Channel 4 has launched its new weather service following the appointment of Channel 4 News’ first weather presenter.
Liam Dutton, who joins from the BBC, will be the face of the weather website. He is also responsible for blogs, news articles and social media engagement with viewers and users on weather topics.
As an alternative to the traditional weather map, the graphics on Channel 4’s weather website divide the country into 14 blocks, so viewers and users can pinpoint their region and get the weather information in a way that is more intuitive to how it is consumed online.
Weather data will be supplied by MeteoGroup from one station per regional block. Users can click into each region for more detailed information and can choose to search using a town name or postcode. They can select even greater detail from a list of filters, from wind speed to the chance of rain or snow, cloud cover and humidity over a five day period. Each block’s colour will correspond to the temperature in that region so that users can see the weather outlook at a glance.
Tonight Liam, who will begin presenting a weeknight forecast from December 12, will make his TV debut. His role will encompass reports on weather news stories and live studio discussions with the presenting team when weather is in the news agenda. His report tonight will look at how this year’s low rainfall could mean a drought next summer.
Channel 4 News announced the addition of this new role as a way to bring viewers the ultimate “news you can use” in a way that is distinctive and in line with the programme’s values.
Starting his career at the BBC Weather Centre, (presenting his first forecast at just 22), Liam has since travelled the UK presenting for BBC nations and regions. In 2006 he began presenting for national and international BBC outlets. Most recently, he has worked across BBC News, BBC World News, BBC Breakfast and Radio 4’s Today programme.
Vicky Taylor, Commissioning Editor, New Media, News and Current Affairs says: “We want to deliver the weather in a way that is completely distinctive – but also, crucially, easy to use and interpret. We think this website communicates all the values of the news programme, and Liam’s personality, and through cutting-edge design and functionality will offer a totally new way for users to engage with the weather.”
Liam Dutton, Weather Presenter, Channel 4 News adds: “It’s fantastic to be involved with Channel 4 at the start of this new move into weather. I know from the conversations I have through social media that weather is an increasingly popular topic of discussion, particularly as it becomes more unpredictable. I’m looking forward to leading a service that will encourage that interaction and explain the UK’s weather in a completely new way.”
The new weather website is at www.channel4.com/weather
Liam blogs at http://blogs.channel4.com/liam-dutton-on-weather/