Martin Dimartino Marriott

Tag: BBC

End of an era for 5Live nights

by Martin on Dec.23, 2009, under Blog, Martin's Life Blog

Yesterday was pretty amazing. I was lucky enough to be invited to the last ever Richard Bacon show on 5Live – possibly the best show on radio. Nobody seems to know about it though! Bacon invited 200 loyal members of the ‘SHH’ down to BBC Radio Theatre, London.

The Guardian wrote a nice article to offer some explanation for the uninitiated. Nobody seems to understand why I made such a pilgrimage from Nottingham for a radio show. It required meticulous planning and a night with no sleep, but it was such an experience. It was quite an odd, surreal experience spending the evening on oneself in London before driving back in the early hours.
We were each presented with the much-coveted ‘Special Half Hour’ badge as we entered the radio theatre and I was co-incidentally sat next to not only Olly Mann of ‘Answer Me This’ podcast fame, but a chap from the same area as me. Also sat nearby was Quentin Wilson and Ash Atalla, Producer of The Office.

We had a discussion about whether or not it’s ok to steal from supermarkets if you’re poor, and the night culminated in a funeral for the Special Half Hour (‘SHH’ when mentioned outside of the time slot). We sang Jerusalem to mark the show’s passing. It was, as always, difficult to interpret the true tone of the show, the genuinity of the fans and the sincerity of the presenters. It’s a typically British phenomenon that we treat everything with an undertone of humour and slight wry sarcasm. We, the English can be serious, but never genuinely earnest — a quality that separates us from our fat cousins across the pond.
I did find that not only is Richard Bacon very Alan Partridge-esque in real life, but as some listeners have said before, very self-indulgent. He is apparently not modest about his radio empire at all – with millions of followers on Twitter and thousands in the Special Half Hour facebook group. He likes to cmmand us to cheer or clap and does tend to boast at any opportunity.

We’ve become something of a cult, now destined to be disbanded; the SHH consigned to fade from our collective memory.
At least we all now have our ‘SHH’ badges to remember the last 14 months or so of enjoying this short-lived, but brilliant show. 10pm-1am will never be the same again; I now have to listen to some guy I’ve never heard of. It has been a true honour and a privilege.

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Sir Alan’s only gone and fired English

by Martin on Apr.12, 2009, under Articles by Martin, Blog

alan_sugar_bad English Is it just me, but should Sir Alan take a look at himself before having a pop at others’ shortcomings (granted it makes for good telly and they’re all incompetent tits who need shouting at anyway!) — certainly as far as his grammatical ability is concerned anyway.
What I’m talking about — as Sam Wollaston also lampooned in last week’s Guardian — is Sir Alan’s apparent lack of command of the English Language. In the intro segment of each show we hear Sir Alan say “Second prize…don’t exist” which is blatent poor grammar from our favourite multi-millionaire; mixing up singular and plural. But it doesn’t stop there with this grammatical misdemeanour — in episode two he incorrectly refers to a CV as a Résumé, but then arduously mispronounces it with the stress on the sum syllable — rèSUMè. If you insist on using the American term, at least say it correctly!
Further embracement comes in episode 3 when he gives the teams a challenge to design fitness equipment, whereupon he instructs “the most amount of orders, wins”. Surely that’s not right, Sir Alan — ‘amount’ is a quantified given; it cannot be ‘most amount’. I think what he meant was ‘most orders’ or ‘largest amount’ at a push.
Considering Sir Alan ‘don’t talk’ much talking during the show, he commits a grammatical faux pas every time he opens his mouth.
Later on in the boardroom segment, when he is reprimanding the teams, he yet again instructs them to go away and discuss ‘amongst yourself’. Now, I can understand that he may have been trying to refer to the group as a single entity, but I hardly feel that appropriate given the context. FAIL.
My gripes with the show extend to the way in which it’s narrated. In episode 3, the teams are creating the POS (point of sale) material for their products, during which the narrator refers to them as ‘marketing posters’. That is so factually and technically incorrect it’s visible from space — that’s a pretty detailed poster they must have! You see, this is just another example of the average TV-viewing public considering ‘Promotion’ to be the same as ‘Marketing’. The more informed among us know this couldn’t be further from the truth, and that the posters in question were simply single items of Promotion, only a fraction of overall efforts; I’m not doing a Masters degree in posters…or promotion for that matter.
In Sir Alan’s own words “Expressing yourself amongst people is part of business”, so why can’t he get it right? As we know he left school at 16, but you’d have thought in order to become as successful as he is, he’d need to have developed competent grasp of authoritative discourse and the English Language.

Gimme a job Al’ me’ ol’ mate.

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Run in with the anti-TV License mob

by Martin on Mar.19, 2009, under Articles by Martin, Blog

I’m always up for an argument with regard to defending the BBC – possibly the greatest public service of the 20th centrury. I was invited to join an anti-TV Licence group on Facebook by someone who is clearly miguided and thinks everyone should be as hysterical as them. I was recently annoyed with the iPlayer’s content in a recent post, but that’s just tough love for the BBC.
I decided to educate the other group members of their idiocy:

“You people really seem to be very misguided and hysterical. You’ve clearly been reading mornic news publications.
Your premise appears to be that if you don’t use the BBC, why should you pay? That’s ridiculous, considering that there are upwards of 400,000 members of this group – and not one of them uses the BBC? Rubbish!

I bet all of them rely (even enjoy?) the services of the BBC on a daily basis; I know I do and I think the TV License is one of the last remaining bargains ever!

Just think of all the content the BBC deliver, essentially for a very low price! All the radio stations covering all possible topics and music genres, new product development and innovation (iPlayer), their huge information repository that is their web site, the TV stations (with some gems such as David Attenborough, Top Gear, iconic comedy shows, News 24 etc), podcasts and lots more I’ve left out.
You’re all just being hysterical like the rest of the Daily Mail-reading middle England.
Appreciate what the BBC has done for broadcasting and the media reputation of this country and for your life!
The BBC are even shortly going to be pioneering High Def on-demand streaming with the iPlayer – and I bet most of the 400,000 members will be looking at that, while still moaning about the low price charged for it.
Get it into perspective!!”

Needless to say my posting was met with passionate opposition from them with stories of the BBC’s bullish, draconican fee collection methods, but it was worth a shout to show them the voice of reason.

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BBC iPlayer’s Downturn

by Martin on Feb.05, 2009, under Articles by Martin, Blog


What the hell’s going on with the formally-great iPlayer recently? I have recently been very dissapointed with the BBC’s output. It’s the only television I consume and I’m now confined to watching the occasional episode of BBC Click, for lack of any other quality programming from this institution in recent months…which we pay for!! Surely the BBC shouldn’t be effected by the credit crunch and resort to cheap programming.

All the Beeb’s best programmes have ceased — Top Gear, Mock the Week, Buzzocks, HIGNFY, Charlie Brooker and anything else of comedy or intellectual value (with the possible exception of QI). I can see that they are likely going to resume the former quality in the spring or summer, but why do they insist on having half a year of crappy programming?

Sort it out…I’m sure I’m not alone in my frustration.

Maybe I should get a TV in here.

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