BBC East is the BBC English Region serving Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and northern Buckinghamshire.
BBC East's television output (broadcast on BBC One) consists of its flagship regional news service BBC Look East, including an opt-out service for the west of the region, the topical magazine programme Inside Out, and a 20-minute opt-out during Sunday Politics.
Former programmes include Weekend, East on Two, Matter of Fact and the football magazine show Late Kick Off (produced by the independent production company Kevin Piper Media).
The region is the controlling centre for BBC Radio Norfolk, BBC Radio Suffolk, BBC Essex, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, BBC Radio Northampton and BBC Three Counties Radio.
On weekdays, all six stations open transmission at 4am with a networked early morning show before carrying local programming between 6am and 7pm. There is also a shared regional programme broadcast across the stations from 10pm to 1am on weeknights, and other shared programmes at weekends.
BBC East also produces regional news and local radio pages for BBC Red Button and the BBC Local News websites for each county.
The BBC opened its first regional studios for the East of England at All Saints Green in Norwich on September the 10th 1956. From here, they began broadcasting news bulletins for East Anglia on the regional VHF frequencies of the BBC Home Service in 1957.
The first television news bulletin for the east was broadcast on 5 October 1959. These were only three minutes per night, but in 1962 were extended to ten minutes and the bulletins named East Anglia at Six Ten. In 1964, the programme was extended to 20 minutes in length and renamed Look East, a title the programme still goes under today.
The Norwich-based operation was initially a satellite of the larger BBC Midland region, based in Birmingham. East Anglia was given greater autonomy within the BBC in 1969 after the Broadcasting in the Seventies report recommended the large Midlands and East Anglia region should be split into two.
During 1997, an opt-out service (originally titled Close Up) was introduced to provide local bulletins for Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Peterborough and Milton Keynes.
Until 1980, regional radio programming was provided by an East Anglia opt-out on BBC Radio 4, consisting largely of daytime news bulletins and a weekday breakfast show, Roundabout East Anglia. The first BBC Local Radio station in the region, Radio Norfolk, was opened on 11 September 1980 and followed by the rollout of stations in Cambridgeshire (1 May 1982), Northamptonshire (16 June 1982), the Three Counties of Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire & Buckinghamshire (24 June 1985), Essex (5 November 1986) and Suffolk (12 April 1990).
BBC East's main headquarters and studios are based at The Forum at Millennium Plain in Norwich. Until 29 September 2003, the region was based at a listed Georgian building at All Saints Green in St Catherine's Close, Norwich, which had been converted from a family house into studio facilities. The move to The Forum was a result of a number of factors: the listed status of the building restricted much of what the BBC did there, the location was less central than the BBC wanted, their ideal location being in Norwich city centre, the equipment was becoming old and needed replacing, and the Disability Discrimination Act meant that their headquarters now needed major modifications to comply with the law.
BBC East also has radio and television studios at the Cambridge Business Park, on Cowley Road in the city, where both Look East's West opt-out and Radio Cambridgeshire are based. Local radio studios and television bureaux are also located in Chelmsford, Northampton, Ipswich, Luton and Milton Keynes.