Archive for September, 2006

Jamie Oliver: Schooldinners

Jamie Oliver: Schooldinners.Watched ‘Return to Jamie’s School Dinner’s‘ last night. On the one hand I think what he’s trying to do is grand (as I talked about first time round). On the other hand he’s divvy’d the blamed up between the School Governors, the LEA, the Government, the local pub who pulled out, and finally the parents for packing the kids poor lunches. The one one group he hasn’t actually blamed is the supermarkets. Yes he should lay in to the Sec of State for Education (liked the bit about the Iraq and the ‘handler’ stepping in), but it’s ignoring the elephant in the room not to address the supermarkets, where most of the parents do the shop. He could probably achieve a great deal more by saying to Justin King’s face “take crisps, pop, cheeze straws off you’re shelves or I’m off to see if Tesco’s will do it”. Jamie vs Sainsbury’s – Who’s the bigger brand? This ‘anti-Jamie’ (better coverage here) story is interesting for it’s total madness.

Sparrowhawk, pigeons and jays

This morning I pulled up the blind of the bedroom window to see a Sparrowhawk ripping apart a Wood Pigeon in my back garden – cool!

Two Jays were making a hell of a noise trying the scare it (or me) off. I managed to get quite close to the Falcon with my D70 (max focal length – 70mm) Eventually it flew up to the tree and waited for me to grab a quick snap of it’s breakfast, before running off to work. Upper Norwood gets it’s name from the ‘Great North Wood’ and the whole area was once covered in woodland. Good to see that wildlife is still there, and nice to see birds of prey rather than the usual fox.

BBC spoof vids – Now and Then

Bit of a ta-doo about this video in the Beeb at the moment. Natch the Daily Mail had a field day, but it must have been a hard call, choosing between slagging us off or condemning ‘political-correctness-gone-mad’, but I think we won by a nose, after all, the Mail can’t resists a pop at the beeb. Also most of the comments underneath from it’s own readers side on the ‘just a bit of fun’. My fave being “Look, I can’t stand the BBC, but this seems to be much to do about nothing. Don’t take it so personally. – M. Fernandez, Cpt, U.S. Army, Baghdad, Iraq

There’s been a lot of discussions between staff too. This weeks Ariel (internal BBC news paper) had:
page 1: “Bring back the fun says Peter Salmon”
Page 2: “Al-Jazeera spoof video is no laughing matter, says BBC”

Jeeeze, Someone also made a good point on our internal staff message boards.
Shame on the person that leaked it externally. Can’t people do a slightly dumb thing without it getting blown out of all proportion? And saying it’s licence fee money wasted. Come on. Does anyone seriously believe that has eaten up any licence fees? Also it’s, erm, how to put this politely? A bit rubbish.The British Army can do a better version than the mighty BBC!.

Indeed. Apparently some members of the top brass are furious. But is the problem the content, or that it leaked? Over lunch we talked about other BBC spoof videos. Here’s some pisstakes done by members of the public, the best being the slagging off of Grownups. Aye, and back in the day we really knew how to do PROPER PISS TAKES AND LEAVING VIDEOS OURSELVES! Check out this one featuring Suzi Quatro and the VT Christmas classic Legs & co.

Alastair Fothergill talks to Jana Bennett at the BBC

This morning, as part of the BBC Storytelling Festival I went to ‘Alastair Fothergill, Series Producer of Planet Earth, in conversation with Jana Bennett‘. It was a fascinating look at just how something like Planet Earth gets made as well as Alastair’s thoughts on narrative as well as nature. (pic here)

We also got a sneak look at the forthcoming movie. On this Alastair talked about the rise of documentaries in cinema, and that people will still go and see a film after there’s been TV content. His Deep Blue film proved that, as it was massive in Asia. He went on to explain how with the advent of digital cinemas and shooting in HD, the gap between big and not so big screen is shrinking. Also how films like March of the Penguins and even the Al Gore movie are putting docs back. On MotP, he said, ‘it’s not a very good movie, in fact they even used some 16mm shots from my Life in the Freezer from 1993’.

The Q&A was interesting as someone asked “The show seems very clippable. How do you both feel about clips of Planet Earth appearing on YouTube?” Cut to nonplussed Fothergill.. ” I don’t even know what YouTube is..(Jana explaines)….ah, I’ve spent to long in the desert”. Jana went on to say that it shouldn’t be there… but as long as it’s intact and not mashed up, that’s a lesser evil, if it brings people back to the beeb. And as the comments below the clip above show, people really loved Planet Earth. Hopefully this is exactly the sort of thing that iPlayer will address. In a what’s the point of ripping it, it’s on in HD anyway sort of way.

Other points… he talked about Planet Earth brought in people from all backgrounds “a personal best for me was a write up in The Listener and Nuts magazine in the same month” (Having checked this I think he meant the Radio Times as the Listener went bust in 1991)

He also made a point about how some of the stuff he been shooting has actually altered the way scientists and biologists think about animal habits and behaviour, and that the BBC is well trusted in the academic community. You say you’re from the BBC and people don’t hang up on you, they say ‘ I use your clips in my lectures’. He went on to make a sly reference to getting scientists onboard through proper investigation, rather than ‘sitting on crocodiles’.

In other nature news, it seems some very sad and sick people have been taking revenge on stingrays down under. And though I personally prefer Fothergill’s rather than Irwin’s approach to wildlife. I’m pretty sure Steve would in no way approve of this.

P.S. Planet Earth returns in week 46 I think… And the homepage will no doubt do it’s bit and go into HD/panaramic/widescreen/ mode.

BBC NEWS | Magazine | The meaning of ‘lite’

Link: The meaning of ‘lite’.

hahahah, the irony – talk about the errosion of the quality of language. This must be one of the worst written articles on Paragraphy 12 is a direct copy of paragraphy 5! and ““Lite” has been around for years but has had a resurgence in popularity in recent years,” uses the word years to near each other. “Not that long ago words [sic] such words would have been viewed as too American for any of the group’s titles, now they are making it into names.” doesn’t make any sense either.

It appears to be written in ‘Metro English’, short choppy sentences you can read on a hurtling tube train, where points D,E and F are rehashes of A,B and C and simple facts are stretched out.

“Pot to Kettle, requesting colour check, over” But eyedropper, your spelling and grammar are crap too? Sure are/i but then I ain’t no jouro.

The Sun’s had a redesign

The Sun has just relaunced it’s website with a greater focus on video and pictures. The Guardian, lifting straight from the press release no doubt, says The Sun Online redesign should allows readers to find blogs and podcasts more easily.

Pity those blogs are some of the poorest mainstream media blogs I’ve ever seen. Very few have comments, the only one that does is Trevor Kavanagh’s, perhaps he’s picked up tips from our very own Nick Robinson. No permalinks, no calendar function, No one links to anything; These aren’t blogs, they are reporters diaries. Mind you the BBC’s done some really shit ‘blogs’ in it’s time. Check this ‘blog’ about..wait for it.. a guy reading a book.

Still at least Deidre’s casebook has embraced the digital age and gone all video. In a moment of Muybridge clarity Deidre said “I’m just thrilled with the way you see the photos come to life.”

Germaine Greer on Steve Irwin

Link: Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Germaine Greer: ‘That sort of self-delusion is what it takes to be a real Aussie larrikin’… And I totally agree. Chris Packham was on Breakfast this morning echoing the same sentiment, while still maintaining an appropriate level of respect. I bet he was dying to say something more akin to Germaine’s tone. A lot of the obits I’ve seen in the media are along the lines of ‘he got young people interested in animals’. It’s worth remembering however that Packham came to fame with the Really Wild Show, that did an excellent job and getting ‘young people interested’. Me, I think Irwin was a bit of an arse really.

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These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
September 2006