Here’s To The Start Of A Very Patriotic Summer
I wouldn’t describe myself as particularly patriotic and feel more loyal to my home ‘up north’ than Britain itself, but over the past two weeks that has changed slightly thanks to working on the exciting London Calling campaign for the BBC (www.londoncallingbbc.com). I have always loved the BBC, a genuinely remarkable broadcasting institution, and it provides me with the majority of the media I digest daily, from news to my beloved Radio 2. However, until now, I had not realised just how many BBC programmes are broadcast around the world through BBC Worldwide Channels and I feel terribly proud of that!
A large choice of programmes is continually aired in India, Asia, Europe and Australia, to name but a few. To mark the fact that the world is looking at London as the city of 2012, BBC Worldwide Channels has developed the London Calling special season of programming, which includes shows such as the two hugely popular Sherlock series, The Tube (renamed as The Underground for our overseas friends) and Live at the Apollo. From documentaries to dramas, music to majestic pageantry, it celebrates everything that our wonderful capital city has to offer. Additionally, the regional interactive websites allow people all over the globe to learn more about London landmarks, take quizzes and enter competitions. Unfortunately for us in the UK, the competitions are only open to those living in the various BBC Worldwide territories, but I would urge you to explore the map-based website because you’ll learn loads. For example, did you know plastic was invented by Alexander Parkes on Berkshire Road in Hackney and that it was originally called ‘Parkesine’?!
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert and Thames Pageant are highlights of London Calling; it’s amazing to think that people will be able to join in with the celebrations as they will be broadcast live in many countries. Other programmes on the subject of the Royal Family, such as Andrew Marr’s Diamond Queen documentary series, which has already been on in the UK, will also be shown as part of London Calling. Obviously millions of people are looking forward to the Olympics on TV from 27 July (including me because my cousin, Etienne, is competing in the C-2 slalom canoeing!) so there are also a number of themed programmes being shown as part of the schedule, including my favourite comedy of the past year, mockumentary Twenty Twelve.
There is so much to look forward to this summer, starting next weekend with the Jubilee, and there really does seem to be a mounting emotion as people remember that Britain is actually pretty great. Thanks to institutions like the BBC, everyone around the globe can unite in celebration and forget the depressing economic news for a couple of months. Let’s hope the beautiful weather that we’ve had this week continues and in 30 years people around the world can look back and say, wasn’t the summer of 2012 a special one.