Why is there no local news on BBC Breakfast today? What has happened to regional segment - and has it stopped

Viewers have been left confused by the absence of the local news segment on BBC Breakfast this week

Local news has been a staple of BBC Breakfast for years.

The daily morning show’s presenters will regularly announce it’s time for the "news, wherever you are" before the programme directs to a local BBC newsroom.

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After a few minutes of headlines and weather from your area, the broadcast returns to the BBC Breakfast sofa where the show’s presenters talk the viewers through the day’s stories.

This is often followed by sport and weather and sometimes an interview with a government minister, which became a regular occurrence during lockdowns amid the Covid pandemic.

Yet this week viewers have noticed the popular local news segment is no longer part of the BBC Breakfast morning show - and taken to Twitter to find out why.

What has happened to local news on BBC Breakfast?

Viewers keen to find out the local headlines and weather forecast each morning through BBC Breakfast have been left disappointed in recent days.

Following the conclusion of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the BBC’s flagship TV morning show hasn’t cut to a local newsroom for a reporter to go through the day’s headlines.

The segment tends to happen just before the half hour mark at around 6.25am and 7.25am each morning as part of the programme’s daily schedule - but not this week.

It appears the BBC has had to change its operation slightly amid the Covid pandemic, which has brought about staff shortages across its national and local newsrooms.

While more time was initially dedicated to the stories of Team GB Olympians who had just returned home from Tokyo, following the conclusion of the summer Olympics.

How have viewers reacted to BBC Breakfast not showing the local news?

Many regular viewers of BBC Breakfast took to social media.

One Twitter user asked politely: "Where is the local news this week please #BBCBreakfast"

Another said: "@BBCBreakfast where are the local news and weather bulletins at 6.25am? Are they not coming back after the blanket coverage of the Olympics?"

One user added: "What’s happened to local news section, only reason I watch. #BBCBreakfast"

Some viewers were tuning in hoping to see Dan Walker on the red sofa after his presenting role during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Jon Kay has been next to Louise Minchin this week, however, in another unexpected change to the programme which caused a stir on Twitter.

Walker was recently revealed as the eighth contestant to take part in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing competition, which starts later in 2021.

Will the local news segment return to BBC Breakfast?

The BBC say it is a "short term measure" to ease the pressure on its teams.

Speaking to the Metro, a BBC spokesperson said: "Like employers in every area of the economy, we’re experiencing staffing shortages caused by Covid.

"Apart from a few exceptions, we have maintained a normal service so far.

"Our priority is to protect the most popular news programme on TV; the regional news at 6:30pm on BBC One.

"To do this, we have implemented some short-term measures to ease pressure on our teams."