January 15, 2008

Horse 845 - Big Brother Corporation - We are the BBC

The World Service's classic signature tune Lillibullero is broadcast just before the top of many hours, followed by the Greenwich Time Signal (five short and one long pips) and the hourly news. Modern trailers featuring a variety of international broadcasting centres sometimes replace Lillibullero entirely on themed weeks. Until fairly recently, the hourly sequence was preceded by the announcement "This is London" — it is now followed by a more promotional "Wherever you are, you are with the BBC" or "With world news every half hour, this is the BBC".

In recent months, Lillibullero has been shortened by extra trailers. It has been suggested (by World Service staff) that the reduction in the use of Lillibullero is firstly because of its background as a Protestant marching song in Northern Ireland and secondly as, in modern branding terms, it is somewhat out of step with a modern, global news organisation.

I will freely admit though that the observation that the BBC's television music has gone rather too far the other way though.


Comedian Bill Bailey makes a rather humorous rant about the theme tune to BBC News. This is heard all over the world both on domestic TV, BBC News 24 as well as on BBC World; sneakily they've also snuck the pips into their theme song one way or another. I'm not sure if the BBC is as dastardly as Bill Bailey would have you believe, but they produce 120 hours of English Language services every day across all seven continents. No other news service is that big or banned with such ferocity from various countries. It is not allowed to be viewed or listened to in Iran, Burma or Zimbabwe, all of which have denounced the BBC as a terrorist organisation. Almost literally "Wherever you are, you are with the BBC" whether you want to be or not.

And now:

One Word Weather With Nelson Mandela


Hmm, I suppose that the weather today is a bit "Yeah".

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