Sky News to produce Queen's Christmas broadcast

The Queen's Christmas broadcast is to be produced for the first time by Sky News, Buckingham Palace said today.

The organisation will film and distribute the monarch's annual television address this year and in 2012.

Sky News has slotted into a rota system that already features the BBC and ITN who, since 1997, have taken it in turn to put together the broadcast for two years at a time.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: "The proposal for them to join the rota came from Sky News and we are delighted they are joining the Christmas broadcast rota."

The Queen's Christmas broadcast last month focused on the importance of sport in people's lives and was produced by ITN, which also organised the 2009 address.

The monarch made her first Christmas address in 1952 and the annual message was first shown on television in 1957.

In that first broadcast the monarch delivered her message live on the radio from her study at Sandringham, Norfolk.

Simon Cole, deputy head of Sky News, said: "Sky News approached Buckingham Palace last year and are thrilled to be part of the Queen's Christmas broadcast.

"It is a great honour for us to be able to produce and distribute the address, especially over the next two years in which we will see the marriages of Prince William to Kate Middleton and Zara Phillips to Mike Tindall, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympic Games."

Graham Pearce of KPMG

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