The BBC has dropped its contract with the Met Office to provide weather forecasts for the corporation after 93 years. The broadcaster said that it has been forced to tender the contract to other bidders.
Met Office backed forecasts have appeared on the BBC television and radio platforms since 14 November 1922 from Marconi House on The Strand in London making it an institution at the public-service broadcaster.
The BBC said it was legally required to seek the best value for money for licence fee payers and that it would now tender the contract to outside competitors. A report on the Daily Mirror's website suggests that companies vying for the contract include Dutch and New Zealand-based providers. The BBC said that it would still use the Met Office for severe weather warnings.
In a statement the BBC, said: "Our viewers get the highest standard of weather service and that won't change.We are 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."
What now for the weather?
Steve Noyes, operations and customer services director at the Met Office, said: "Nobody knows Britain's weather better and, during our long relationship with the BBC, we've revolutionised weather communication to make it an integral part of British daily life. This is disappointing news, but we will be working to make sure that vital Met Office advice continues to be a part of BBC output."
The Met Office also provides the forecasters who appear in weather reports on the BBC. It said that it will support the meteorologists to "ensure clarity on their future".
The Met Office has come under fire over the past decade for inaccurate forecasts, including the 2009 prediction of an Indian summer that never arrived on UK shores and was instead replaced by downpours that led to the cancelling of long-range outlooks from the organisation. However, it has also provided a platform for public relations coups for the broadcaster including a special weather bulletin delivered by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in 2014 on BBC Scotland.
Inevitably, the announcement has led to the sarcastic responses from social media wags. The artist Moose Allain, said "I'm glad the BBC have sacked the Met Office, we've had some awful weather recently."