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Author Topic:  Can you guess our mystery year?  (Read 4032 times)

Dennis Marshall

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Can you guess our mystery year?
« on: May 29, 2015, 09:44:00 AM »
Have other forum readers managed to see any of the recent BBC One comedy series, Peter Kay's Car Share?

For those who have not, the premise is remarkably simple. Kay is cast as assistant supermarket manager John Redmond, who finds himself having to share a daily commute to work with promotions rep Kayleigh Kitson, played by Sian Gibson. It soon becomes apparent that the majority of scenes in 'Car Share' take place within the confines of John's small Fiat. Accordingly thirty minutes are thus divided roughly in half, between their inward trip and the afternoon journey home.

Lending a convincing air of realism to each episode is the in-car soundtrack, as Kayleigh soon retunes John's radio to supposedly local station 'Forever FM'. In broadly the same fashion that Kay's previous series incorporated the fictional 'Chorley FM', this is an artfully accurate parody of 21st century UK independent local radio, made all the more believable by its utilisation of genuine voice-over artistes. These will readily prove recognisable to most regular listeners of 'genuine' local radio broadcasts - both ILR and BBC.

As John and Kayleigh travel into work each morning, they listen to Forever FM's self-styled 'Golden Hour'. A small selection of oldies is heard, along with a smattering of news items from the past. Listeners are then encouraged to contact the station, and invited to "guess our mystery year".

Heaven forbid I should ever tune in to my local BBC station at 9-00 one morning, and be exhorted to identify which year these 'hits and headlines' come from. Surely that could only occur in a fictional comedy drama - or the uninspired, formulaic world of independent commercial radio?

mel

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Re: Can you guess our mystery year?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2015, 03:59:52 PM »
Yes , yes , yes. yes , yes , yes , yes , yes , yes

This was truly an excellent series,
and yes a simple concept but so well written. I loved the way it looked so natural.
Lets hope the BBC can make another series. I have them each recorded and watch them over and over again.

Northoftheborder

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Re: Can you guess our mystery year?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2015, 05:30:45 PM »


Heaven forbid I should ever tune in to my local BBC station at 9-00 one morning, and be exhorted to identify which year these 'hits and headlines' come from. Surely that could only occur in a fictional comedy drama - or the uninspired, formulaic world of independent commercial radio?


You don't listen to Radio Stoke's Den Siegertsz, each Saturday then, Dennis? As if that wasn't enough, the station spends most of each Bank Holiday Monday (and Good Friday, too) force-feeding last century's "Golden Hour" format upon unsuspecting listeners.

It's true Mel - Peter Kay's Car Share was brilliantly-observed comedy, and I'm yet another viewer who'd love to see a second series!

Conversely, what Radio Stoke like to refer to as "The Time of Our Lives" is anything but that. Neither original, nor very entertaining.

The coming months will be testing times for the BBC's funding, as other posts have clearly demonstrated. If you carefully re-read what Dennis wrote, I reckon he made it quite clear that Peter was poking fun at independent local radio, didn't he? But Radio Stoke (and one or two other BBC local stations) seem to consider it appropriate to closely copy what their supposed opposition is doing!

How can such use of precious licence-fee money - OUR money - ever truly square with the stated aims of the BBC Trust? If the BBC wishes to continue receiving funding from the new Parliament, how can this honestly be justified? Where did the original ideas go??

darcysarto

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Re: Can you guess our mystery year?
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2015, 09:34:51 AM »
Heaven forbid I should ever tune in to my local BBC station at 9-00 one morning, and be exhorted to identify which year these 'hits and headlines' come from. Surely that could only occur in a fictional comedy drama - or the uninspired, formulaic world of independent commercial radio?

Nope, as North says it certainly goes on on BBC local radio.  I've not seen Car Share but to use such a segment to convey local radio must describe some easily identifiable very common feature to all stations.  One has to assume the vast majority of people like such things? I've heard similar things used daily on BBC Surrey, they have hours to fill on a shrinking budget which doesn't include investing in ideas or imaginative features I suppose.  Sad.

Northoftheborder

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Re: Can you guess our mystery year?
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2015, 11:45:15 AM »
Maybe Dennis was being ironic? Especially when he described the "...uninspired, formulaic world of independent commercial radio..."

There's more than a hint of irony, when you take into account this basic format first saw the light of day (the best part of) forty years ago! BBC Radio One were already running their "Golden Hour " each weekday morning before I'd started secondary school!

Despite undergoing three or four presenter changes - and being tweaked a little - it remained a consistent part of their weekday morning schedule, until the end of last century and the well-documented "repositioning" of Radio One to suit a younger audience.

Even before then, several independent stations had begun to broadcast daily features under names such as "The Top 10 at Ten" and the like. Closely copying a more recent aspect of Radio One's Golden Hour, these would invariably pepper their sequences with archive headlines, to help encourage their listeners to "guess our mystery year"! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, perhaps?

So it's particularly ironic that - desperate to do something about the mess they themselves had made of a once-popular Saturday morning show - Radio Stoke felt it necessary to stoop so low as to re-import the Golden Hour format back to BBC radio, isn't it?

Back to my previous point - now, more than ever, the BBC is coming under increasing scrutiny, isn't it? Not only having to justify its very existence, but also the continuation of licence fee-based funding, how is the irrefutable fact (that several local stations appear to use that funding to effectively copy their commercial opposition) in any way acceptable? It's not only sad - it's positively suicidal.

Northoftheborder

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Re: Can you guess our mystery year?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2016, 03:29:38 PM »
Six consecutive days, where we're given opportunities to guess "what year it is" simply isn't enough. That seems to be the case at Radio Stoke, as this afternoon sees two whole hours of what stand-in presenter Kate Justice has dubbed her "Top Ten From When".

Call it what you will: Top Ten From When, The Time Of Our Lives - or even, as Radio Manchester (with commendable honesty) name it - The Golden Hour, there's no avoiding the fact that this uninspired substitute for genuinely inventive, local radio is spreading like an unpleasant, irritating rash, across the BBC. Is there no end to it?

Just one other thought. The regular Sunday afternoon show that Radio Stoke normally broadcast isn't blighted with two hours of this nonsense, so why has a substitute presenter thought fit to subject us to this second-hand, third-rate waste of airtime??


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