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

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
There's quite a lot of oppression that dear Owen could go and fight, but then he'd actually have to be critical of certain areas of the world where the residents have a surplus of melanin or they face in the direction of a certain city five times a day, which might leave him open to having his favourite charge of "racism" being turned against him.

It's far easier for him to get upset over Northern Irish bakeries or calling the current Tory ministry racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, transphobic, etc, etc, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
Jones has a stab at those things it's safe for him to have a stab at - either because they don't exist, or because their existence is benign.

Call this a country which is still inherently racist or homophobic and a few woke individuals might agree enthusiastically but most people will just say, 'Yeah, whatever.'

But call out certain African regimes for their policies of revenge discrimination, nepotism and downright criminality in government and some of those woke individuals will turn. Call out Islamic Fundamentalists on their treatment of women and non-believers and they're likely to get a bit cutty-stabby.

He's an annoying gnat on the bare skin of a really quite ordered, permissive and benevolent society. His very existence and ability to trumpet on the way that he does is proof that our society is really motoring along quite well when it comes to protecting the vulnerable and free expression.

It must be very confusing for him.
 
Call this a country which is still inherently racist or homophobic and a few woke individuals might agree enthusiastically but most people will just say, 'Yeah, whatever.'
Of course, if you proclaim your sexuality (or veganism. Or allergies etc) by word or action at every opportunity, people WILL get sick of you quickly.
Race is another issue... if you have an 'in your face' attitude, and/or play victim and/or look for racism, you will find it. Or what you perceive is racism.
 
Jones has a stab at those things it's safe for him to have a stab at - either because they don't exist, or because their existence is benign.

Call this a country which is still inherently racist or homophobic and a few woke individuals might agree enthusiastically but most people will just say, 'Yeah, whatever.'

But call out certain African regimes for their policies of revenge discrimination, nepotism and downright criminality in government and some of those woke individuals will turn. Call out Islamic Fundamentalists on their treatment of women and non-believers and they're likely to get a bit cutty-stabby.

He's an annoying gnat on the bare skin of a really quite ordered, permissive and benevolent society. His very existence and ability to trumpet on the way that he does is proof that our society is really motoring along quite well when it comes to protecting the vulnerable and free expression.

It must be very confusing for him.
Some scientists and philosophers wonder about life being virtual, as if run on a computer. Some people certainly seem to view the world not as it is but framed from their own artificial or programmed perspective.
 

endure

GCM
Some scientists and philosophers wonder about life being virtual, as if run on a computer. Some people certainly seem to view the world not as it is but framed from their own artificial or programmed perspective.

The only world that exists is the one inside your head. If you're a human you can see the green trees and the blue sky. If you're an owl they're all either black, white or a shade of grey in between...
 
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.
John Cleese and Connie Booth (particularly the former) refused to write a third series, despite BBC interest, for exactly that reason. Cleese reckoned that while a third series would have been funny and good, it would end with people saying 'enjoyed it, but wasn't quite as good as what had gone before.

How many nowadays would voluntarily watch an episode of Atkinson and Elton's "Thin Blue Line" which is about as funny as cot death?
In fairness, that's because it was 'of it's time' - the style, for want of a better word, of that sort of sitcom still appealed to viewers 'of a certain age', just as the show with Denis Waterman and Joan Sims in it (appealed to a segment of viewers who were, in the main, unlikely to live to see the end of it if the series went on for too long). It was probably the last, or amongst the last, show of its type which actually worked for most of its viewers, but it's aged abominably and to those of us who were aware of it, but never watched it, or who saw it and thought it was utter rubbish first time round (because we weren't really the BBC's target audience), when it pops up on Dave, or Gold, or wherever, you're left wondering what on earth people saw in it.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Of course, if you proclaim your sexuality (or veganism. Or allergies etc) by word or action at every opportunity, people WILL get sick of you quickly.
Race is another issue... if you have an 'in your face' attitude, and/or play victim and/or look for racism, you will find it. Or what you perceive is racism.
The quickest way to mark yourself as 'different' and so segregate yourself is to constantly proclaim to be something.

Just crack on and not be needlessly chippy, and life gets easier.

But then, I suppose, you become invisible.

Oh.
 
John Cleese and Connie Booth (particularly the former) refused to write a third series, despite BBC interest, for exactly that reason. Cleese reckoned that while a third series would have been funny and good, it would end with people saying 'enjoyed it, but wasn't quite as good as what had gone before.



In fairness, that's because it was 'of it's time' - the style, for want of a better word, of that sort of sitcom still appealed to viewers 'of a certain age', just as the show with Denis Waterman and Joan Sims in it (appealed to a segment of viewers who were, in the main, unlikely to live to see the end of it if the series went on for too long). It was probably the last, or amongst the last, show of its type which actually worked for most of its viewers, but it's aged abominably and to those of us who were aware of it, but never watched it, or who saw it and thought it was utter rubbish first time round (because we weren't really the BBC's target audience), when it pops up on Dave, or Gold, or wherever, you're left wondering what on earth people saw in it.
Father Ted is a contemporary of Thin Blue Line and is certainly a sitcom "of its time", but it's still watchable because the writing was leaps and bounds better than what Thin Blue Line crapped out. For myself, what I "saw" in Thin Blue line were the names Atkinson and Elton, and I was hoping for something with a bit of the magic and bite of Blackadder, but instead we wound up with a mess that only offended the audience because it was so spectacularly unfunny with jokes whose punchlines I could see telegraphed a mile ahead. I chalk up Thin Blue Line as a "mortgage series", as I believe Elton and Atkinson cashed in on their names to buy second homes.
 
Father Ted is a contemporary of Thin Blue Line and is certainly a sitcom "of its time", but it's still watchable because the writing was leaps and bounds better than what Thin Blue Line crapped out. For myself, what I "saw" in Thin Blue line were the names Atkinson and Elton, and I was hoping for something with a bit of the magic and bite of Blackadder, but instead we wound up with a mess that only offended the audience because it was so spectacularly unfunny with jokes whose punchlines I could see telegraphed a mile ahead. I chalk up Thin Blue Line as a "mortgage series", as I believe Elton and Atkinson cashed in on their names to buy second homes.
I'm not sure Father Ted was 'of it's time' in quite the way I was attempting (and failing, sorry) to get across.

Thin Blue Line was from the genre of BBC programmes stretching back to Terry and June, Don't Wait Up, etc, etc - the nice, comfortable 'gentle comedies' which used to be on at some point between the end of regional news programmes and the Nine o'Clock News, complemented by a drama (such as Juliet Bravo, or something imported like the awful TV series based on Blue Thunder). There were occasional innuendos and flirting with being mildly risque (never in Terry and June, though). The arrival of Eastenders and Wogan, (and the successor shows to the latter, culminating in The One Show) pushed these programmes about in the schedule so their limitations (no swearing apart from the occasional 'bloody', nothing more than innuendo when it came to sex, etc, etc) became increasingly apparent. Perhaps I ought to have said 'of a certain, traditional BBC genre' rather than 'of it's time'. Some of those comedies, of course (Good Life; Dad's Army) were so well written & performed that they broke out of those constraints.

Blackadder was a post-watershed series, so Elton (and Curtis) were able to write in a less constrained fashion. I'd agree that Thin Blue Line had strong elements of 'money for old rope' about the writing.

Father Ted - Arse! Drink! Feck! Women! - wasn't quite in that category, aided by being on C4. I can't imagine any of the BBC's 'Comfy Comedies' having a line 'I hear you're a racist now, Father?' in it - far too controversial for BBC Light Entertainment pre-watershed in those days....
 
I'm not sure Father Ted was 'of it's time' in quite the way I was attempting (and failing, sorry) to get across.

Thin Blue Line was from the genre of BBC programmes stretching back to Terry and June, Don't Wait Up, etc, etc - the nice, comfortable 'gentle comedies' which used to be on at some point between the end of regional news programmes and the Nine o'Clock News, complemented by a drama (such as Juliet Bravo, or something imported like the awful TV series based on Blue Thunder). There were occasional innuendos and flirting with being mildly risque (never in Terry and June, though). The arrival of Eastenders and Wogan, (and the successor shows to the latter, culminating in The One Show) pushed these programmes about in the schedule so their limitations (no swearing apart from the occasional 'bloody', nothing more than innuendo when it came to sex, etc, etc) became increasingly apparent. Perhaps I ought to have said 'of a certain, traditional BBC genre' rather than 'of it's time'. Some of those comedies, of course (Good Life; Dad's Army) were so well written & performed that they broke out of those constraints.

Blackadder was a post-watershed series, so Elton (and Curtis) were able to write in a less constrained fashion. I'd agree that Thin Blue Line had strong elements of 'money for old rope' about the writing.

Father Ted - Arse! Drink! Feck! Women! - wasn't quite in that category, aided by being on C4. I can't imagine any of the BBC's 'Comfy Comedies' having a line 'I hear you're a racist now, Father?' in it - far too controversial for BBC Light Entertainment pre-watershed in those days....
I understand what you're saying, but if it's not too painful, I'd like to remind you of a "joke" that was on Thin Blue Line that would certainly put it outside of the "gentle comedies". The detective in the station had a constant running feud with Atkinson's character and the "joke" went along the lines of

Detective to Atkinson "Now I don't want any mistakes. If there are any, it's my arse on the line. Your cock-up, my arse"

That's the only memorable joke from the show for me, because I found it as funny as testicular cancer.

Edit to add:

Tvtropes has an entire page devoted to memorable quotes and situations from the show. Read it and cringe.

 
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Hence my point about being shoved to odd times - it went post 9pm and Elton was allowed to insert (to extend the rubbish pun/innuendo) material which wouldn’t have appeared previously - but the show was too weak to sustain an attempt to turn it into something it wasn’t.

I’d forgotten, but just looking to see how late it was on (2130, so immediate post-watershed once the news was out of the way), I note that the BBC hadn’t, as I’d assumed, learned the lesson, since they got Elton to produce ‘The Wright Way’ which, apparently, was set in a council health and safety department. I can’t imagine why it didn’t make it to a second series...
 

Yokel

LE
I liked The Thin Blue Line. Much of the humour was unspoken such as when Detective Inspector Grimm was readying himself for a promotion interview, refreshed himself from a watercolour, and got a wet patch on his crotch. Another time there was a TV crew making a documentary with Grimm and Boyle in a car.

Grimm: Very quiet, normally we are busy with theft, drugs, illegal sex...

Boyle: Sometimes we do some work too!

Maybe they should have made more series.
 
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I always preferred the radio version to the TV one, but since Chris Mason took over it's even better.

Good natured, knowingly humourous about the allegations of bias, gets the best (and equally importantly worst) out of panelists. Chris is much more respectful to the audience too.

This is really good political broadcasting.
 

happyuk

Old-Salt
Some good stuff from the BBC (for a change), albeit taking a little too much credit for this piece of work perhaps.

YouTuber, IT expert and nemesis of Indian scam artists Jim Browning has been featured in a recent BBC Panorama investigation into an Indian scam call centre.

Using his customary technical wizardry, and by enlisting the help of a fellow YouTuber from New Zealand who happens to reside in the same area in Delhi as the fraudulent call centre, Browning managed to infiltrate the CCTV of the scammers call centre to obtain an unprecedented look into what these places actually look like and how they operate, as well as drone footage of the building which is cleverly located atop a legit travel agency.

Scam call centre owner in custody after BBC exposé

The whole Panorama episode is available on iPlayer here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episod...n-the-scammers
 
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Some good stuff from the BBC (for a change)

YouTuber, IT expert and nemesis of Indian scam artists Jim Browning has been featured in a recent BBC Panorama investigation into an Indian scam call centre.

Using his customary technical wizardry, and by enlisting the help of a fellow YouTuber from New Zealand who happens to reside in the same area in Delhi as the fraudulent call centre, Browning managed to infiltrate the CCTV of the scammers call centre to obtain an unprecedented look into what these places actually look like and how they operate, as well as drone footage of the building which is cleverly located atop a legit travel agency.

Scam call centre owner in custody after BBC exposé

The whole Panorama episode is available on iPlayer here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episod...n-the-scammers
Mate, thanks for that Panorama link. Missed it. Great stuff.
 

happyuk

Old-Salt
Mate, thanks for that Panorama link. Missed it. Great stuff.
It's so bloody interesting. That Jim Browning is a top guy.

Livestream updates on this programme here:

 
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I'm teaching a topic on microbes at the moment and found a BBC documentary about a virus infecting a cell -
It's an excellent hour of informative programming (possibly relevant to everyone given the COVID-19 panic).

The BBC does factual documentary stuff really really well. I don't drink wine but have the Oz Clarke and James May series on wine saved on a hard drive because they were informative and entertaining. If the BBC took their remit as a public service broadcaster properly and spent most of their funding on decent science, nature and culture programming with a solely factual news service along with the odd sitcom and bit of sport they would be fine.

It's just a shame they seem determined to chase the chav phone in vote viewers with shite about celebrity dating and other dross about young idiots with no talent other than being in front of a camera.

Edit - the BBC can keep doing cookery stuff because I like watching that.
 
I'm teaching a topic on microbes at the moment and found a BBC documentary about a virus infecting a cell -
It's an excellent hour of informative programming (possibly relevant to everyone given the COVID-19 panic).

The BBC does factual documentary stuff really really well. I don't drink wine but have the Oz Clarke and James May series on wine saved on a hard drive because they were informative and entertaining. If the BBC took their remit as a public service broadcaster properly and spent most of their funding on decent science, nature and culture programming with a solely factual news service along with the odd sitcom and bit of sport they would be fine.

It's just a shame they seem determined to chase the chav phone in vote viewers with shite about celebrity dating and other dross about young idiots with no talent other than being in front of a camera.

Edit - the BBC can keep doing cookery stuff because I like watching that.
It's also quite responsive when it needs to be. No doubt some grumpy fecker will not be happy with something on the long list the tweet has.
 
I am normally a critic of the beeb, especially their ever present left leaning political correctness and (to me anyway) anti white British attitude especially when linked with our former African colonies! Where an awful lot of re-writing of the true facts seem to appear, to show "white bad, black good", despite there being good & bad in both colours.
However yesterday evening flicking through the tv's channels I stumbled on this BBC Scotland - Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
I came in a bit late showing Harry Birrell as a Gurkha officer in WW2 India with some good clips of Gurkhas training. Somehow he had wangled quite a bit of colour film to use.
His Grand daughter found the boxes of film & persuaded a director Matt Pinder to piece together a film using his film clips & exerts from his diary.
So possibly another channel apart from BBC Scotland could have shown it apart from BBC4 where I caught it!
The bits on his time & experience with the Gurkhas are great, showing clips of Nepal, India and the area around Imphal and his foray surveying behind Jap lines in Burma.
His affection for his Gurkha, India tribal troops is evident, chiming in with my & most others who have served with good colonial troops in both India and Africa!
 

endure

GCM
I am normally a critic of the beeb, especially their ever present left leaning political correctness and (to me anyway) anti white British attitude especially when linked with our former African colonies! Where an awful lot of re-writing of the true facts seem to appear, to show "white bad, black good", despite there being good & bad in both colours.
However yesterday evening flicking through the tv's channels I stumbled on this BBC Scotland - Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
I came in a bit late showing Harry Birrell as a Gurkha officer in WW2 India with some good clips of Gurkhas training. Somehow he had wangled quite a bit of colour film to use.
His Grand daughter found the boxes of film & persuaded a director Matt Pinder to piece together a film using his film clips & exerts from his diary.
So possibly another channel apart from BBC Scotland could have shown it apart from BBC4 where I caught it!
The bits on his time & experience with the Gurkhas are great, showing clips of Nepal, India and the area around Imphal and his foray surveying behind Jap lines in Burma.
His affection for his Gurkha, India tribal troops is evident, chiming in with my & most others who have served with good colonial troops in both India and Africa!

BBC4 is the only Beeb channel worth watching.
 

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