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BBC ends its long standing weather data contract with the Met Office

The changes will see an end to the almost century-long relationship

The BBC's weather forecasting contract with The Met Office will not be renewed for the first time in over 80 years.

The decision is understood to be a financial one with the BBC saying that it was legally required to secure the best value for money for licence fee payers and would tender the contract to outside competition.

The Met Office has provided the data used for BBC weather forecasts since 1922 when the public broadcaster aired its first radio weather bulletin on 14 November.

A BBC spokesman said that when the new provider was chosen viewers would continue to receive "the highest standard of weather service and that won't change".

The spokesman also confirmed that the decision to cancel the Met Office contracted was because the BBC was "legally required to go through an open tender process and take forward the strongest bids to make sure we secure both the best possible service and value for money for the licence fee payer."

Met Office operations and customer services director, Steve Noyes, said it was "disappointing news" however he added that it would "be working to make sure that vital Met Office advice continues to be a part of BBC output". This is in relation to severe weather warnings which will still be used by the BBC after the contract is over.

Many of the BBC's weather presenters who broadcast the forecasts are provided by the Met Office and so their future remains uncertain although it said it would be supporting them to "ensure clarity on their future".

A replacement weather data supplier is expected to take over next year.