STV dropped its usual Scottish news output on Monday evening in order to show a 90-minute news special on the King’s cancer diagnosis.

At 6pm on Monday, Buckingham Palace announced that King Charles had been diagnosed with cancer, although information about the type and location were kept private.

STV did not show its usual STV News at Six programme, instead broadcasting an extended UK-wide news programme focused on the monarchy. 

The broadcast took up the full 90-minute slot which would usually be divided between STV News (30 minutes) and ITV Evening News (60 minutes).

The BBC broadcasted a 35-minute edition of its News at Six which pushed back programming by five minutes due to the extension of the usual 30-minute slot. The corporation’s Scottish-focused Reporting Scotland was then given its usual 30-minute broadcast.

An STV spokesperson said their decision to ditch the Scottish-focused news programme entirely was made because the news of Charles’s diagnosis was “deemed to be of national importance”.

The spokesperson said: “Given the late breaking news about King Charles, it was decided by all Channel 3 licences to run the live national news feed from ITN at 6pm, ensuring viewers across the UK were kept up to date with news that was deemed to be of national importance.

“The rest of the STV schedule was not impacted, with the late night regional news bulletin and current affairs programme, Scotland Tonight, airing in their usual slots that evening.

“Up-to-date Scottish news is also always available on the STV News website and social channels, including Facebook and TikTok.”

Charles is understood to be undergoing treatment for cancer, with Buckingham Palace saying he "looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible".

In the wake of the news, Prince Harry is reportedly heading back to the UK from the US, where he lives with his wife Meghan Markle.

Charles is due to visit Canada in May, but there is as yet no indication whether the trip will go ahead.