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Nicholas Owen joins BBC News 24

ITV newsreader Nicholas Owen is to join BBC News 24 in the new year, it has been announced.

Owen, who currently co-presents the ITV Lunchtime News with Katie Derham, has anchored all of ITN’s major bulletins for over 10 years including their daily lunchtime bulletin, the News at Ten and the Channel Four News.

He began his broadcasting career in 1981 at the BBC as a reporter in the North of England.

Nicholas will present around 100 shifts a year on the channel but will not have a fixed slot. He will present mainly at weekends and when other presenters are away.

Nicholas Owen said: “It seems the right moment to go for new challenges – and I look forward to plenty of those, joining the line-up of presenters who have helped make BBC News 24 the country’s leading news channel.”

Kevin Bakhurst, Controller of BBC News 24, said: “I’m delighted that Nicholas is joining News 24.

“He is one of the most respected and experienced presenters in the business and will bring a real charm and depth of experience to the channel.

“He is joining a tremendously strong line-up of presenters and correspondents and I’m sure he will help to build on News 24’s position as the UK’s most watched news channel.”

Alastair Stewart will replace Nicholas as full time co-presenter of the ITV Lunchtime News.

• Updated Monday 20 November 2006