Objects, memory and two iconic British institutions.
Anyone who has been watching W1A, currently airing on BBC First in Australia, will have some idea of the role the BBC plays in British life: it’s a treasure, but sometimes it’s possible to think that it is run by a bunch of lunatics. Who, for example, do they think they’re kidding when they try to appeal to the young? Which of these young, presuming that they have left the parental nest, possess a TV, let alone a licence to watch the thing? And what were the mandarins at Broadcasting House thinking of when in 1995 they tried to move the late-night Shipping Forecast by twelve minutes? They couldn’t get away with it, of course: there was uproar, and a debate in parliament, as was only right. How can you go to sleep without knowing whether or not there’s a severe gale 9 just off Rockall? Impossible.
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