No. 27: The Shipping Forecast

shippingforecastmapPhoto credit: Design Context

“…the shipping forecast occupies a particularly resonant position in the audio landscape of British life. It has been broadcast four times a day—12:48 a.m., 5:20 a.m., 12:01 p.m. and 5:54 p.m.—since 1924, with the same calming litany of weather conditions in the offshore areas immediately around the British Isles, incomprehensible to most people, but still utterly bewitching.

And it’s not just a matter of people deriving pleasure from some- thing designed to be a valuable service. BBC Radio 4 is the sole British radio station that would continue to broadcast in the event of a nuclear strike. The shipping forecast is therefore the most trusted broadcast from the most trusted broadcaster in the entire nation, and the fun part of this is that most people listening still have very little idea of what is actually being said.”

Preorder your copy of Stuff Brits Like from: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble BooksellersBrazos Bookstore, Book People — Austin, Normals Bookstore, Kramerbooks, and G.J. Ford Bookshop.

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