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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The news










Big Brother (RR, who comments, usually critically, here) abhors Huw Edwards the presenter of BBC News at Ten. Whilst I am no fan of Huw I do find his manner boring, BBC superior, and a touch pompous, but that does not put me in RR’s camp of almost obsessional denigration. I have asked RR on several occasions to explain his dislike, a technique he invariably inflicts on others when they just say something is “good” or “bad.” He then demands that they should give detailed reasons. My questioning has resulted in uncharacteristic vagueness from RR that has not encouraged any empathy from me. 

Well, I invariably watch BBC News at Six usually avoiding HW, and often with the bonus of Fiona Bruce. For a long time I have also habitually tuned into BBC News at Ten, albeit spasmodically .

I was only about ten when TV first arrived in our house, then only with BBC. Being brought up in an intellectual family I remember personalities like Bronowski, Huw Wheldon,  A.J. Ayer, and Malcolm Muggeridge, and then I remember the kerfuffle when ITV and adverts were introduced. I inherited the impression that ITV was intellectually inferior, especially tainted with those adverts, and on the whole something to be avoided, and like the acute, and now irrational parsimony instilled in me during and after the War it is something I have never properly shaken off.

A few months ago I wandered over onto ITV News at Ten and found the news presented by Tom Bradby - what a revelation. This guy talks to you on a comfortable sort of one to one basis with little asides and personal hints of amusement and no condescension, and with a varied vocabulary uncluttered with stock phrases, but he also handles grave news with genuine feeling. The news coverage generally is more wide ranging than BBC and more inclined to report on a bit of speculation or rumour. For example, when some criminal has been apprehended the BBC will stick to the format of “a twenty four year old man was arrested” and nothing else, but ITV often seems to have unearthed more detail - some may say that could be undermining  prosecution or a fair trial, but what the hell!.

I now never watch BBC News at Ten, and have the advantage of comparing BBC’s News at Six with ITV’s presentation at ten.

13 comments:

AlanR said...

I watch the news on NHK world . I find out more of what's going on. SKY news with Kay Burly is the most awful I find.

Alan Sloman said...

Is it becoz I is Welsh, innit?

Huw.

Alan Sloman said...

I watch very little television. If I do it's through iPlayer, when I can watch at my convenience.

Most news services are highly selective in their choice of news and it seems to be driven by whatever is trending on twitter. The BBC news and current affairs programmes are so politicised they are becoming worthless. You could switched between the Guardian website and the BBC and barely notice any difference in content and style.

And don't get me started on BBC Radio 4 comedy programmes...

gimmer said...

to misappropriate what was once said about Burke - 'I say ditto to Mr Sloman' - para 2 anyway - as you know, I was relieved of my tv involuntarily in 2003 and now wonder how anyone ever has time to watch it in any manner or form . . .

Sir Hugh said...

Aan R - I recently kicked out Sky because of endless repeats on Discovery, and also to salve a guilty conscience I have harboured for far too long for supporting anything to do with Rupert M.

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Alan S - I don't think for a moment RR's aversion is due to H's nationality. RR lives in Hereford and embraces many things Welsh enthusiastically.

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gimmer - There are gems produced every now and then that make it worthwhile.

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AlanR said...

I agree Conrad. As I have mentioned in the past, I too ditched Sky. I tend to watch what I want on iplayer or freeview as per Alan S.

Roderick Robinson said...

I've always wanted my antipathy to be expressed exquisitely and memorably. Here is one of the steps towards that goal, posted August 24, 2013

You can be bored by something, or by nothing. Huw Edwards the BBC newsreader bores me. His orotund voice saps even exciting news. I suppose he’d be a perfect candidate to tell me I was suffering from an incurable illness. "The incurable illness is you, Huw," I'd say. "You are oblivion incarnate."

Here's another (September 9, 2016):

I suspect VR views my dislike of Huw Edwards as an affectation; certainly she makes small animal-like noises to suppress my outbursts during News At Ten. She, on the other hand, is incapacitated if a former leader of the Conservatives appears on telly; I view him with mild distaste.

And another (March 16, 2015):

Your mind is rotting and you opt for Huw Edwards disgorging the News At Ten. You turn on the telly and watch the last ninety seconds of Mrs Brown's Boys. A programme you truly loathe; you could have reflected on Augustine of Hippo's prayer: "Grant me chastity, but not yet." A minute and a half passes irretrievably.

And another (February 21 2015), included in a list of benefits about growing old:

HUW EDWARDS TV news reader. As I get older, so does he. The BBC may be phasing him out from News At Ten.

And another (November 28, 2014), this time in a list of benefits following the installation of a new lens in my previously cataracted eye:

● Now I can scrutinise his every discouraging detail (especially the snarl that forms on the left-hand side of his mouth), BBC news presenter Huw Edwards is frequently absent from the 10 pm bulletin. His defences are down.

And again (October 23 2014) in a list of antipathies:

HUW EDWARDS (BBC news presenter). Operates to a formula; not a spark of life in that dead face. Two tones of voice: neutral and solemn. For great tragedies (eg, the tsunami) he slows down slightly.

Again (January 10 2014):

I would not feel "challenged" if my trousers fell down before Huw Edwards; I would improvise new braces and curse the chainsaw manufacturer, Stihl, who sponsored my current pair.

Again (September 28 2013)

Oh cor! Stephanie Flanders, economics editor, is leaving (has left) the BBC and I am bereft. News at Ten will now be a desert populated only by the stuffy Welsh camel-master, Huw Edwards.

Again (September 17 2013):

We’ll be seeing my brother, Sir Hugh, soon. He lives near the Lake District and I suggested visiting the pub at the head of Wasdale, a blind LD valley. The name of the nearby lake, Wastwater, hints at the area’s austere grandeur. I recall the pub as a scowling sort of place with stone slab floors. Looked at the pub’s website and quickly withdrew the suggestion. Gentrification has descended like particles in the emollient voice of Huw Edwards.

As you see I'm working towards a definitive condemnation to be carved on his tombstone which I'll willingly pay for. A hatred as profound as this is not to be rushed.

Alan Sloman said...

What about Angela Rippon, eh?
;-)

Sir Hugh said...

Alan Sloman - Now that's going back a bit. I once let slip, almost obliquely, to my family my fancy for AR. They seized on it with glee and have continued to tease me about it for the last twenty years or so. Nowadays, secretly (until now) Fiona has taken over.

Sir Hugh said...

RR - Looks like he may need a large tombstone or a stonemason skilled in small writing; or would you restrict it to your self flagellatory 300 words?

Gayle said...

I seldom watch ITV and almost never watch the news (I want to know what is going on in a succinct form, and don't find that TV news fits that description) but in any case, the 10 o'clock news is past my bedtime!

Sir Hugh said...

Gayle - How do you keep yourself informed then? Radio? Newspaper? Many of my friends and acquaintances seem to listen to BBC Radio 4, especially the breakfast news programme. I used to whilst driving to work, but n retirement I prefer a peaceful and quiet perusal of the new availables on-line.

Gayle said...

When at home I get the headlines on Radio 2 multiple times a day. Both home and away I usually have a quick look at the BBC news app and/or the newspaper (although I find that reading the paper every day is just depressing - there is so seldom good news). My best source of news, however, is Mick who reads various news Apps compulsively throughout the day and imparts snippets of it to me.