Thursday, June 3, 2010

BBC World Service Radio

You never realise how much you depend on something so ordinary until you haven't got it. Last night BBC World Radio Service which is broadcast on AM in Auckland went off the air all night.

Living in New Zealand I miss Auntie BBC. I grew up with it. I found the BBC and still find the BBC infuriating to deal with but I cannot live without it. It just keeps you up to date with what is happening in the world in a fairly unbiased way.

The BBC is not what it was. Nowadays goes in for lots of regional dialect accents in news readers in an attempt to be 'with it' and 'inclusive' but my grasp of African and Indian accents is very poor. I need a translator half the time.

BBC World radio is heavily spiced with religious programming. 'Heart and Soul' an hours worth of religious propaganda airs for an hour on Wednesday's but is repeated sometimes as much a five times over weekends. It is bad enough not being able to refute or answer the blatant proselytizing but to be forced to listen to it over and over again is unfortunate.

The BBC goes in for hours and hours of male sport. I ought to know all about football and cricket as I am forced to listen to so much of it. It seems one half of every news bulletin is devoted to it. Sadly sport washes over me like paint.

The other gripe is Asia Business report. When living in New Zealand who cares! Hours are devoted to this too.

But when the BBC World Service disappears I miss it so much. It sends me to sleep at night. I only have to concentrate on the football results for a minute and I am off to sleep. Then when I sometimes awake in a panic, people do this, if I concentrate hard on Asia Business report in the first seconds of waking all is well with the world again.

BBC World went 'off air' last night. Was it my radio? Was it local provider who had not paid the bill? Was it the transmitter? It was so worrying I even got up in the middle of the night and tried my car radio to see if it was me! It wasn't.

I had a long sleepless night with Radio New Zealand. It was OK but not the BBC!

This morning BBC World Radio Service was back on the air. I live and breathe again.a

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