A NEW regional news programme for Oxfordshire, set to replace ITV's Abingdon-based Central News South, goes live tomorrow at 6pm.

Thames Valley Tonight will be co-presented by Wesley Smith and Mary Green, presenter of ITV's Meridian Tonight.

The Central News studios in the Abingdon Business Park will be retained to form the centrepiece of the new service, which covers an area stretching from Witney to Windsor and from Winchester up to Banbury.

Mr Smith, who has presented Central News since 1989, said: "Viewers will get more news relevant to their daily lives.

"Our commitment to cover anything of interest in Oxfordshire will be stronger than ever."

Ms Green said: "I am delighted to be involved in the new programme. It's a wonderful region."

Central News presenter Hannah Shellswell will still be part of the show, co-hosting the Friday programme and taking on a series of challenges called Can I Cut It?

The new service is a fusion of ITV's Central South and Meridian West sub-regions.

Viewers who are tuned to Central's Oxford transmitter will automatically receive Thames Valley Tonight.

Head of news Robin Britton said: "Despite viewers having the choice of sometimes hundreds of channels we are convinced there is a need for a news programme with a strong local identity in tune with local people."