Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Beef-eaters' Radio: BBC

Here in Southern California, we get 3 hours of BBC radio on the FM dial starting at 11pm. It's a recent discovery for me, and I've been tuning in every night to help me get to sleep (a compliment, by the way). Apparently aiming at the American audience, the shows are positively first-rate and much more in-depth than any of the slick network-produced radio shows I listen to regularly. The British-accented moderators are very knowledgeable about issues and events relevant to the local listeners. The shows -- whether short news digests or long specials -- are all-meat and fatless. One minute, we were taken live to Lithuania with Condi Rice; the next, we were treated to a humorous segment about the popularity of mariachi music in California high schools. Because there are no commercials, these are solid 30-minute shows, done 6 consecutive times, live from London, with seemingly endless materials that are informative, entertaining, and insightful. Clearly, BBC has nothing to "profit" from producing this special program just for the North American audience, nevertheless, it has decided to do so. I don't know who to thank -- British taxpayers?

Now, wouldn't it be a hoot if it were actually produced by some Hollywood prankster with actors faking a British accent? Methinks not.

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