The BBC has confirmed it will deploy a whopping 550 staff to cover the Royal Wedding on 29 April, more than three times that of commercial rival Sky.
This astonishing army of reporters will provide nine hours of on-the-ground live radio and TV coverage for BBC One in London, with many along the route of the wedding procession and others providing reaction from around the UK.
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The broadcaster’s efforts will easily dwarf the number of staff being allocated by rivals ITV and Sky, which are reportedly planning to use 300 and 160 staff members respectively.
“We will have 160 people covering 18 live points on the wedding route,” a Sky spokeswoman said.
“In the run-up to the wedding, we will have a significant number of people preparing for the event – but it won’t be higher than 160.”
To put the number into perspective, the BBC sent 437 staff to the Bejing 2008 Olympics and 295 to last year’s FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Huw Edwards, Fiona Bruce and Sophie Raworth will be at the heart of the BBC’s coverage, the bill for which will reportedly run into excess of £1million.
The corporation is also the only broadcaster that will produce footage from inside Westminster Abbey, with Radio 4 presenter Ed Stourton the only presenter giving live coverage of the ceremony from inside.
The Daily Mail is reporting that the number of BBC staff is actually 850 – if staff working for other shows such as Radio 4′s Today Programme, the BBC News Channel, Newsnight and Radio 5 Live are included.
The programmes are jointly understood to account for approximately 300 staff.
The BBC however has defended their use of reporters, arguing that as host broadcaster they will be responsible for beaming live footage and images of the much anticipated event to an estimated two billion viewers worldwide.
“Final numbers have yet to be confirmed, but we expect to have 550 people working on the day to bring high quality and distinctive coverage of this special event to a wide audience at home and abroad across TV, radio and online,” a BBC spokesperson told Yahoo! UK & Ireland.
“In addition BBC News will provide separate reports across the UK and numbers for this are yet to be finalised.”
By Emma Kemp, Yahoo! UK staff – royalwedding.yahoo.com
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