All 7 entries tagged BBC

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July 28, 2006

Radio 1's appalling weekend schedule

One down, two (Vernon Kay and Sara Cox) to go…

BBC Radio 1 presenter DJ Spoony is to leave the station after six years to explore other offers. The DJ, who currently hosts the Radio 1 weekend breakfast show, will leave the station in September – at the same time as the station has a schedule overhaul.


July 08, 2006

Jeremy Bowen on Gaza

The BBC's Jeremy Bowen has written a sensible and rational piece on the motives of Israel and Palestine for the current crisis in Gaza, and it's well worth a read.

He writes:

…in the 39 years since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza, history has delivered a few fundamental lessons, which neither side at the moment is in any mood to absorb.
The Gaza crisis is doomed to run its course, in the same way that Palestinians and Israelis are doomed to live alongside each other.

For those who criticise the BBC for being pro–Palestine, read this article from their Middle East Editor. Perhaps the same rationality isn't displayed in every broadcast, but it's clear from Bowen's article why the story is a hard one to cover: both sides believe passionately that they are right and will fight endlessly to prove it. Complete objectivity in such an environment must be virtually impossible when so many innocents are caught in the crossfire (on both sides).

Not only is Bowen's article essential reading for anyone trying to understand the reasons for the current crisis, it would also be highly useful for those engaged in it.

Joe Cole leaving Chelsea!!!

Paparazzi photographs suggest that Joe Cole has decided to leave Chelsea – in fact football – behind for a new career. He's set to take on the Abramoviches of the world and give the Russian's money to poor people up and down the land. Here is the evidence:

Actually, it's not Joe Cole, it's Jonas Armstrong who's playing Robin Hood in a new BBC adaptation that's supposed to be very good (i.e. it's expensive and if it's not good, heads will roll).

But I prefer the idea that it's Joe Cole.

July 05, 2006

Why the Right need to calm down about Prescott

Right–wing bloggers (see here and here) are again baying for John Prescott's blood over his trip to the ranch of a US millionaire who wants to build the UK's only super–casino at the Millenium Dome.

They've also dragged the BBC into it, saying they've ignored the story and would have caused a big stink if it had been a Conservative politician.

In both senses, they're wide of the mark. The 'story' is just speculation at the moment. It doesn't look enormously great, because there was a "potential" conflict of interest, although it's 1) only potential at the moment and 2) apparently weaker than first appeared because Prezza didn't have any say over Casino policy. He also claims he was on official business, which if true, puts a different spin on the story.

Nick Robinson has taken some heat for saying the BBC's held back on it because there didn't appear to be a definite story in there – more speculation than anything else – and criticised bloggers for being slightly lazier with the truth than paid journalists.

He's right, but his tone was perhaps a little obnoxious. Bloggers are, by and large, influenced by an agenda which journalists tacitly subordinate when they take up a job (especially a politics–related one), but journalists can learn some things from bloggers. Mainly, the 'blogosphere' helps bring stories to people's attention (see Cherie's signed copy of the Hutton Report for one), but also delivers stories at a faster speed.

Sadly speed often comes at the price of accuracy, and in the case of political blogs, seems to come increasingly ahead of objectivity. So while the number of blogs should be applauded for the likelihood of someone picking up on a story quicker than one guy sat in Whitehall, they should also learn a little from real journalists if they want to be seen to be playing a similar game.

July 04, 2006

Don't watch that, watch this!

Rob Brydon's got a new panel-based game show coming to BBC Three, and it is the funniest TV you'll see all year.

Yep, 'panel–based game show' might strike you as not perhaps the most original format ever indulged in by our beloved television bosses, but Annually Retentive is a cut above the rest.

I don't want to spoil it for you, except to say that there's an unexpected twist to the programme.

You'll regret not clicking here to watch a preview episode.

December 20, 2005

BSkyB: "Freeview not up to the job"?

Writing about web page,7493,1671450,00.html

Several executives from BSkyB and another pay-TV operator have told a government committee today that Freeview – the digital terrestrial platform with nearly 40 TV channels and 25 radio stations – is bunk.

Mike Darcey, BSkyB's director of strategy went as far as saying "Freeview is for the elderly and economically inactive".

Now lets clear up the blatant conflict of interest. BSkyB execs want people to hand over money every month to watch hundreds of TV channels, bet on interactive gambling channels and use their set-top-box to bank, shop and yes, spend more money.

Freeview is the antithesis of this model. You pay £30–200, and that's it. You never pay anything again. In return, you get all of the digital channels from the BBC, ITV and currently most of Channel 4's and soon Channel 5's too. You even get three Sky channels! Every genre is covered except for a sport channel (apart from Sky Sports News) and a film channel (although FilmFour is rumoured to be going free in 2006).

The technology isn't really any less clever (as Sky make out), but the channels are simply trapped in a certain amount of frequency, a fact that satellite broadcasters don't have to worry about so much. The picture quality is slightly poorer as a result (but still much better than analogue) and admittedly, not everyone can get Freeview.

But the fact is, by 2012, virtually everyone should be able to receive Freeview. At the moment, the transmitters are turned down so as not to interfere with the analogue signal. But turn off the analogue, and you've got almost perfect reception across the country. At the moment it's a bit like a Virgin Pendolino that isn't allowed to tilt because the lines aren't ready.

Yes, you get far fewer channels on Freeview, but you've got to be a sports or movies fanatic, or an incredibly niche viewer to need Sky. Year after year, the channels on Freeview get better, and you can't say the same of Sky's offering.

So keep your money in your pocket. Get Freeview, or even get Sky's free satellite option (with worse channels than Freeview), or wait a bit longer and just download all of your favourite programmes using the BBC's Interactive Media Player which should be out next year.

In the meantime, don't believe a thing that Sky says about its technological superiority. Not until HDTV, at least.

December 15, 2005


Writing about web page

It's only been online for about a week, and already it's my favourite bit of t'internet.

What am I talking about? Nick Robinson's blog. He's the Political Editor of the BBC (like Andrew Marr, with less ears) and once or twice a day he fills my world with all the political hackery I need. It's what he would say if his live reports on the 10o'clock news weren't only 30 seconds long. And he's not bothered about playing to the mainstream audience. Which makes it perfect for politics geeks such as myself.

P.S. This blog entry should not be seen as sucking-up in case I ever get a job interview at the BBC, and they Google me…

Twitter Go to 'Twitter / chrisdoidge'

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