All 7 entries tagged Video

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December 24, 2006

Pachelbel Hell

After spreading a bit of Tim Minchin love last month, I decided it was only right to offer some more musical comedy at this festive time of year. Here’s Rob Paravonian with a brilliant rant about Pachelbel’s Canon in D. You know the tune, but does it drive you this mad? I think it gets funnier the longer it goes on.

He obviously hasn’t heard that Coolio track “I’ll see you when I get there…”


December 04, 2006

Cillit Bang – at last a decent advert… shame it's not by them, then.

I hate Cillit Bang. It is the Pol Pot of advertising. But this is hilarious. Needless to say it has nothing to do with them.

It brings a whole new meaning to “hardcore cleaning”.


November 24, 2006

The tosser within

The TosserIn their breathless search for new approaches to ‘doing’ politics, the Conservative Party have launched a viral ad campaign (see video below) about rooting out your ‘inner tosser’.

It’s caused a lot of bemusement and some mild anger from the old guard Tories who find the use of the word ‘tosser’ offensive. But arguably it’s those who the campaign is aimed at who should find it offensive.

But I’m trying really hard to find something I hate about it. It’s very classily produced, and luckily is quite funny. If they’d missed the punchline it would have been incredibly embarrassing.

Norman Tebbit predictably finds it ‘a mark of the permissive society which has been lauded by the Labour Party’ but Iain Dale is amongst the moderates who note this is not aimed at us. But I’m not sure he’s right about that.

Because ultimately, while the advert is quite amusing and makes a good point, it does so in a way which isn’t very likely to have much effect on the ‘tossers’. Instead, it’s probably aimed at potential Tory voters, who might see the party as witty, clever or having unique ideas about how to solve the nation’s debt problem.

The trouble is there’s a fine line between all of that and seeming like a smart arse.


November 16, 2006

More Tim Minchin

My sister tells me this Tim Minchin video is even funnier than the one below, so in my endless search to make him famous and single-handedly sell-out his upcoming British tour, here’s another one…


November 13, 2006

RaW at the Student Radio Awards

The RaW Massive!RaW had a great night out at the 2006 Student Radio Awards. The station picked up several awards, including a Gold Award for Best Technical Innovation, which I played a small bit-part in.

Collecting our Best Technical Innovation gongMy interview with David Davis – listen to it here – got Bronze in the Best Interview category, beaten by Pete Swan’s interview with Boris Johnson. RaW clearly loves its politics…

Matt Rebeiro came second in the Best Newcomer category, and Jimmy and Adam came second in the Best Entertainment category. The station also came second in the Best Station category, meaning RaW is essentially the second best student station in Britain (meaning it would be rather stupid of the Union to force it off air next summer…)

Olivia Case with Smiley, Smiley, Jo WhileyIt was a fantastic night out, and a great day too. The nominees were invited to the HQ of GCap Media, the biggest radio group in the country, and the home of Capital Radio, Xfm, Classic FM and more. We got a great tour of the place, and sat in on some live radio shows.

Scott Mills and Jo WhileyCredit should go to some of the industry celebs who stayed a lot longer than in previous years… even if it was only because they were on the pull (a certain Radio 1 DJ knows who I’m talking about and I’d warn them I have photographic evidence!).

As well as a successful piss-up and a great night of success, it was also fantastic to catch up with the RaW Massive! Now it’s over to the next generation to make RaW a success well into the future (blub!)


Behind the scenes at 18 Doughty Street

I’m not going to tell you what 18 Doughty Street is. You either know already, or you can listen to my handy audio guide at the bottom of this entry! But last Wednesday I went behind-the-scenes at the world’s first online political TV channel, spoke to the people who created it, and ended up on air myself.

David Davis MP, being interviewed for 18 Doughty Street

18 Doughty Street is run by Iain Dale – one of Britain’s top bloggers and a member of the Conservative’s “A-List” of candidates for the next election. There’s around ten other people who seem to be full-time, and some others who mill around. I’m not entirely sure what they do, other than file expenses claims (maybe they’re all due in on Wednesdays).

“Other programmes have been pushed towards the edges…”

From lunchtime onwards they sort out the guests for that evening’s broadcast and decide on what stories they want to cover. While the channel began life with a large amount of variety, some of this has been sidelined in recent weeks and the schedule is based more firmly on studio discussion, with other programmes pushed towards the edges. I think this is a bit of a shame, but Iain and Co prefer the live formats. I think they’re planning a night of programming all about Gordon Brown’s Autumn budget statement, which seems like it could be overkill on what is essentially a dull subject.

The set of 18 Doughty Street - smaller than it looks!

Something which I felt was lacking from the proceedings was a Producer. Unless I’m mistaken there’s no-one (outside of the technical people) with any previous experience in television, and it shows. The hierarchy seems to end with Iain at the top, but he’d probably admit to not knowing much about putting together a TV show. I think some of the investment (for there is plenty of money here) should have gone on getting in a pro, who could control the process of making TV, as well as keeping an eye on the bank balance.

The gallery at 18 Doughty Street

The outfit does feel very professional though – they have seven or eight High-Definition cameras, not that they’re very useful when broadcasting online, and a freshly-painted front office.

“Phones are picked up with nervous excitement…”

The office is alive with political gossip. MPs are on the phone questioning the station’s stance on one issue or another, and the computer screensavers couldn’t be much more political if they tried. Phones are picked up with nervous excitement, although in one tragic incident, someone found it was a wrong number.

One of the presenters, Rena Valeh tells me it’s a constant battle to get more left-wing presenters on the channel. I’m given the impression that the Conservatives in charge would be happy if the socialists were banned altogether. As it is, they’re allowed on in order to ridicule their beliefs.

On the show with me is Simon Clark, a good speaker from Forest (the pro-smoking pressure group, funded by… yep, the tobacco industry), Jonathan Sheppard of Tory Radio and Barckley Sumner, the Deputy Editor of Tribune. I’d say the guests were weighted strongly in favour of the Right. While the numbers might be even, it seems more effort goes into getting the right-wingers than the lefties.

“Not for the first time, Ann Widdecombe caused a peak…”

And to the question of viewers? Well there’s a few jokes about how they’re getting lots of media interest but fewer viewers, and I tease out of them that no programme has had more than 10,000 viewers. Probably not for the first time, Ann Widdecombe caused the peak. I don’t think they know exact numbers, but I’d guess from viewer feedback they’re getting somewhere in the low hundreds a night, which isn’t much more than my blog.

But theirs is a bold and forward-thinking attempt to talk about politics without fear of talking over people’s heads. Soon they will have more user-generated content – I’d say the sooner, the better – with contributors ranging from the man on the street to the man in the Shadow Cabinet. They’re honest about their intentions, and I think they will open the door to imitators, so long as investment can be found.

In the short interview below, I ask Iain Dale and one of the other presenters, Donal Blaney, what the channel’s all about and what impact it might be having. My impression is that while its impact on politics may be small, especially as it is so partisan, its impact on broadcasting could be profound and may well outlast the channel itself.


November 08, 2006

A busy day

I’ve just come from the House of Commons where I met David Davis for a few minutes. He had some interesting views on bias in the BBC and the future of the House of Commons which I’ll upload when I’m back in the world of the normal.

I’m going live on 18 Doughty Street in under two hours (from 9pm until midnight), and we’ll be discussing the sacking/resignation of Donald Rumsfeld, the outcome of the US elections and whether Doughty Street itself might get yanked off air by the EU.

You can watch me it live at www.18doughtystreet.com from 9pm. Other programmes start at 7.30. Do send in your comments too.


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