In praise of the BBC - What do they do well?

Which BBC services would you miss?

  • BBC1

    Votes: 18 15.3%
  • BBC2, BBC4

    Votes: 40 33.9%
  • News 24

    Votes: 13 11.0%
  • World Service

    Votes: 22 18.6%
  • Popular music - Radio 1, Radio 2

    Votes: 11 9.3%
  • Classical - Radio 3, Eclectic music - Radio 6

    Votes: 18 15.3%
  • Radio 4 and / or regional stations / Asian

    Votes: 23 19.5%
  • Radio 4 on 198 KHz Long Wave, 5 Live

    Votes: 22 18.6%
  • Other

    Votes: 12 10.2%
  • None of the above

    Votes: 51 43.2%

  • Total voters
    118
Much as we like to have a good old grumble about the BBC and how it wasn't like that when we were sprogs, if they go, I reckon a lot of us will miss them. We may not miss the hard left "comedians" or the chat show hosts who earn more than the PM, the antics of some partial presenters or regular appearances by communists who want to overthrow the system or what happened to Dr Who but the BBC have played a prominent part in most of our lives.

Tick as many boxes as you want. There is a limit to the number of poll options so I have grouped some of them. It's not a scientific study. If your preferred option didn't appear tick "other" and tell us about it.

Is there something the BBC produced that you found really beneficial, learned from, drew comfort from or which inspired you? Is there something you miss and wish they would bring back?

Just a polite reminder that this is in the C.A.
 
Test Match Special.

They’ve had a winning formula with the audio cricket broadcast for a long, long time and I will be sad when it goes.

When the BBC lost the audio rights for the recent South African tour I listened to the Talk Sport offering for a short while and I have to say it was dire.

I can only assume that whoever decided that the audio for a cricket series should be sold off to another company was ex-military but still working on the standard military principle that if it works, change it.
 
Test Match Special.

They’ve had a winning formula with the audio cricket broadcast for a long, long time and I will be sad when it goes.

When the BBC lost the audio rights for the recent South African tour I listened to the Talk Sport offering for a short while and I have to say it was dire.

I can only assume that whoever decided that the audio for a cricket series should be sold off to another company was ex-military but still working on the standard military principle that if it works, change it.
I'm not a big cricket fan but some of it was very entertaining and it did no harm.

Jim Al-Khalili's The Life Scientific is good.
 
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I’ve had some memorable moments in my life around TMS, most recently where my father and I were in the garden yelling England on in the super over of the cricket world cup.

Got only knows what the neighbours thought of the demented pair with drinks in hand, standing and apparently yelling at a mobile phone.

The feeling of being there was courtesy of the BBC and the ability of the TMS team.
 
In the "other" category, and as someone who spends much of my time overseas listening to absolute drivel on the car radio, I would vote for their podcasts.

I downloaded a hundred or so of Melvyn Bragg's "In Our Time" podcasts and I have to say they are a delight.

Stuck in traffic in some Christ-awful shiitehole in Asia, surrounded by motorscooters and honking buses and overloaded trucks belching out filthy black smoke, and all going nowhere for the best part of two hours, you can stick in the USB and listen to 40 minutes of erudite discussion with three wonderfully knowledgeable academics, speaking in clear, concise English about anything from Marie Antoinette to quantum physics, with Bragg harumphing and snuffling as he rattles the conversation along.

In your air-conditioned cocoon, you could almost believe your were back in a well-ordered, civilised little world where nice people have engaging and thoughtful chats over a decent cup of tea.

I'll give the Beeb two thumbs up for that.
 
This has the chance of being an interesting thread, there have and are parts of all its output that I have liked or thought worth something regardless of my personal likes.

Thus to list such things would just be a list, but I think regardless of the today travails over the BBC and its likely demise, its archive should remain in state ownership.

Given that the archive is already curated and in some cases restored, then I imagine that moving that department "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels", to the National Archives including additional public funding to cover staff, estate etc. :razz:

Be eminently doable, less any professional obstructyness...
 
In the "other" category, and as someone who spends much of my time overseas listening to absolute drivel on the car radio, I would vote for their podcasts.

I downloaded a hundred or so of Melvyn Bragg's "In Our Time" podcasts and I have to say they are a delight.

Stuck in traffic in some Christ-awful shiitehole in Asia, surrounded by motorscooters and honking buses and overloaded trucks belching out filthy black smoke, and all going nowhere for the best part of two hours, you can stick in the USB and listen to 40 minutes of erudite discussion with three wonderfully knowledgeable academics, speaking in clear, concise English about anything from Marie Antoinette to quantum physics, with Bragg harumphing and snuffling as he rattles the conversation along.

In your air-conditioned cocoon, you could almost believe your were back in a well-ordered, civilised little world where nice people have engaging and thoughtful chats over a decent cup of tea.

I'll give the Beeb two thumbs up for that.
I remember reading some time ago that the reason the UK took a while getting the hang of podcasts was because we had Radio 4 which did the same thing.

I don’t know how true that is, but certainly much of the output from Radio 4 particularly (and Radio 5 to a certain degree) lends itself to the podcast format.

Actually, now I look through my podcast list it’s surprising how many of them are or have been Radio 4 programmes, with the odd one from Radio 5 (namely Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review).

I would also cite ‘The Moral Maze’ as an excellent BBC programme, and one of the few where having a right-wing perspective is not only not frowned upon but integral to interrogating the ‘witnesses’.



Edited for sperlung.
 
This has the chance of being an interesting thread, there have and are parts of all its output that I have liked or thought worth something regardless of my personal likes.

Thus to list such things would just be a list, but I think regardless of the today travails over the BBC and its likely demise, its archive should remain in state ownership.

Given that the archive is already curated and in some cases restored, then I imagine that moving that department "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels", to the National Archives including additional public funding to cover staff, estate etc. :razz:

Be eminently doable, less any professional obstructyness...
Good point about saving it's archive. Before the Internet, I relied on books, radio and to a lesser extent television.
The 1969 Moon landing in black and white, don't recall what channel but it may have been BBC. Sky at night still good. Star Trek was massive and influenced many thousands in the UK alone. Blake's Seven was a good effort. This was before sci fi went weird and childish at the BBC.

Tomorrows World was great before it seemed to be dumbed down. Maybe it wasn't but that was the impression.
Fantastic presenters, Raymond Baxter (ex RAF WW2 Spitfire pilot), William Woolard* (ex RAF fighter pilot), James Burke, Judith Hann, Michael Rodd.

*The Secret War was outstanding.
 
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Good point about saving it's archive. Before the Internet, I relied on books, radio and to a lesser extent television.
The 1969 Moon landing in black and white, don't recall what channel but it may have been BBC. Sky at night still good. Star Trek was massive and influenced many thousands in the UK alone. Blake's Seven was a good effort. This was before sci fi went weird and childish at the BBC. Perhaps BBC didn't have the budget for Gerry Anderson's UFO.

Tomorrows World was great before it seemed to be dumbed down. Maybe it wasn't but that was the impression.
Fantastic presenters, Raymond Baxter (ex RAF WW2 Spitfire pilot), William Woolard* (ex RAF fighter pilot), James Burke, Judith Hann, Michael Rodd.

*The Secret War was outstanding.
The Secret War.

A brilliant tv series that among other things, gave us the first glimpse through the door at what had gone on at Bletchley Park.
 

Kevll@r

Old-Salt
I think the BBC has tried to compete or stay relevant in too many areas- trying to match output or even innovate ways of delivering more and more to their ever more segmented audience. They can't be all things to all people. The last decade has seen the slow takeover of editorial power by ex-government SPADS and it can no longer claim to be impartial.. the Left think it's a nest of Tories, and the right think it's a loony-left socialist madhouse. The kids switched off years ago...

Where they do excel is in well produced science, nature, education and arts. There is no comedy on the BBC (not deliberate at least) and zero investigative journalism any more.

It needs to cut at least half it's output, half of its managers and focus on core content that isn't well funded elsewhere- like their fantastic natural history, science and educational departments. They think they are in a race, like the advertisement funded channels, but they're not.

Tomorrows World, The Sky at Night, Wonders of the Universe, Jim Al-Kalili… proper telly. If we want anything else there's 300 channels to flick through...

Take Top Gear. Bin it. The One Show- appalling. Antiques Roadshow- we've literally seen everything... house buying shows...Dr Mosely and how to not get fat... all rubbish.

BBC1- for weirdos who like soaps
BBC2- Not quite sure but some good stuff
Three- even the kids think it's lame and Stacey Dooley is awful
BBC 4- Cool- some weird stuff but some amazing well-produced stuff

BBC News- always half an hour behind Sky, and tells half the story, and is shit scared of journalism. "Today it was wet, and there's a virus"... we know. Go and dig up some corruption- seriously when was the last time the BBC broke a story? They just copy and paste the internet. Their Tech and Science coverage is aimed at morons. I hate the Daily Mail but at least they get their hands dirty.

Radio is better (apart from 3- whatever that's for) and some reality shows and documentaries are outstanding.

I wouldn't miss it much... it's mostly gone already. When they failed to examine Brexit like Channel 4, that was the nail in the coffin. Ditch the fee, subscribe if you want to.

It's like paying to own a microwave because the State makes some ready meals that you never eat. Madnesss.

And the Archers. I want to throw the car radio out of the window as soon as that music comes on.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Ditch EastEnders and the BBC will have started on the long road back to excellence!

The BBC do very good factual programmes and also some very good drama programmes, Line of Duty for instance and Gentleman Jack. Most of these programmes are not BBC but made for BBC so perhaps the excellence now lies in the commissioning department.

Two areas which spoil the BBC output are the 'woke' elements that seem to infect all areas, but these have and are being well covered elsewhere on Arrse. The other, IMHO, is running very good shows long after they have lost their impact and are just running on 'formula'. Examples of this are Death in Paradise and Call the Midwife. Leaving a good, or even great, programme at its peak is better than running it in to the gutter so that people who used to love the show start turning away as it no longer holds their interest. The BBC are not alone in this but are particularly poor at the moment. When one thinks that Fawlty Towers only had 12 half hour shows yet still resonates in the British psyche.... Had that continued then, again IMO, would not be held in such regard.

I suppose my message is - build on success, don't drown it.
 
2014 Raid on Cliff Richards home?
This is a perfect example of many things, and despite it being raked over to find the who's and whys, no lessons are ever learned... Never have I been a scorched earthist :twisted: but some times its the only way.

Burn everything but some parts of BBC1 BBC2 and there is no requirement for 24 hour broadcasting either, trim and cull much of the present Radio content maintaining the good from all into Radio 3, 4 and the world service, again much of the present content is garbage but there is an fulsome archive.

BBC News 24. 'Take off and nuke it from Orbit, it's the only way... Once done a simple news desk of an hours duration max with 50/50 regional reporting at 0600, 1200, 1800, 2359.

Bin all the hacks and start afresh this would also be done annually, less the technical staff think of it as a national training course.
 
Fond memories of 'colonial' 80s, where the Beeb, via SW radio and VHS, was a godsend.
Black Adder, TOTP and NTNON were very popular.
*edit to add Fawlty Towers. Thanks @Auld-Yin.
Huddling over the radio for Football scores on a Saturday evening, and Tommy Vance doing he Top 20 on Wednesday nights.
World news, where we could find out more about what was happening in our own country than we could from the local broadcaster!

SABC used to have My Word, My Music, Just a Minute, Goon Show etc on license, but this all ended when the new gubberment took over.
 
Much as we like to have a good old grumble about the BBC and how it wasn't like that when we were sprogs, if they go, I reckon a lot of us will miss them. We may not miss the hard left "comedians" or the chat show hosts who earn more than the PM, the antics of some partial presenters or regular appearances by communists who want to overthrow the system or what happened to Dr Who but the BBC have played a prominent part in most of our lives.

Tick as many boxes as you want. There is a limit to the number of poll options so I have grouped some of them. It's not a scientific study. If your preferred option didn't appear tick "other" and tell us about it.

Is there something the BBC produced that you found really beneficial, learned from, drew comfort from or which inspired you? Is there something you miss and wish they would bring back?

Just a polite reminder that this is in the C.A.
100% honest reply. I haven't got a TV. I don't watch any bbc output aside from Dr Who, which is terrible. I do look at the BBC news website.
I would miss the cricket coverage, and BBC 4 Extra. However, what I'd miss about the latter would be the older programmes and re-broadcasts.
While I understand therefore the argument about the cultural loss, if the BBC were ro reduce in size, I 'consume' hardly any BBC output at present. On a practical level, I wouldn't notice if it went.
I hadn't realised how little I consume until reading your post, op.
 
Test Match Special.

They’ve had a winning formula with the audio cricket broadcast for a long, long time and I will be sad when it goes.

When the BBC lost the audio rights for the recent South African tour I listened to the Talk Sport offering for a short while and I have to say it was dire.

I can only assume that whoever decided that the audio for a cricket series should be sold off to another company was ex-military but still working on the standard military principle that if it works, change it.
This.

And Wogan when he was this side of the daisies.
 
I don't watch any bbc output aside from Dr Who, which is terrible.
The Beeb's drama offerings have been fairly indifferent for a generation, but then they'll catch lightning in a bottle and come along with something like Life on Mars which was an intensely gripping series.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
The tragedy is that there is still some good stuff but the race to be populist means that it’s buried way down behind the dross.

I don’t understand how and why it ever became so embarrassing to be good. Upon reflection, that’s one way in which the BBC adequately reflects society.

I miss how programmes like Horizon used to be. Before it seemed like every episode had to have Brian Cox in it (it used to be presenter-free) But, that said, there’s still some good science.

The rock history stuff on BBC4 is very good.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
The Beeb's drama offerings have been fairly indifferent for a generation, but then they'll catch lightning in a bottle and come along with something like Life on Mars which was an intensely gripping series.
Because they dared to be different. See @Auld-Yin’s comment above about formula. Or laziness - how the hell is Strictly still going?
 

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