BBC’s ‘Midlands’ and ‘East Midlands’ get set upgrades to match Studio B

The regional “BBC Midlands Today” and “BBC East Midlands Today” have both migrated to two separate new sets designed to mirror the look and feel of the larger one in Studio B at the broadcaster’s headquarters in London.

“Midlands Today” is based in Birmingham, U.K., while “East Midlands Today” originates from Nottingham, U.K.

“East Midlands” moved into the new space Jan. 16, 2023, while “Midlands” debuted Feb. 6, 2023.

Both studios have what appear to be nearly identical sets from Jago Design, the same firm that created Studio B at Broadcasting House.

The sets were purposefully designed to be essentially scaled-down versions of the mothership. 

They feature three seamless video walls, the center being wider, with AV integration by Anna Valley.

Camera left and forward is a freestanding LED video tower, a smaller version of the two found in Studio B, while camera right is a curved red sofa with a low coffee table-style unit in front of it.


Bulletins can start with the presenter standing to one side of the tower to both tease upcoming content and introduce the top story.

At the start of the broadcasts, the tower graphic shows a branded red background while the video walls in the background sport a regional skyline view that’s covered with simulated white frost. The date can be shown on the camera right video wall.

As the anchor dives into the top story, the walls change to a topical look in synchronization with each other. The tower typically includes imagery with a clear focal point while the video walls have larger-scale complementary graphics meant more as backgrounds.

This shot typically starts wide, showing most of the set, including the custom sofa and table built by Estdale Scenex, and then uses a combination of zooming and trucking to adjust to a tighter shot of the presenter and tower.

Despite being a relatively small set, the layout is well thought out to allow maximum use of all the investment in seamless LED.

This includes having the presenter introduce a segment near the tower as the camera trucks right to reveal another in-studio presenter standing behind the tower as the main anchor walks over to join the other in a debrief-style setup.

That secondary presenter can use the camera left corner of the LED to showcase key points, graphs and other storytelling images. 

Meanwhile, this corner can also serve as an alternate anchor standup position, standing cross-shot to a remote interview shown on the middle video wall as well as a starting point for weather.

Weather presenters can showcase viewer-submitted images using the intersection of the two perpendicular walls before moving over to use the left part of the center wall for a more traditional straight-on shot with weather maps and graphics behind them.

This also allows the forecaster to end segments with a short walk over the sofa, joining the primary anchor to close out the broadcast.

Sports can be presented from the tower as well. This segment can be handled by a dedicated presenter and shot from the opposite angle used in the teases, giving the same venue a significantly different look. 


Tossing to sports can include a wide view of the set as the video walls and tower transition to a yellow BBC Sport branded look.

There is also the option for the primary anchor to also handle sports by taking a step or two toward the tower in a wide shot. 

The sofa area can be used for either a tight or wider anchor one shot or alternative top story presentation area where a topical image is displayed on the far right video wall. 

When not being used for story-related graphics, the video walls can default to a skyline view that matches the daypart. BBC adds in white overlays in varying degrees of transparency as well as a bold vertical, semi-transparent red bar with regional branding. That red segment typically appears on the far right side of the center video wall, tucked into the corner.

The choice of a sofa also allows this corner of the studio to accomodate in-studio guests with the option for related imagery to be shown on the video walls during the interview. It also allows the forecaster to join the main presenter for the bump without having to slip into an empty chair. 

Different presenters appear to use the curved table, which echoes the anchor desk in Studio B in both shape and position, in different ways.

Some will use it to store their paper scripts, glasses and other items, while others keep scripts on the seat of the sofa cushion next to them — or in some combination of the two surfaces. The desk also appears to be outfitted with an integrated computer, with a mouse and keyboard sitting on the black glassy top.

BBC Look North in East Yorkshire, U.K. is next up to receive an updated set. 

The BBC has traditionally incorporated similar designs across all of its regional studios, though some are significantly pared down designs, though the process of overhauling all of them could take years.