Posts Tagged ‘bbc’

Jade Goody’s Funeral Pyre

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

Momentarily, I misunderstood the BBC News page. I have edited this pic, to emphasise what I thought I saw. A funeral pyre in Bermondsey, for Jade Goody? Of course not! Obviously! RIP.

BBC Goody Funeral

The Stifling BBC

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

The BBC is a treasured institution. But with a recession looming its sprawling tendrils and how they potentially damage legitimate commercial interests are becoming more obvious. It shouldn’t be surprising that rival media organisations put the boot in hard over issues such as ‘Brand-Ross.” They’re envious: as their own revenues are threatened , they see a BBC with guaranteed funding and very little to prove.

Until recently, I hadn’t really considered the challenged that the BBC poses to small businesses and start-ups, specifically online, the BBC’s unenlightened linking policy is well documented. But I’m more interested in how BBC content stifles competition in all sorts of spheres. BBC content has a much better chance of being ranked highly than that of smaller organisations and seen by its huge online audience. I spotted an example this week on the BBC homepage:

bbc food homepage promo spot

The content promoted is arguably of a PSB value but certainly not unique and it’s difficult to see why the BBC is in a position to claim that it should be publishing it. It’s not specifically related to a Radio or TV broadcast or programme and directly in competition to private sites out there (specifically MyDish, who I’m currently doing some work with.)

BBC.co.uk ran massively over budget in 2008 and since savings need to be found, the knife should cutback on producing unique content not related to programming. This will allow other to flourish and the BBC can concentrate on what it should be doing first and foremost: quality TV and Radio broadcast supported by online efforts.

Question Time: Good News from Ulster

Monday, December 15th, 2008

question time 2Finally, I managed to catch Question Time last week. It came from the Northern Irish city of Newry in County Down. Newry is a charming place set in a wondrous, sadly underrated, landscape. Close to my heart, it’s from Newry and thereabouts that my mum and her family come from and I spent a lot of happy time there as a child. I have so many fond memories of an amazing place and friendly people.

Northern Ireland is a beautiful part of these islands and yet so firmly associated with only one thing in the popular consciousness. It’s very unfair nowadays that the ‘the troubles‘ (a superb and yet also annoying euphemism) still loom so large still. Frankly, you’re at more risk of danger on a Saturday night at chucking out time in just about any town or city you can think of these days than you are from terrorism in Northern Ireland.

And what has this got to do with Question Time? Everything. It didn’t have the fun of Tony Benn or Ken Clarke but it really showed how much the political landscape has changed in the past decade or so. Sinn Fein, DUP and SDLP members joshed and battled as they should but with generosity and great humour. There was some rather touching teasing between opponents too that might previously have been thought unthinkable. It reminded me that there’s nothing in the water in those six counties of Ulster* that make Northern Ireland that means the residents don’t share the impish sense of humour that the Irish are rightly famous for.

There were only a few references to ‘the troubles’ and that’s great. It was business as usual. When the talk is about education, health and social security and not bombs, I’m happy. We’ve come so far and it feels so good. Let’s never go back.

*Yup, I know Ulster has nine counties. But as I say, only six make up Northern Ireland. And just because I didn’t mention that, doesn’t mean I don’t know it.

Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand: Offensive can be funny.

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

It’s created an almighty and completely unnecessary fuss, it certainly doesn’t need to be raised in the House of Commons, it’s no business of the Prime Minister, the Daily Mail et all have blown it out of all proportion and the BBC almost certainly shouldn’t have broadcast it (even if suspending them for what is essentially an editorial decision is crazy).

But Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand’s prank phone calls to Andrew Sachs have raised some interesting comments about the nature of comedy. Here are a few random thoughts:

Offensive comedy can be funny. Indeed, much of comedy is about poking fun or denigrating other folks… anyone who has been to a stand-up gig knows that the banter with the audience can come close to bullying sometimes. For me, the greatest example of brilliant offensive comedy is Monty Python’s Life of Brian which was pilloried and attacked (banned?) when first released. You’d have to be a very sour soul indeed not to admit it is hilarious.

Offensive in itself isn’t funny. Many people have been comparing the Brand and Ross shenanigans to Chris Morris’s Brass Eye mockumentary on paedophilia. If you are going to be offensive you either have to be clever, satirical or have some sort of serious point to make. Brass Eye always did, I think the phonecalls were little more than puerile high-jinks and therefore less defensible.

Context is all. Who doesn’t enjoy a dirty or off-colour joke in the saloon bar with friends? It doesn’t mean that the same dirty jokes should be broadcast to the nation on Radio 2.

BA must be chuffed with their Ad on the BBC

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Way back when, I was told off by a BBC radio presenter for using the word ‘eBay’ twice in an interview about, well, eBay. I was expected to talk about ‘internet auctions’ and ‘online buying and selling’.

So I was quite intriuged by this video on the BBC. The PR and Branding folks at BA will be cracking open the champers.

See it hear: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7581195.stm

(Sorry it’s a link. The infinitely enlightened BBC don’t allow you to embed vids. I mean it’s not as if we’ve paid for it.)