him departing Meridian in the near future.

    Debbie is a lovely lady and also a household name for us in the South, How dare ITV bosses treet us viewers with such contempt.

    Surely the advertisers should start taking their business elsewhere, after all without the viewers advertising is pointless.


  • Jack

    I hadn’t realised until Marco Green mentioned it, that Sangeeta was originally on Meridian “West” (why the hell that sub-region was called “west” is beyond me – surely it should’ve been “north”? But I digress…) So, in a way, she the new line-up DOES sort-of tick all 3 boxes – Fred is familiar to “South” viewers, and Sangeeta is familiar to both “South East” and “Thames Valley (South)” viewers. It’s only the ex-Central viewers that’ll be plunged into total presenter unfamiliarity, which – in the context of the overall uber-region – is a small minority of viewers, so ITV plc would therefore not consider it of great importance.

  • Jack

    Re: Wesley Smith. He recently turned up as a stand-in for long-serving Bob Warman on Central Tonight (West), despite viewers in that region (Herefordshire excepted) not being familiar with Wesley. Normally someone like Mark Gough or whatever would be a Warman stand-in. The sudden random use of Wesley in Birmingham surely indicates that he’ll move there when the Meridian/Thames Valley merger leaves him de-anchored? As Warman is getting on in years now, he’s presumably not long for retirement? Therefore, I think Wesley’s recent appearance was a case of him being groomed as Warman’s stand-in in the immediate term, and replacement once Warman retires.

  • Jonathan

    It will be great to have the Meridian name back in Reading, as people in Berkshire still refer to Meridian when they talk about local tv news. However, this massive new region will alienate viewers left, right and centre. Meridian was always way ahead of South Today (and to a lesser extent Thames Valley Tonight) – how sad that this will no longer be the case! As for the main presenters – people tune in to see what’s happening in their area and couldn’t really care less who is presenting, unless they are really bad.

  • Jack

    It’ll probably seem a bit strange to many ex-“Meridian West” viewers to have lost the Meridian name, then got it back again, in the space of just a couple of years or so. Yes, I do appreciate that it was necessary to have a neutral name initially, so as to not seem biased from the POV of ex-Central viewers, but it’ll still probably make the “Thames Valley” brand seem like a white elephant, to many viewers in the Hannington-transmitter region.

  • Lee Penfold

    No More Wesley Smith Mary Green and Hannah Shellswell on Thames Valley Tonight i think they axing the programme in February i think Wesley will move back to Birmingham to the New Central News as one of Bob Warman’s Stand in Presenters im gobsmacked they are getting rid of Debbie Thrower not looking forward to the new ITV Sub Region 6 Mins of Local News not enough

  • Peter

    I remember Sangeeta from 2 TEN FM in the late 90s. She used to read the news on Sundays. It was a laugh to tune in just to hear her make all the mistakes. I couldn’t believe she kept that job. Then she appeared on Meridian north doing the travel. She’d had some speech training by then as she annunciated every word precisely. I wish I could leap frog into tv like that. She must have had a good agent. Then bless them at Meridian she was given reporting slots but the way she presented them still sounded like she was reading the travel news! I think Mary Green would be much better as anchor as she always comes across like a real Journalist who feels for the news and not an AUTO CUE dependant presenter.

  • Lee Penfold

    accouridng to Wikipedia the new ITV Sub Regions last Programme will be February 13th the new Programmes start February 16th

  • sandra

    The last programme is meant to be tomorrow on the 9th February and the new merged programme starts on 12th February. Wonder if they will mention this tomorrow?

  • Dave

    You got the dates a bit wrong…all change from Mon 9th – Fred gave a nice tribute just now to Debbie Thrower and introduced Sangeeta as his new co-presenter

  • Sharon Fenn

    As a regular viewer of many years of Thames Valley tonight with Wesley and co I am absolutely disgusted we are being merged wiht Meridian.
    I live in Oxford and from now on will be watching the BBC local news – I hope many people follow!!!!

  • N.R

    I am totally shocked that Debbie has gone, I thought that she was having a couple of days off and the girl that does funny things with her mouth was just temporarily standing in . You could see Fred was upset when he announced Debbie had left tonight

  • Mary (notGreen)

    Never thought i’d get used to Wesley after Andy left (whatever happened to Andy?)he was smashing, but Wesley proved himself in the end.
    Mary will be sadly missed as she is a natural not afraid of letting her guard down now and again
    Sangeeta i’m sorry to say has no polish or charisma, she just grins and laughs that awful laugh, sorry love try
    We changed over from South Today years ago, wont be going back there , there s always the Simpsons grandkids say its great lol

  • Robert

    It’s the same old story. If something is good, works and is popular but you want to get rid of it you first ruin it and can then justify getting rid of it by saying it isn’t working. Fred and Debbie were possibly the best pair of presenters in the country – their genuine rapport will be sorely missed.

  • Ian

    As far as I’m concerned Ian Axton should’ve stayed on. No one wants ‘Dinasaur Dinenage’ over here in the SE despite his pedigree. At least we’ll have one familiar face in the form of Sangeeta but Ian would’ve been the better choice as he has a great deal of charisma. Everybody has their favourites but when we had to put up with Fred and Debbie one night because the SE transmitter went down it was awful to watch them. Sad times for all concerned, and best wishes for the future for Ian Axton.

  • I am disgusted that we have lost Thames Valley. Wesley will be very much missed and its a great shame that such a good team has been broken up. I have seen Fred Dineage when on holidays in Hampshire, I find him very old fashion and the thought of seeing him every night is a turn off Its goodbye to ITV until you bring our Wesley back

  • John

    It’s local tv news – at the end of the day no-one really cares,apart from the self-obsessed sados who work there! Plenty of whom are laving messages on here no doubt!! Get a life and another job. People are fickle and forget who’s on their screens anyway!ITV doesn’t care and will pull the plug very soon anyway.

  • keni

    i agree with John (above) although the Fred/Debbie combo had warmth, who remembers the best days of regional news with Fern n Fred…Coast to Coast – etc etc – theres no money in regional news – if u wanna see whats going on in your area – go and have a look outside and see for yourself – tv has to move on – and telling u whats going on on your doorstep is just not really necessary – i understand for some thats not possible and tv is their only medium, but with the majority switching off tv these days, no point spending money on a handful of people who do tune in. the money savings had BETTER be spent on more drama and quality in house production -NOTE THAT PLEASE, ITV BOSSES!!

  • elaine

    I was so shocked when Ian announced it was his last time on Meridian News last Friday. He and Sangeeta made a great team, especially on occasions when his tie matched her outfit, I often wondered whether that was on purpose or a coincidence. Please come back Ian, he has charm, good looks, smart appearance, I so enjoyed watching him. 6pm local news will not be the same anymore. Good luck Ian whatever you do, will we see him on TV again, what is he doing now? Elaine Bolton, Lower Willingdon, near Eastbourne.

  • Lynn

    I have just watched the new look Thames Valley tonight.
    Whilst it was quite nice to see Fred back on our screen again it was painfully obvious his dress sense has not improved. As for Sangeta she sat with what looked like a bad smell under her nose and a smirky smile on her face. I will not be watching ITV again bring back Wesley and Mary.

  • Keith

    Having just watched the “new” Meridian News, I and my wife are appalled that we shall no longer see Wes, Mary and Hannah (although best wishes to her and the forthcoming new baby), who were a great team. To anybody living to the north of Reading this programme is an irrelevance – for example the football report on Gillingham. When I last looked, Gillingham was in Kent! The presenters of the new programme were poor as the old fellow looked well past his best and the younger female looked terrified and neither of them had any personality (sorry I cannot bring myself to mention their names!) BBC, here we come.

  • Jamie

    Well I am giving up on ITV News and moving to the BBC. Bring back Wesley, Hannah and Mary. I gave up after 15 minutes off listening to Poursmouth, Brighton etc. Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire for example don’t exist according to the new news. I will be going to South Today. I really warmed to Thames Valley and it had a good mixture of areas.

    My Grandad just phoned me and was moaning about it, he will be going over to BBC News.

  • I couldn’t agree more with the viewers from the Oxford area.My wife and I will also be switching to BBC Oxford for our local news. To get rid of Wesley and Mary was a crass decision – one which ITV will regret as they are going to lose very many viewers from this area. Tonight’s presenters are not in the same league. And why Gillingham for soccer ? Not our area !

  • I couldn’t agree more with the comments from viewers in the Oxford area. To get rid of Wesley Smith and Mary Green was a crass decision by ITV. Tonights presenters are not in the same league. My wife and I will be switching to BBC Oxford – no doubt very many others from this area will be doing the same. We want news from the Oxford region – not Brighton and the south coast. And Gillingham for soccer – surely they are covered by Kent. A very sad day.

  • mick

    absolutely the worst team meridian could have assembled for a news programme..wesley was the very best possible choice…a class presenter and you ve cocked up with fred d. most people will definately watch bbc from now on.

  • Gordon

    What a nonsensical decision! Trying to cover too large an area to be classed as ‘local’ news. Fred is past his sell by date and Sangerta? Ugh! Presenters should be appointed on merit. Mary,Wes and Debbie are in a different class. BBC South in future, that’s for sure.

  • Jeremy

    A real shame and an opportunity lost as far as I am concerned. I live in Reading – did we get a mention? NO! The old Meridian and Thames Valley News covered news here so well. Just watch how loyal viewers, like myself, will now switch off. I feel the people of Oxford probably feel the same. Don’t mind Fred or Sangeeta – both have been on tv here before. Please Meridian let’s have at least one story from Reading – just like the old day?!!!!!

  • Anne

    Sangeeta looked really uncomfortable with Fred, he is a nice bloke but well past his sell by date, used to watch him 30 years ago on Southern TV when my kids were tiny. Please bring back Ian, he and Sangeeta go so well together and always made a very enjoyable programme. Also miss Ian McBride – and what about Gemma, where is she?

  • Sally Wardrop

    Please bring back Wesley, Mary & Hannah. I watched the new Meridian show last night and I won’t be watching it again. I live in Brackley and nothing related to my area was covered, not even the weather! Never had this problem with Thames Valley Tonight. From now on I will be switching to BBC local news. Such a shame.

  • Here we go again a regional programme that cannot cover all of its regions. Watched last night with “wooden Top” Sangeeta the tension between her and Fred was obvious as she has the personality of a brick!! I reckon fRED WONT STAY AROUND VERY LONG.Fred and Debbie made a great team and my family will vote with our feet from now on South Today.
    What happened to Portsmouth harbour as backdrop?

  • Alison

    Have only just found out about Ian Axton leaving Meridian after Googling his name. I was watching Meridian News and could no longer stand the sight of SB and FD presenting, so decided to find out where he was. What a terrible decision to get rid of him, she ought to be the one to go with her irritating personality, po-face and awful manner of speech. Poor old Fred – let him retire to the country and re-invent Jack Hargrave. Now that was something worth watching.
    But for now I shall be voting with my tv box and switching to the BBC. Goodbye Meridian News and farewell to Ian.

  • Denis

    I actually thought that SKY were experiencing a transmitter problem. We live in Thame, which is in Oxfordshire, I really do not want ‘local’ news from the likes of Kent. As for the presenters, forgive me for asking “HOW” can you justify Fred Dinnage who’s a bit past his sell-by date now, not to mention ‘yet another young Asian lady’. This is so very NOT representative of our population’s demographics. Bye bye Meridian, hello BBC Oxford!

  • Li

    The new Meridian News is abysmal, why would viewers in North Hampshire and Berkshire want to hear news about Brighton etc. The presenters are awful. To keep Fred Dinnage, even if he does have a contract to 2010 and get rid of Wesley Smith, Mary Green and Hannah Shellswell is a travesty. Sangeeta is boring and is better being used on outside broadcasts. Even the weather forecast didn’t cover the old Thames Valley area. Like many others, our family will not watch this programme, we have defected to BBC.

  • Steph

    New Meridian news is RUBBISH, local thats a laugh.

  • PPeterP

    From the perspective of one of the outposts of the new Meridian News – Brackley in South Northants – the majority of this region has no relevance to us. Two days watching this is enough were off to the BBC too. ITV local news has been going downhill since the demise of Central South and was only worth watching because of the excellent presenters Wesley, Hannah, and Mary.

  • humphrey_jean


  • Val

    What a mad world we are in. Bring back Ian Axton or Meredian loses another viewer to the BBC.

  • Lilo

    The new Meridian Tonight is utterly appalling!!! Fred & Debbie were a perfect team. The banter between them was great. How dare they get rid of her!
    Also where has the Spinaker Tower backdrop gone? That was lovely to see with all the passing ships. Now all we have is a boring old bridge from “I don’t know where”.

  • Andew

    Having viewed the new Meridian local news yesterday, all I can say is bye, bye ITV local, without the chance of seeing any of our Thames Valley Team again I shall not be watching Meridian.

  • Jan

    Bring back Ian Axton.

  • Come on lets not kid ourselves.
    ITV do not give a damn about their Viewers, its all about Money and cost savings.
    We all want LOCAL NEWS Presented by LOCAL PRESENTERS!!!
    Yet again the Faceless ITV Management who arent in the real world just bugger up.
    I hope all the Presenters and other Staff that have been disposed have loads of success and stick it right up ITV.
    All the various regions Presenting teams were fine.
    Let us Viewers keep the pressure up and you never know ITV may see the error of their ways.

  • Steve Taylor

    I could not believe this so called news program, it’s more akin to the national news, covering such a large area, they call it local! BBC from now on.

  • PGC

    I’m pleased it’s not just me who hates the ‘new look local news’. Fred and Debbie had a great rapport as I’m sure the other presenters like Ian Axton did in their respective regions.
    If Fred looks ill at ease I think it’s more to do with his new co-presenter who looks out of her depth, rather than ‘passed his sell by date’. He looks frustrated.
    Obviously I can’t speak for viewers of the other regions, but here in the Hampshire area we’ll miss Gemma, Sarah Goome, Gareth and the others sidelined or pushed out.
    And where the hell is the bridge in the background ? At least the Spinnaker Tower is an iconic image.
    The powers that be will probably argue viewers are reluctant to accept change – but no offence, I don’t want to hear about Kent in a ‘local news item’ when I live in Portsmouth.

  • Angela

    I am amazed that Thames Valley has vanished. I thought we had pressed a wrong button.
    Wesley and Mary were excellent presenters and I cannot believe that the Powers that be have allowed this programme to vanish together with two first class presenters. Fred and Sangeeta seem alien to me and not of the same standard.
    I am interested in North Hampshire and Berkshire news and did get used to hearing about Oxfordshire, but now we are entering new areas of no interest to me.
    Bring back Wesley and Mary

  • sssanley wstanley457wilsonilson

    I have a brother that lives in Hastings and he always used to
    moan about Sangeeta,nothing going for her at all, and no personality at all,how right he is.he used to sing the praises
    of Ian Axton, now he’s gone,so my brother is switching to B.B.C. Fred, and Debbie were a perfect combination, now they
    have been split up. what makes these morons think they know
    what’s best for us, here’s another that’s going over to B.B.C.

  • lisa

    I will be watching the BBC from now on.The news is not relevant to West Oxfordshire and I cannot watch Fred he is the most appalling presenter I have seen in years.

  • Nick, Witney

    The new ‘Meridian Tonight’ is utterly dire. It has no relevance to West Oxfordshire and the presenters aren’t a patch on those we had on Central News South – or its later, far poorer incarnation ‘Thames valley Tonight’. But even that was far better than news of Portsmouth football club etc!

    The ‘large region’ format deserves to fail – it is woeful.

  • T Starling

    Well I’ve tried to get used to the new presenters but it is not working – bring back WES!

  • Tim Lyon

    What a sad situation. Wes & Mary were great and felt like part of the family. I have tried the new Meridian programme but it is not a patch on Thames Valley Tonight. The region is far too big! Local news? Dover is 164 miles away. Ridiculous. Goodbye ITV, I am following the crowd to BBC Oxford.

  • Dorothy Constant & Family

    We as a family are incensed by the lack of judgment shown by
    ITV with the removal of our Debbie, she and Fred were as close an act as Morecombe and wise and i dare say as or even more popular if that were possible. When oh when will the powers that be seek help from the viewing public when choosing who will and who will not front a programme. We echo the thoughts of others when we think that Fred will leave before too long ( maybe that is the ploy of the board to remove another oldie who is well loved). Is the removal of Debbie a means to an end for them.
    It was the highlight of the evening to watch them and the rest of the team deliver the news and local topics with such fun and mastery.

  • Dave

    Will be very interesting to find out the viewing figures for BBC South Today and BBC South East Today following these changes at Meridian.

  • Lorna

    “How many regions am I holding up, Winston?….”

    I was not very bright at geography and I still have to hold the map ‘the way I am going’ but this almost virtual redrawing of areas is getting bizarre.

    I know someone whose job is supposed to be in ‘the Thames Valley region’ and this apparently includes Exeter, Plymouth, Cambridge, Birmingham and so on, and on.

    Of course, it does not.

    So I think Meridian Tonight one of many collective symptoms. And they are less subtle at an increasing rate of nots.

    Frankly why one would care if IKEA opens in Southampton when one lives in Oxfordshire is A Puzzlement or are we on Landstrip 1 to begin to imagine this and other far-flung emporia of imported flat-pack-tat to be our local shops?

    They are not.
    And Meridian When-wherever is not local news.

  • Sharon & Richards

    I think we should bring back the great wesley smith, we miss him dearly.

  • Barney

    I’m disgusted that Wes & the team have been ditched, an absolute discrace !. Wes you are a legend !

  • Ken Pead

    Based on one of Fred & Debbie’s sayings it’s no longer “Local to Me”. I’m not all that interested in the Thames Valley news unless it’s big enough to make the National News. As for that bridge, where is it?
    I’ve stuck it for a week but as from Monday it’s “Goodbye ITV, Hello BBC”. Thank you Freddy, Debbie & the rest of the old team. You did an excellent job & now they’ve wrecked it.

  • Scott

    The size of the new region is ridiculous… Stretching from the borders of Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire & up into Northamptonshire, down into Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire, across to Wiltshire… Down to Weymouth & Portland in Dorset across the south coast taking in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, East Sussex, West Sussex, Kent & up into southern Essex around Southend, Westcliff & Basildon… Then back round through parts of Surrey & into Berkshire!! That is some region & to make it worse the “sub opt” areas are extremely south east biased…
    Kent, East Sussex & bits of south Essex get their own 18 minutes of news & the entire rest of the region (some 3 times the size of the SE region) has to share an 18 minute opt & then after that hear about Kent etc…!?!
    Also extremely unfair is that they have kept the backdrop of the bridge in Maidstone, which has ALWAYS been seen on the SE verion of Meridian Tonight… It seems the SE of the region has come off fairly lightly from these changes…
    I may have to watch Westcountry news now in Weymouth, but they are about to merge with HTV, it seems people like us in the fringes of regions are not given a thought by ITV… Hello BBC South Today from now on I think…

  • Mr Grumpy

    what the hell have they done ????? !!!!!! & what is the backdrop, bring back the spinnaker tower. No offence to Oxford/ Reading ect but i dont want to see whats happening there, i want to know whats happening localy, Bournemouth, Christchurch Dorset ect ect. Fred & Debbie had a good rapport with each other. I feel Meridian will be losing many viewers over this to thier rivals, who wants a lift to the other side ?

  • stanley wilson

    oh my god what a lash up these morons are,Fred & Debbie what
    a wonderful combination they were, now poor old Debbie has gone, and if Freds got any sense he should walk as well. and
    where did they dig up Sangeeta from? no charisma,very wooden
    very false, not funny at all.I have already switched to B.B.C. and I hope a lot more viewers do the same. that is the only way we can send a message to these so called powers that be,who think they know whats best for us, bloody
    cheek.come on then,do the same as me, switch to B.B.C.south

  • brian gull

    what a shambles,please bring back ian axton.i will switch to bbc in future

  • wiggy

    What a really poor turn of events, why change a format when it really works. The team was working really well and they were good presenters. Bring back Ian Xton and Wes. No disrespect to Fred But I remember him from the days of How and dont consider him a news presenter. Moira Stewart was axed for being too old so Freds days are probably numbered. BBC here we come.

  • a shadow of a doubt

    What the hell is that dinosaur Fred Flinstone doing on my t-time tv screen.

    With that pin stripe suit and dodgy combover he makes all my family laugh out loud.

    Bring back the Partridge-esque Wesley and re- install Mary and Hannah soon before i boot in my tv and send ‘Meridian’ the bill.

  • Mr Grumpy

    Fred is ok leave him alone, the thing is we have all been used to our own presenters over the years,now its a complete mess. What bird-brain decided this was a good idea ?

  • Mr Grumpy
  • Mrs. R

    What a mess. I’d have my tea then settle down to watch Fred, Debbie and the sports bunch and have a chuckle at the happy banter plus enjoy the local news in and around Southampton , Pompey etc. I don’t need to know whats happening in Kent or Oxford. I have stuck the new set up for a week but it’s now “Farewell” and over to BBC South for me. Will miss you Fred, can’t you join the Beeb.

  • Yvonne

    We live in Gloucestershire on the border with Oxfordshire. Although we can’t receive what should be our local ITV news (West), we did receive news, from Central South, that was relevant to our area, including Cheltenham.

    Thames Valley Tonight became bearable because of Wesley Smith et al. Who in their right mind thinks that we want to know about the goings on on the south coast or in Brighton? When will those in the media grow up and learn that change does not not equate with better?

  • Frederick Brown

    You ITV morons need making redundant not a brilliant news presenter like Ian Axton. Sack Fred AND Sangeeta and give us a decent news desk again. BBC local here I come.

  • Geoff C

    Why on earth have you changed a winning format – our tea time with Mary and Wes was something to look forward too – they had such a good rapport with each other and with the viewer. Both had an excellent sense of humour ad the two of them held together an excellent team – where is David Reilliy now and all the normal presenters – Emma Pyne etc why let two professional presenters go! Will miss you Wes and Mary tea time will not be the same without you Geoff and Sue

  • Gill W

    Oh dear oh dear what have meridian done, I had my sky channels tuned so as I could get all the meridian stations,but only watched Fred and Debbie at six who were brilliant together why separate them, its not the same Fred is not happy at sitting next to sangeeta. I watched Thames valley at lunch time but didnt really like Wesley bloke Mary was ok though, I live in between these areas so was able to catch up on what was going on, I remember Ian Axton being on the old meridian. ITV love to keep changing things around just when you get comfortable with what you like to watch. BBC is about to get another viewer.

  • Raquel L

    If it aint broke don’t fix it. We love Fred bring back Debbie they work so well together. As for Sangeeta she has the personality of a flea. No disrespect to the other regions presenters it’s just what you get used to. It is such a shame. I will continue to watch until Fred leaves then I am off to the BBC.

  • Pat

    Oh dear more bad publicity – and Meridian have now pulled the blog on their website – surprise, surprise. The ship is sinking fast!

  • Taz

    I thought it was bad enough when GMTV kept insisting I was in the Meridian area every morning. I’ve been avoiding their bulletins for months already! In Oxford I usually don’t need to worry about bad traffic in Southampton…

    Surely London news would be more relevant? I’m sticking with BBC Oxford and have my fingers crossed that they don’t change too

  • Chris

    It would nice to think that the people responsible for this ridiculous decision read and take note of the comments on this page, but they won’t because they don’t care.
    I live in Bicester, right at the top end of this “region”. I’m not interested in news, or traffic come to that, in Southampton and along the south coast. Make local mean local. I will be joining many others and switching off ITV in preference to our local BBC service until ITV come to their senses, if they ever do. Bye Bye ITV Meridian, I will not miss you.

  • Dave

    To Pat both blogs are still on the website….amazing how many posts now 390 on the main one

    Sangeeta is ok, leave her alone, could be a lot worse you know ! Have a look at the new Westcountry today programme for example but yes Fred and Debbie wwere a good partership but nothing can go on forever good or bad

  • Panpipes

    The new set-up for the evening Meridian News, to me seems, a very bad move. I understand that cuts have to be made but it makes more sense to keep your viewers than get rid of good presenters.

  • Rosemary

    I’ve just tried to get onto the ITV local blog and the web page is ‘not found’. This is the link I’m trying:- Dave – do you have a different address? Wes – I miss you!

  • Dave

    Can’t reply for some reason apart from saying this ??!!

  • Dave

    OK all the 3 blogs are still there, go to

  • Dave
  • Dave

    Btw I have put together a DVD of clips which feature chats and out and abouts with Gemma from last year.. if anyone is interested please email me

  • Rosemary

    Thanks Dave..

  • Chris

    WES where are you? PLEEEEASE come back and save us from these two.

  • Dave

    Nice to see they have kept on Helen James then

  • Nick – Aylesbury

    Where has Wes and Hannah gone? I moved down to the Central area in 1990 and have watched Wes on/off ever since. (Moved away for a while). He’s one of the best presenters on regional news I’ve had. I was brought up on “Calendar” with Richard Whitely (Yorkshire TV) and he is way better than he ever was, rest his soul. Bring back Wes and Hannah. And what do I want to know about news in Brighton and Southampton? Thats not local. From now on it’s the BBC for my local news until Wes and Hannah come back and wherever they have ended up, good luck!

  • ruth

    Totally agree about Wes and Hannah. I thought that there was a genuine warmth and connection with these presenters and was very disappointed to see that they had vanished! Where have they gone? As for Meridian – this area is not local to me so if ITV are interested I will not be watching. You must be mad to eliminate such good presenters!

  • Sarah – Oxfordshire

    Absolutly amazing! Make cut backs, lose good people, shoe horn several regions into one over half an hour, for what???….to lose your audience, and eventually lose revenue from advertising.
    Why do I want to know about news travel and sport in Kent or Weymouth when I’m up in Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire borders?? Would it not have been better to merge my region with Birmingham or London??

    I do wonder how much these decision makers are paid, and why it wasn’t them who were made redundant!

  • CAP

    Having had the privlege of meeting Fred on numerous occasions over the years, he is very down to earth and a very nice guy. So don;t knock Fred…’s the ITV bosses you want to knock for cocking up the ITV regions in the 1st place. Fred is only doing his job and long may he continue to do so. Who the hell wants to watch that stuck up Sally Taylor….

    If ITV regional news bosses have any sense, they should bring back Debbie Thrower who has plenty of experience, gets on very well with Fred and far more professional in her dleivery of news. With all due respect to Sangeeta, she tries to pull a funny joke and falls flat of which I don’t think Fred is exactly happy with on screen. Perhaps bombard Michael Grade or the Regional News guy Michael Jermey (I think) with emails of disgust and ask him to actually listen to the viewers….its why ITV as a whole is rapidly going down hill…time they did an audience survey to see what we would like to watch on ITV…then at least we would have a say..would welcomne any thoughts on that…

  • Dorothy

    We find we cannot watch this new programme even though we have tried. We miss Wesley, Hannah and Mary they are very natural, accomplished presenters. We just feel embarrassed for Fred and Sangeeta they are truly boring. We found our local news programme very interesting and entertaining but we are not interested in hearing about Weymouth etc.

    Wesley is a very well known figure in the Oxford area. He always helps out at charity events and mixes with everyone. Just a really kind and caring man. Why change something when it works so well. You have lost a superb presenter and a very nice gentleman. Best wishes to Hannah with the birth of her baby.

  • Sarah – Oxfordshire

    Apparently they announced the change last year and consulted viewers, staff, politicians?. Well they obviously didn?t listen to the staff who would lose their jobs.
    Viewers? I don?t remember being consulted!
    Politicians? They can?t run the country at the moment!

    Anyway, I am now watching the BBC – much better!

  • Annie

    I am in East Sussex and loved Ian and Sangeeta together, she just looks totally out of her comfort zone with Fred, he used to be ok but doesn’t seem to have much going for him these days, and Sangeeta has lost her sparkle and sense of humour which were always evident when Ian and she were presenting and Gemma doing the weather.

  • Diane

    What a shambles! I live in Maidstone and loved the old format – can’t stand new programme and am not interested in watching Meridian News anymore. Nor am I interested in news from Oxford – might as well be watching national news. Bring back our ‘local programme’. Fred always appears to be slouching on the sofa; Sangeeta is obviously very uncomfortable alongside him and as for tie-less Simon – bring back Gemma.

  • Nathan Thompson

    I dont like watching the bridge in the back ground.

    I think they should alternate the background every week change it to something else in the region

  • Dave

    I’m afraid all the posts on here will not make any difference. AS far as ITV plc is concerned – JOB DONE in their eyes. In ITV’s history it has to to be worse thing ever done. If they wanted to save ?40 million they could scrap a whole heap of daytime programming IMO…News is far more important then most of the drivel served up from 9 – 6pm. Endless makeover and antiques shows come and go and have no lasting impact – News does – It was near perfect and those in the business agreed 4 times I think Meridian had won that award…(name ?!)

    I think Fred will make the best of it with Sangeeta between now and July 2010, lot of holding hands and touching now which is a bit creepy….

    As for simple Simon I can’t stand him…gone from the best (Gemma) to the worse

  • Disappointed viewer

    Changing Thames Valley to Meridian was a mistake… I dont want to know what happens in the south coast, I want to know about the news in my region!!

    Also get rid of that man… Fred Dinage or whatever he is called!!

  • David Peek

    Fred Dineage (sic) is a broadcasting legend, as far as I know the only Meridian presenter to have appeared across all 3 sub-regions, although admittedly only in the South one recently. I know some people have been disappointed at his style/demeanour but I suspect that’s got quite a lot to do with the fact that the team he’s worked with for over 15 years has been broken up because of an edict from London.

    Fred Dineage and Debbie Thrower were a brilliant combination for the South sub-region and its a great shame they aren’t presenting together any more. As far as getting rid of him is concerned, his contract runs till 2011. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if he packs it in before that given the decline the programme’s gone through.

    Agreed, Thames Valley getting news from the Hampshire coast (etc) is very silly. Not remotely local, although at weekends and in GMTV it gets worse as news from East Kent will also reach you.

  • claire

    Bring back Ian axton !! Best presenter meridian have ever had

  • Dusty

    what have you done to spoil a good meridian news program for the east i dont think the locals want to know about whats going on down s/hampton way i have been watching your news since day by day and southern etc and iam not pleased with the junk thats on it now so now we will watch the BBC news as its about the EAST.

  • Dave

    In a few years time even what we have now as so called local or regional news is expected to disappear forever from ITV. Also ITV want to merge with CH4 and 5 apparently which sounds crazy but it may even happen !

    itvlocal though could very much be expanded for true local content I am told

  • Mike M

    I can understand why ITV have to make cutsbut to replace Thames Valley tonight with the two Meridian wooden presenters is too much – Wesley and Mary were two top performers. We now watch BBC South with Sally Taylor a much better choice. Mary Green now presents part time on BBC Berkshire – lets hope we hear from Wesley again

  • magpie

    SHOCKED that Ian Axton is gone, his fresh, friendly (and sometimes humorous) reporting was the best I have seen on a “regional” news show. I only watched Meridian news because of him, I NO LONGER WATCH it, the dull Dineage is too old and, well, DULL! I hope one of the BIG News stations snaps Ian up, he would be a very good choice for SKY NEWS as his personality (and eye candy appeal!) and unique way of presenting news would really fit the bill.

    And, as for the ginger weather man…OH do wake up Meridian!!

    Best wishes to Ian and the rest of the team who have been hoffed out by the idiotic decision makers at ITV. I am sure they have lost countless viewers, I am simply just one of them.

  • G

    Yes I agree about the ginger weather man his voice is so annoying, cant think why the bosses kept him on.

  • M L

    The ginger weather man’s accent is rural Berkshire – the only good thing left after the axing of Thames Valley Tonight. Still I won’t be hearing it anymore as I will not insult my intelligence by watching the two inept presenters on Meridian. ITV are making more cutbacks so here are two prime candidates. As someone said in an earlier post BBC’s Sally Taylor may seem stuck up ( which she is not ) but at least she is a consummate professional.

  • Dave

    Yes ‘G’ I can’t stand him either. Gone from the best (have a guess!) to the worse. I would still be watching if jolly Gemma was still ‘on screen’

    I keep on about Gemma but she spoke so precisely it was nice to listen to, ie saying ‘going to’ instead of gonna as everyone else says… never mind now pretty she is :)

  • Dave

    For those who have not read this re Gemma and why she left etc :-

  • Gerald Baker

    Hi Meridian News and Weather,
    What has happened to the lovely weather presenter,
    Gemma Humphries?

  • Alan Ward

    What a pity you can’t even email Meridian news now – I had a comment to make about their news programme but have nowhere to send it.

  • Dave

    I think works still ? Whatever you say won’t make the slightest difference anyway

  • Richard

    Sorry but thought that “local” news meant news that was relevent to the local region. I have no interest at all what is happening in Kent, a mere 120 miles from Newbury.
    I along with many others have moved to BBC South Today.

  • michelle crook

    I really like sangeeta and i think it’s nice to see a new face for us younger viewers. She’s lovely on and off set. Fred, i think is one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. BIG UP ALL THE MERIDIAN CREW ;)

  • mrs c

    where are the studios shown in the programme and what bridge is that in the background? .love to the lovely fred

  • chris johnson

    What on earth are itv up to giving Fred a co presenter more wooden than a forest of trees!!!!

  • Ann Bugh

    I have tried to watch and give it a chance, but like all of us we would like to know the news that is local to us, not somewhere in another part of the country, I am sorry but I will have to defect to the beeb. I cannot see the point of watching any more. I have nothing against the presenters but do prefer the old team.

  • mrs brenda green

    the story about paula lacey and michael ward they was liveing as a Lodger From 17 January 2009 till 15 April 2009 They were Evicted from There Tenancy Because of non payment for their Living Arrangments They have been given a lot of help and advice to sort out their morgage and arrangements for their belongings to be removed from their house in Elm Grove to the Lock up in Sailsbury Close which was paid for by Myself and gave them a Home with their own room / Bathroom which they have Damaged. They were Evicted from their own Property November 5 2008. At that time Mr Ward still had his job Mrs Lacey was Sacked from her job because of influense of alcohol at work. If you want more information Please phone me on 01795 436469.

  • Loz

    Why living in Aylesbury do we have to watch news around the far South ‘ie. Southampton, Isle of White and as far as Oxford.’ NOTHING about Aylesbury, Wendover Buckingham.
    We would like to hear news of our area. BRING BACK CENTRAL NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Tony

    Who on earth at Meridian made to the decision to break up a very sucessful and best ITV regional news team and lumber us with a bunch of wooden tops?. The new team with the exception of Fred and Paul are as poor as watching paint dry.

    The old team were very entertaining and very amusing and i used to look forward to watching each evenings news, not any more, Sangeeta is so in your face nad not very professional as a news reader i will now defect to watching the cardboard stiffs on the BBC local news.

  • g

    I have been watching the newsreader that has been on in the mornings this week Nia Mason. She is frightening in the way in which she talks. still fed up with the idiot weather man too.

  • Sally

    Not impressed with Meridian Tonight stopped watching since Dinosaur Dinage replaced Ian Axton

  • chris

    You blew it ITV, you should have kept Ian and Helen with Gemma doing the weather and they were probably cheaper than Fred who is past his sell by date!!!

  • ray

    Living in Medway, I am not the least bit interested in the local news stories from Bucks, Oxford, etc. I switched to the BBC weeks ago and can see the news for my area being presented by some very likeable people.

  • Martin

    No improvement, still the past the sell by date presenters. What on earth has Kent, Dorset or Southampton got to do with Oxford

  • d

    quite right, the area is far too big. I dont want to know whats going on miles away, might as well just watch the national news.

  • neil

    I?ve given Meridian a chance but still no improvement. To much focus on the south coast. If we are stuck with such a large region try to share out the stories, perhaps your reporters are afraid to go north of the M4. Off to the BBC.

  • philip wright

    FRED IS SO POULAR and his appeal to me is that he does not
    take himself seriosly, yet he is popular with out doubt


    yet on the Fridy evening news of footballers trandfers ,just squad players.
    Priorities , out of touh with the general sport loving neutrals, Australia are probbably the best in world and Sussex played quality cricket to live with them , a shame not on the local news



  • Trudi

    At last a report from Oxford area.
    Great report on closure of 25% maternity beds – what will they have to say when the first baby dies through a lack of care?

  • geoff

    as a member of the ancient generation,I question why all “stars” must be juvenile,overexposed physically & mentally at the expense of old people over 20.Do you realise that a majority of viewers will be past it & find the disposal of people like Geoff & Beverley from meridian news who are replaced by the likes of foulmouth Ross,Jordan, the Beckhams is too much.I,& many like me do have a brain.I am fed up with bare flesh,foul language & sex usually of the homosexual brand.I know it exists but as a source of entertainment oh dear!Please give us entertainment that challenges and educates us as well as amuses us.Porridge,Dads army,two Ronnies etc.Those where the days.Country Ways,The OLD Bill.I reaally do despair

  • David

    I have this the only way I can contact you.

    Would you please contact me on 01795 421879 over an experience that nobody wants to know, even the police force.I would ask for now details to given out due to the position I have with the ‘News’

  • dean

    can you please tell me what is the bridge in the background of your programme,as it is starting to bug me,many thanks dean

  • Young

    Fred Dinnage and Sangeeta Barba are the worse thing on TV,why oh why did you get rid of Mary Green and Wesley Smith they were much much better than the present two idiots

  • Alyssa Walsh

    I wish that Simon Clemison was still here at Meridian. He is now presenter and political correspondant for The Westcountry Tonight. I have always been a huge fan of him. So sad to see him go. :-(

  • Lorie

    My husband asked me to watch and record the ITV Regional News tonight, just in case the “Morris Ring Meeting”, held on the Isle of Wight this weekend, was featured. I was delighted that it was! – showing them dancing on Brambles Bank at low tide. However, I was amazed and horrified when the female reporter talked about the “.. Morris Men and Women..” involved! Do they do their voiceovers without consulting the piece of film? Obviously! – for, if she had watched it, she would have observed that the dancers were all MALE. The Morris Ring is entirely composed of Men – as English Tradition dictates! Please do your research properly, Meridian, especially when it comes to reporting our English Traditions.

  • Trevor Donald

    Simple do not watch anymore as we were on the margins when it was central but what as wendover in Bucks got in common with the south coast as we are about as far from the sea that you can get

  • kelly king

    you did a piece on the 25 aug 2009 about a funeral of mark phillips he is my brother and was hopeing you could send me a copy of it as i miss it also my mum and dad would like to thank you for the storys you have done for him

  • Jonathan Cox

    Hi, I am profoundly deaf. I moved into my new home in Shinfield, near Reading. I am enjoying watch ITV Meridian News / Tonight for South and Thames Valley only (covering Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Part of Wiltshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, West Sussex and Part of Surrey). I understood that ITV Meridian has changed since last March. I want get rid of covering in Kent and Essex and also please remove Gillingham (Kent) because they are using for Meridian (South-East) only.



  • Nkki Clarke

    I am not best pleased with the “New” line up. I live in France and miss Ian Axton, Gemma Humphries and where has “Perky” Parkin suddenley gone to?

    What about what we viewers want? Local to you was a ighlight for me, having a house near Heathfield, so I really do miss things.

    Bring back te old order, with apologies to Fred for whom I hae great respect.

  • robert

    Along with many other viewers I do not like the new ‘big’
    region. I live in Chichester and have no interest in what is going on in Oxford,Bognor Regis yes Brighton yes but not up in the middle of the country. I have mooved to BBC I am afraid. BOB Youdell

  • george

    Hi i was in the Army and i was told never put yourself in a compermising situation so why did the news reader do so, He has cost four people to loose there lives, Was one life worth four, In my eye no it was not worth it.

  • Robert Longyear

    Contact reqired with photograph and info related to ITV evening prog. announcement 60 year wedding anniversary 1st. October. Can you help? Regards Bob Longyear

  • Tim Hooper

    Hello im from the New West Country Tonight Region and just curious, is the new “Super Large” Meridian Tonight full of sloppy mistakes and poor? as the West Country Tonight some nights looks like its been put togethr by a bunch of 5 year old in pre school kids with the sloppyness of the program we get,

    just wanted to know if yours was the same… is this ITV trying to loose its viewers on purpose or is it just The West Country Tonight badly put togther?!

    Many Thanks


  • Peter O’Callaghan

    Where the devil did you get this Parkin character?
    Gemma Humphreys was a sight more professional and presentable than him.
    Further, Sangeeta was more in tune with other presenters than with the has been that is Fred dinnage

  • Roger Stanley

    Where did Wesley get moved to? I thought he was a good presenter.

  • jim mottau

    Why o why is Sangeeta still presenting?, her wooden style (fixed smile, keep looking at my notes) and personal’ lets talk about me’ quips is very annoying, unfortunately it’s been too easy to switch channels these days – used to make an effort to watch Fred and Debbie but I can shrug it off now. Its also fair to say that i’ve lost interest in the program because it bears no relation to the area I live – Oxford isn’t considered south by the way – except by the ITV bean counters.

  • Sarah Matthews

    Please take that Amanda woman off the programme, she is patronising and talks to the viewers like they are stupid and where she has lost weight she looks awful, not a good look for the news programme. Sangeeta is better.

  • Alan Cairns

    Greetings. We are led and told to believe that no ethnic group(meaning english) must impose on another there culture yet Meridian has a Black History Month. Surely that is racial. If the natives of this country said lets have a White History Month the flack would hit the fan with no doubt the organisers taken to court for intolerance.

    Regards Alan Cairns

  • DeborahWood

    Dinnage news item? Jools and Jane Chaffer, locals to W.Sussex won awards last night at Arundel Business Awards ceremony at the Hilton Avisford Park Hotel and .have won best overall Arundel Business Award. Jane Chaffer has type 1 Diabetes. She and her husband felt there was not enough done to raise awareness about how difficult it is to shop, keep healthy and live with diabetes.
    Together in 2005 they started with their first ‘Dizzy’ charity shop and followed this with local events to raise awareness for dietary control, caring for eyesight and many other issues related to this condition. They now have four Dizzy shops and have a Dizzy Day held locally in E.Preston.They have also had a disco, a charity meal and hold ongoing support groups at Dove Lodge in Littlehampton to help anyone with diabetes. Interested? Sainsburys will also be host to food labelling and diabetes control shortly. (if interested check on web for contacts)

  • Raymond Groutage

    We have really enjoyed Meridian news this last week, how much better it has been without that Sajeeta,or whatever she is called. If she comes back, we be going across to the BBC again!!!

  • g

    Have you all noticed that whilst Sangeeta was away on holiday how happy Fred seemed to be. We were hoping that she would stay away too. And now we have have got that weather man back again.

  • c hughes

    please please please stop that thumping music on the news intro , its so unessasary!!!!!!!!!!

  • keith Waller, Bournemouth

    With regards to the letter sent by Gordon Brown to the mother who’s son was killed recently, i think that as Mr Brown knew his sight, spelling and hand writing was poor he should have had an aid review it before it was posted. However should the mother really have gone to the sun newspaper and publish this letter and phone call? What i would like to know is the mother being paid by the Sun to publish this? If so is that really the correct thing to do?

  • teresa clarke

    I agree with Keith Waller of Bournemouth regarding the Sun newspaper’s intervention concerning the mother whose son was killed recently. I have had more than my fair share of tragedy and heartbreak and I can assure you that ‘TheFun’ sorry the Sun would not have even entered my mind, and to comment on somebody’s eyesight, poor writing and spelling in such circumstances is beyond me, especially when the letter written came straight from the heart of Gordon Brown ‘The Prime Minister’.
    Keep going Gordon, the graveyards are full of these perfect folk.

  • Mrs M. Bailey

    Hi, I just wanted to say that after giving Meridian a fair chance to see what they bring in the way of news… well we in Bicester have been let down with the lack of news for our area. When we had central and Wesley we had many items about Bicester. So please get your act together and remember there is life out side Reading and London …

  • Brian Arnott

    Hi . In this evenings “Meridian Tonight” You showed an ice rink in a church as being the first of its kind. Well we have hired an indoor ice rink that is going to be assembled in our church building as part of Heathfields Fun Day this saturday. Apparently it will be both the 1st time we have had an ice rink in Heathfield but definately the first time we’ve had an indoor ice rink in a church building. We are going to be open for business this saturday from 10 till 5, all invited. We will be having 14 half hour sessions of ?3.00 each session to include boot hire. Any profit will go to charity.

    Brian Arnott

    Trustee of Kings Church Heathfield

    Ps For more information phone.

    01435 810330

  • Jamie Fidgett

    Shown on the news was about someone who was having trouble with their push chair because British Rail staff were saying it’s not it their insurance. There are hundreds of people out there with no jobs that could do exactly that, help with wheel chairs, push chair and even luggage. Why don’t British Rail hire people to do that job, they won’t be a waste because there are plenty of people who come off the train who need some help getting over the walkways.

    That will provide quite a few jobs for people and would make British Rail look good

  • Maurice Stevens

    This will be a lengthy, passionate message. Please read it and get it to Fred Dinenage.

    One day soon my wife and I shall be lunching with Mick Dawson in Brighton, a silent hero, a gentle giant in my view who was once a humble student I met whilst teaching at the Brighton Film School. He is now a good friend and a hero.

    I am writing this on December 1st 2009, maybe somewhat late amongst your early complainers in january, and I’m not writing to complain about the changes at Meridian though I was in shock at first, especially at the departure of the lovely Debbie Thrower but we have now ,sort of, got used to the new format. However, I’m really angry, almost ashamed at the apathy by all the media, the press, TV – ITN, the BBC – and Meridian – about the amazing achievement by Mick and Chris Martin, two British ocean rowers who, on Friday 13th November arrived safely under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco after six months afloat on the hostile North Pacific having rowed from Choshi, Japan, unassisted through all weathers and hazardous conditions! Despite my attempts to alert the media to this wonderful, first and record breaking achievement, nobody reported this. Their arrival in the USA was an “Everest” moment.

    I repeat, I am addressing this message mainly to the excellent broadcaster Fred Dinenage, I have huge respect for his journalistic style and integrity. I believe that he interviewed Mick Dawson on Meridian prior to his second (solo) attempt to row the Pacific back in 2004 whilst Mick was a resident of Brighton. Mick unfortunately failed in that attempt though there was no media follow through to the drama that followed in that Story! Mick Dawson is a remarkable man who was the youngest Marine in the Falklands. Now 45 years old, he has achieved his dream alongside rowing mate Chris Martin. Although Mick no longer lives in Brighton his loyalty remains and with this latest triumph he has raised funds for a Brighton charity – Hamilton Lodge School for Deaf Children who are huge supporters and have championed him all the way via his website

    The above website has given marvellous daily blogs and information about this fantastic effort by two brave men. Ellen McArthur gets such good publicity whatever she does as does Messrs Fogle and Cracknell (Mick has rowed the Atlantic twice without fuss). Is it because he’ not a so called ‘celebrity’? (The media’s obsession) Why was this event not applauded by our serious news gatherers, good news in an otherwise miserable gloomy world, when the welcome given by the Americans was so overwhelming? Please view the youtube footage !

    I rest my case, tired, disenchanted and, I repeat, angry and somewhat ashamed.

  • SJ

    Meridian (ITV Meridian) should keep Fred going, not only a household name but the sort of person who likes to explain on how things work through educational programmes such as How 2. He was once with YTV for a very shot time and started his career from Southern TV.

    Personally I can’t stand the new woman as you can tell she prefers the wooden stern look when reading from the autocue, rather than Fred who is similar to the late Richard Whitley.

    As for the weather – well thats down the tubes with the current presenter, as with Carl he ended up walking in front of a live camera which he didnt expect to be switched on, or if the weather report went wrong and had to do the whole lot again.

  • steve

    Hi all , just wondering why ITV Meridian News have not shown any recent pictures of Bewl Water Reservoir ? Only when we get a warm spell /weekend in the summer its over to Bewl Water and its level . Lets hope all concerned are looking after the copious amounts of rainfall we are all getting .

  • Derek J Walker

    We have tried to give Meridian a good chance but, Sangeeta will never be as good a
    broadcaster as Debbie so B.B.C. South here we come.

  • les. hogben

    is it possible to contact fred dinage as my wife barbara nee bond we believe may have been in the same class at school with his wife beryl nee summers if this is so could she contact us either at my email address or telephone 02392454730.with thanks in antisipation.

  • Jamie Rodney

    Call me on 07838067647,its time the press new,and its one hell off the truth and ive had to keep my mouth shut throughout !!!! Get this truth first,before the nationals do,i swear. CALL AFTER 4PM PLEASE.

  • michael

    i think it is a good idea that the police remove cars and put a fee on this becouse next time it is bad weather like this they will leave there cars at home . i was on blue bell hill on wednesday night and their must of been about 10 cars that hit the centre reservation barrier i have a car and a van and i left them in untill the snow cleared i was going out on a 4 wheel drive quad my daughter and i was out on our quad and the amount of accedents we saw you would not belive every body in the south east was told not to travel due to bad weather

  • andrewjgroutage

    Please help.

    Our establishment is the MSWMS (merchant seamens war memorial society) a charity that takes care for more than 70 or so ex-Merchant and Royal Navy Seamen who have served their time and yet we have no fuel oil for heating or hot water. Thanks to Total Butler.
    The order was placed in Mid December and yet in this current weather NO DELIVERY. The postal code is GU68Ex.

    I would be most grateful for your assistance in giving these people a shove so that we can be able to enjoy a bit of warmth, hot water etc and that which you might enjoy when you get home this evening.

    Kind regards

    Andrew J Groutage.

  • Kim

    I have been watching Meridian News forever as I really enjoy the local items that it covers. However for some while since Sangeeta joined I have had real concerns about her wardrobe and tonight I just had to comment.

    Does Meridian have a wardrobe department ? well if they have they must need glasses or need the boot.

    Sangeeta’s wardrobe is absolutely terrible, never have I seen an anchor news reader look so scruffy and wearing such ill fitting clothes. I would also like to say that Fred had a real mismatch of a grey pinstripe suit, a pale blue stripped shirt and a violet colour diagonal stripped tie, A DISASTER

    Would someone PLEASE smarten up our local new readers or I will have to start watching South Today.

  • Kathleen Pay

    loosing our agricultural rights.but were white British minority so no one cares if we were immigrants of any ethnic race or European every body would be bending over backwards to help but no wants to no

  • Kathleen Pay

    leave sangeeta alone she is so cheerful along with fred

  • anna witherington

    I am agahst at all the things that have been written about Fed and Sangetta. I find they work really well together and she is very bubbly.We think she is an asset to the programme!

  • sid common

    dear and tour partner.are our favourite newsreaders.fred you are great BUT could you refrain from making your facetwistup while waiting for your turn to speak.we are quite new too meridian.but we still love our best news reader++++++.sid++hazel…..camberley.surrey…

  • Gary Weller

    Please can we see more of Nia Mason, she’s gorgeous

  • Jody Blackmore

    I am just emailing because the people at my school (Solent Middle School) were wondering if we will be on TV. The Meridian film set came into are school along with Christine Alford and they filmed the Shape Group. We wanted to know if we will appear on TV and if so when

    Your Regards

    Jody Blackmore

    Solent Middle School, Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO31 8DS

  • Mel Flower

    Dear Fred & sangeeta,
    I always sit down and watch your programe with my husband and daughter, and always thought that the pictures behind you were real. Until my husband noticed the same man sitting on the bench by the river, and the same lorry going over the bridge, then noticed how it sudenly got dark quickly, i feel this has ruined it for me as all i do now is sit and watch the background! I dont know weather any of your other viewers have noticed this but We Have and its driven me crazy x

  • Andy

    Hi, The three partys trying to will our votes only have to look to Shell and BP for the winning answer, we have them both reporting Billion pound profits and we are all finding it harder and harder to pay for our petrol at now around ?1.23 a litre, this is madness.

  • David

    a lot seem to hate Sangeeta Bhabra i dont knoew if he has what iyt taks or not to be higher up on her job she seems to do well politer nice smile i like her shes still single to right how do i dsend emails that she will see i wanna try my luck lol but anyway she may proove to be good at her job proove loads wrong a bit like the chance that who ever got in parlament wont proove them selfs everyone hs thrte own choises but they dont always turn out to be the right ones


    So after a year or more of moaning about sang & fred – how do u feel now? I think now theyve built up a rapoor and the team have found their feet – the meridian news team is back on top! Sang and Fred do a perfect job – and their rapoor is fine.. after all – its just half an hour 5 days per week… whats the efin problem? if ur so into ”news in my area aint covered enough” – go and open your eyes outside your front door and see whats happening.. if u cant – then this is as good as it gets.

  • jon carpenter

    can some one tell me why meridian news do not ut up wycombe wanderer on the tv i not happy at all you put oxford on i not happy

  • john horner

    regarding memories of ww2

    my wife was strafed by a german fighter when it came flying low up
    the river medina ,over newport. also we still have the walls,floor, and blastwall of an air raid
    shelter in our back garden which is now a greenhouse.

    will that be o.k.for you

  • Richard

    I receive Meridian television via my Sky box as I like to keep in touch with the news from Southampton area, I dont really want to see the news from Berkshire and Oxfordshire. When will the ITV realise local people want local news, and not from eighty miles to the north. Meridian television sometimes has news items from Bicester, but Bicester is much closer to the Central region in Birmingham, so why show it down south!
    Keep up the good work Fred and the lovely sangeeta.

  • mrs tarrant

    whats happened to paul belviston sports news its not the same without his cheery smile get him back to brighten peoples day hes greatly missed for his lovely smile we want him back.

  • p. Gibson

    re bomb disposal experts. They are members of 11 eod regt Royal Logistic Corps. Not royal engeners who are experts i searching, not bomb disposal.

  • David Williams

    Dear Friends at Meridian.
    Could I have an email that I could send press releases to ??

    It would be nice to have a reporters email and telephone that I can send press releases to about stories that are developing in Oxford.

    Councillor David Williams
    Oxford City Council

  • Keith C

    Why do I get Meridian News for Kent on Sky when I live just North of Porstmouth? I wrote to Sky, they said ask Meridian, I wrote to Meridian and was told we “received the correct broadcast”. I have seen so many posts from various people over the last few years saying they are receiveing south news in Kent etc. So I assume they are all being broadcast somehow by Sky?

  • Dave Coppard

    Dear Fred

    I’ve enjoyed all your years of giving us the news, perhaps you would like to give me your signature by clicking on the following link as I would consider it an honour on behalf of all our pensioners within the United Kingdom, and in particular those in the Meridian region.

    Best Wishes

    Dave Coppard

  • Dave Coppard
  • Sid Wooddeson

    Dear Fred, Who is the fisherman (behind your right shoulder) when you are reading the news. He always seems to be there at this time of the year. And has he ever caught any fish as I have never seen him reel in any fish.

  • mary ann gheibi

    please will some couragous journalist cover the biggest story in recorded human history.
    CHEMTRAILS or geo engineering as they like to call it.
    they are happening all over the world and over our local skies here in bournemouth and all south england.
    i have 8 days photos of them and if you watch” what in the world are they spraying us with” by micheal j murphy then you will see all the scientific proof you need that it is not good for us and our health.
    they didnt even ask us if we mind being poisioned and it causes global warming where there was no unusual warming before!!!
    just take a look what oz is doing. they are awake and trying to stop the genocide but here in sleepy brainwashed england it needs some news coverage so please if you care about your planet and fellow humans then please cover this story. my number if you want recent photos of the latest activity over bournemouth (07570 897743). also check out “freetruthshow” an internet radio station that has covered this topic many times. its realy happening and its really wrong. please help us raise awareness thank you

  • Mary Gates, 19 Howards Mead, Pennington,Lymington

    Mansell and New Forest District Council build 9 affordable homes which is commendable but at what cost to the couple who will lose sleep and quality of life because of 8 parking spaces 2 – 2.5 meters away from their bedrooms, living room and kitchen wall!
    Council not even willing to discuss reduction of spaces so that the ones on this wall are left off as suggested by home owner.

  • John Russell

    Why is Meridian news only focusing on the south east and north of the region. We in the west are being neglected to such an extent that the weather is only given from Brighton eastwards. If they cannot offer us the service we require then there is no alternative than to change to the BBC which offers more of a local news. Apart from Meridian news being a load of rubbish perhaps a change of viewing might not be a bad move

  • Sam-bushell

    I love Sangeeta she’s an amazing news reader and so funny makes me laugh everyday her young spirit and personality is brilliant don’t ever leave mrs!!! Your fab

  • |Kathy

    PLEASE PLEASE stop referring to ‘ Kent and Medway’ – Medway IS part of Kent and you demean the County and the area by separating it!! We are one County and proud of it! Thank you.

  • Chris

    It was unfortunate and embarrassing that for the 6p.m. news on 21st. March, news caster Phil Hornby presented the item on child obesity. Having seen him for several years as a reporter it was clear that he was putting on the pounds, but tonight it was particularly obvious, especially when a side view showed his large stomach, and then the front view of him seated with his shirt under considerable tension.
    Was he intended to be a ‘dreadful warning’ to children of the results of over eating?

  • ChrisV

    Not bothering with this “local news” They don’t even pretend to be bothered about Bournemouth or Poole or Dorset at all. BBC South is streets ahead even in non HD format.