Embarassing Evan

This morning I was lying in bed, in that wonderful state between sleep and full awakeness and had Radio 4’s ‘Today programme’ yelling at me gently in the background. Then, suddenly:

Evan Davis interviews Shakira.

Pardon me? On the today programme? At 7:23 am?

What followed were the most cringeworthy 3 minutes in recent BBC history. I have no idea whether the chap actually did any preparation for the interview at all (or what a pop starlet has to do in the most important News programme of the nation) but after 3 minutes I was wide awake and seriously thinking of switching to Wogan.

But the Wog won’t be there much longer either, so maybe I’d rather listen to a recorded version of Radio New Zealands Morning Report.

Dear Radio 4.

I really, really like you. You are one of the few reasons I am living in this country.

But if you ever let Evan Davis with a microphone near a pop star, I’ll leave.

Sincerely, FB

James Murdoch. Is he being ironic?

So James Murdoch, viceroy of Rupert here in Britain accuses the BBC  of Orwellian methods:

“As Orwell foretold, to let the state enjoy a near-monopoly of information is to guarantee manipulation and distortion”.

I don’t know whether to have a hearty guffaw or seriously question the chap’s grasp on reality. As part of the world’s largest peddler of mixed media (Internet: check (myspace). Print media: check (The Times, The Sun, etc). TV: check (Fox, Sky). Film Production: check (20th century Fox), this conglomerate has the power like no other to shape opinions and news (as very obvious from their use of Fox News and the Sun as propagandistic tools).

So who is he to criticize the BBC? I rather have ‘state sponsored news’ than Fox News.

It is time. Again.

Ok, so it it is thingie. Christmas.

Which has a lot of advantages, e.g. Christmas singles. The best, after Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’ must be Mel and Kim’s “Rockin’ around the Christmas tree”. But I insist on somebody please identifying  ‘Curiosity killed the Cat’ as the annoying carol singers.

Please ? It’s been bugging me only 22 years.

Downloading BBC Iplayer Content to your Linux Box

As stated in the past, I am a huge fan of public broadcasting in general and the BBC in particular. While I have been able to watch my favourite documentaries on the flash based online Iplayer, I was always a bit miffed that I wasn’t able to download the shows and watch them in better quality.

Miffed I am no more, thanks to Phil Lewis’s brillant little tool ‘get iplayer’. An easy command line app, it searches and downloads the content that you are interested in and stores it on your HD for your time shifted viewing pleasure.

Installation and handling couldn’t be easier. A wonderful invention and quite timely too!

Get it here

Bonekickers. Huh?


I don’t watch a lot of television. Nevertheless, the Observer’s TV guide heartily recommended the new BBC1 show ‘Bonekickers‘, featuring a ficticious archaeological team that through sheer luck and scientifical reasoning unearths a new mystery every week. Think Indiana Jones meets ‘Carry on Camping’ and the ‘X – Files’.

So today I was treated to sixty minutes of worried looking faces, jokes about bosoms and pubs, a terribly bad man that was killed by losing his footing and tumbling into a small fire and all sorts of terrible cliches.

Rarely does the BBC get it so terribly wrong.

I really wanted this show to work, as it promised everything that one loves about archaeology on TV: weird men wearing hats, women with degrees and sex-appeal, terribly evil people, traps, conspiracy theories and, in ths case, real ale.

What did we get? A story David Duchovny wouldn’t get out of bed for and a bunch of characters so cliche ridden that it was painful to watch. There was some completely unnecessary gore in form of a ludicrous beheading. There were monks. The final showdown between good (feisty archaeologist with cleavage) and bad (creepy christian who wasn’t able to stand up and dust of a couple of flames from his evil trenchcoat) was so embarassingly painful that I started to watch Sky One on the other screen instead. A terrible disaster.

It can only get better from here.