TV: BBC Apologies for Graham Norton IPP in Doctor Who

April 25th, 2010 by Richard Bairwell 3 comments »

Last night, myself and many others had our experience of Doctor Who interrupted due to an “In-Programme Promotion” for Graham Norton’s “Over The Rainbow” which followed Doctor Who. The BBC has, via their news site, released an apology headed “Doctor Who fans angered by trailer for Over the Rainbow” which said:

Thousands of Doctor Who fans have contacted the BBC to complain that the ending of Saturday night’s episode was ruined by a trailer for the next show.

The on-screen caption featured an animated cartoon of presenter Graham Norton, host of Over the Rainbow.

It appeared as The Doctor, played by Matt Smith, was making an emotional speech during the story’s cliffhanger ending for The Time of Angels.

The trailer was seen by millions of viewers watching on BBC One in England.

Fans have also been complaining on social networking site Twitter. One wrote: “Why is the BBC treating its audience like idiots?”

Another said: “Don’t blink or Graham Norton will catch you.”

The BBC often promotes programmes in this way but the corporation has acknowledged that in this case the scheduling was inappropriate.

A BBC spokesman said: “We apologise for the timing of Saturday night’s trail.”

When I sent in my complaint regarding this matter, I did ask for the BBC to contact me regarding this matter, but I still haven’t received even an acknowledgement from them. This is the first time I have seen an IPP on the BBC – I know I don’t watch a lot of TV now, but I’m sure I would have seen them before now if they “often promote[d] programmes in this way”…

Complaint to the BBC re: Doctor Who

April 24th, 2010 by Richard Bairwell 9 comments »
What were they thinking? #doctorwho #geekrage #bbcfail on Twitpic
Image from @fullmetalannie

For the first time in my life, I have just sent a letter of complaint to the BBC. Why? Well, during the climax of the episode of Doctor Who they had an on screen advert in bright yellow (the scene was set in a dark cave).

If you saw this and want to complain, you can do so via https://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/forms/. My complaint is at the bottom

Clip via DoctorWhoDomc. Contains spoilers

Other complaints which have been sent include ones from:

  • @denofgeek (text of complaint)
  • @katybairstow (text of complaint)
  • @ODSeanT “Animated Graham Norton ruined what was otherwise an excellent episode of #DoctorWho” (Source)
  • @mightyhorse82 “BBC your inscreen ad for OverTheRainbow at the end of #DoctorWho just makes me even less likely to watch that f…. bilge” (Source)
  • @capricorn_one “WHAT THE F… WAS THAT??? I’m refering to that on screen banner for the next show at the end of Dr Who #DoctorWho” (Source)
  • @richardpmilner “#bbc, don’t put a Graham Norton avatar/banner over the top of #doctorwho at the dramatically climactic moment. Away with your rainbow vomit.” (Source)
  • @stewart_Paske “#BBC1 shouldn’t compromise the dramatic integrity of #DoctorWho by splashing Graham Norton over the pivotal scene. #GetGrahamOutOfMyTardis” (Source)
  • @kaleidoscope27 “What the hell was that cartoon Graham Norton doing tainting my #DoctorWho?” (Source)
  • @pressfuturist “Am currently using the BBC complaint form to do my whyohwhyohwhy about GrahamNorton on #doctorwho http://bit.ly/78qXs (via @FullMetalAnnie )” (Source)
  • @nissemus “The way the Beeb ruined the end of #DoctorWho is proof that British TV is now being run by marketing morons rather than broadcasters.” (Source)
  • @simquayle “I am gratified that I was joined by most of Britain in a chorus of “What the… Get off my telly!” at the #Dorothy trail in #DoctorWho” (Source)
  • @fechtbuch “Tweet #bbcfail if you hated the yellow onscreen banner during the “one thing you don’t put in a trap…” speech. #doctorwho” (Source)
  • @drandreq “Why the f… is there a tiny Graham Norton dancing at the bottom of the screen? #doctorwho” (Source)
  • Daryl Millar: “The In-Programme Pointer for ‘Over The Rainbow’ during an incredibly tense ‘Doctor Who’ cliffhanger was completely unacceptable. If you hate them too, I urge you to submit a complaint to the BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/forms/. If the BBC believe they can get away with it, I am certain that these banners will pop up during the episode every single week.” (Source)
  • “G G”: “The In-Programme Pointer for ‘Over The Rainbow’ during an incredibly tense ‘Doctor Who’ cliffhanger was completely unacceptable. All week we’ve had a preview scene of the Doctor doing a dramatic ‘you don’t want to trap me’ speech, a very tense moment in the show, which is going to end on a cliffhanger, at that very moment a reminder of the show coming on straight after Dr Who appeared on the screen. What was that all about? The tension had built up nicely in the show, one of the better episodes of late too, then this daft cartoon appears advertising Graham Norton’s show. We know what is on next, and would have found out in a few seconds anyway. Why do you treat us like idiots?” (Source)
  • Owen Blacker: “Dear Aunty, Using on-screen graphics to trail the next programme detracts from the programme one is watching, particularly when it a suspenseful scene in something like Doctor Who and when the DOG is animated. Please avoid using on-screen trailer graphics during primetime shows, especially when that show is likely to be generating a mood of suspense or anticipation that is destroyed by a moving graphic advertising another programme 15 seconds before the end of the closing scene of a two-part drama. The credits are a perfect opportunity to trail programmes about to start on the BBC channels, where graphics (animated or otherwise) will not detract from viewers’ enjoyment of the show they actually tuned in to watch. Yours, very disappointed” (Source: Facebook)
  • Facebook group

If you’ve complained, please let me know in the comments (if you’ve got a copy of the complaint then even better) so we can keep track of a rough number of them.

(From what I’ve heard from others, this advertisement was on only the standard BBC One Channel (not HD) and only on the non-Scottish regions)

Here’s the text of the letter I sent:
» Read more: Complaint to the BBC re: Doctor Who

Politics: Response from LibDems on “Stop the war”

April 21st, 2010 by Richard Bairwell No comments »

On the 19th of April (3 days ago), I wrote to Rachel Joyce (of the Conservative Party), Gareth Thomas (of the Labour Party) and Christopher Noyce (of the Liberal Democrats) via Stop The War Coalition as they are candidates for the Harrow West constituency for the General Election 2010. I could not email Rowan Langley (of the Green Party) nor Herbert Crossman (of the UK Independence Party) as StopWar did not have an email address for them.

So far, I have only received one response – from Christopher Noyce of the Liberal Democrats. It was short and sweet (full text in the “Read More” section) and he’s supports the withdrawal of troops from Afhanistan, doesn’t support the war in Iraq and, in my eyes, answered the remainder of the questions in a way I would like to see. However, there were three very small “picky” things that put my off from his response – his candidate email address is a Hotmail one (!), the fact he failed to state which party he represents and whether those views were his personal thoughts or those of the Liberal Democrats. I know all candidates are a bit busy, so I’m not too concerned he bullet-pointed responses.

So far: 1 to LibDems, 0 to all other parties.

The full text of the email I sent was:

I am writing to you in your capacity as a parliamentary candidate in the general election to find out your views on a number of issues concerning the “war on terror”, and in particular the occupation in Afghanistan. You will be aware that the overwhelming majority of people in the country believe the troops should come home and that the war is counterproductive.

At a time when all the main parties in the election are calling for cuts in public services, I note that this year’s budget of £3.8 billion for the Afghan war is almost exactly the amount the government plans to cut from the NHS. In considering how I will cast my vote in the election, I would be interested to receive your replies to the following questions arising from the current government’s war policies.

1. Do you support the immediate withdrawal of British and NATO troops from Afghanistan?
2. Did you support the war in Iraq?
3. Will you oppose any military attack on Iran by the United States or Israel?
4. Do you support the immediate closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison?
5. Are you opposed to the renewal of Trident nuclear weapons?
6. Do you oppose the attacks on Muslims and the growing Islamophobia in British society?
7. Do you agree that the use of anti-terrorist laws to restrict the right of protest is an attack on civil liberties?

I would be interested if these views reflect your personal thoughts/views or if they are those of your Party.

And the response I received from Christopher Noyce:

in reply
1.yes
2.no
3.yes
4yes
5.yes
6yes
7.yes

chris noyce
[then a copy of my original email]

Politics: Finding Manifestos

April 10th, 2010 by Richard Bairwell No comments »

As you may be aware, there is a UK General Election (and most Local Elections) due to be called on the 6th of May 2010 (if you aren’t already registered to vote, have a look at About My Vote: you need to have registered to vote before the 20th of April). And although the candidates have until the 20th of April to register with the Electoral Commission, as registered voter I thought I’d see how easy it is right now to find each of the 3 major parties and 4 minor parties (which are either standing in the Harrow West constituency or have had quite a bit of publicity the last week or two) manifestos.

I started by looking on Google UK for the common party name (i.e. for the United Kingdom Independence Party I searched for “UKIP” as that is what they are commonly known as) and tried to see if their manifesto was listed on the first page. I was only looking for “official sources” (i.e. directly from the party’s website) – not commentary on mentions by third parties. I then tried to find the manifesto from their own website by searching the front page for the word “manifesto” and/or using any site search facilities. I was shocked at how difficult this actually was and disappointed that the parties make it so difficult to find out what you are meant to be voting them in for.

Anway, here’s the results from HARDEST to find to EASIEST. Note, I am only reviewing how easy it was to find the manifestos – not the contents of them(!).
» Read more: Politics: Finding Manifestos

Business: Royal Mail Postage Price Increase

April 5th, 2010 by Richard Bairwell No comments »

Following on from my previous post about where my money goes, I thought it’ll be worth reminding people that tomorrow (Tuesday the 6th of April) Royal Mail* postage prices increase (* = Royal Mail is a “private company” wholly owned by the UK Government).

Rate New price Old price
1st Class Letter (up to 100g) 41p 39p
2nd Class Letter (up to 100g) 32p 30p
1st Class Large Letter (up to 100g) 66p 61p
2nd Class Large Letter (up to 100g) 51p 47p
1st Class Packet of 101-250g 172p 162p
2st Class Packet of 101-250g 151p 141p
1st Class Packet of 251-500g 224p 214p
2st Class Packet of 251-500g 195p 185p

If you are sending more than 1,000 letters on a single day, you can get a discount of 1.5% – if you are sending over 20,000 you get 5.5%. However, if you are sending around 100,000 letters in a batch and they are presorted then the cost is just 15.85p: but if you are sending that many letters you have an option not to use Royal Mail (you can use UKMail etc): however, the small business person and normal consumers don’t have that option and have to pay Royal Mail’s ever increasing prices.

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