Wednesday, December 29, 2010

TV and Radio in the UK

Radio is a bizarre phenomena on this isle. From everything I've seen, there are only a handful of radio stations here at all. There is literally BBC 1-4, Heart, and a few more stations that I would classify as "wide spread." They are assigned ranges and broadcast within those areas. As you move about, you'll begin to lose signal on one frequency, so you simply tune to another frequency in that range to pick it up again. The programs are geared toward everyone, everywhere on the island. BBC 1, for example, is broadcast from 97.7 to 99.7 and during the day plays popular music, with genre specific shows into the night. BBC is very similar, as is Heart and the other wide broadcast stations. BBC 3 seems to focus on classical, opera and Jazz, while BBC Classic is classical music. BBC 4 is mostly arts, culture, and news.

In addition to these long broadcast stations, we've found a handful of regional stations. There is a BBC Welsh and BBC Gaelic in those respect languages (Cymru and Gael). There is a BBC Scotland and I think a few in other major cities. What is odd is that in addition to these stations, we've literally seen only 2 other stations. One is a local variety station based out of Oban, and according to a Radio Maps website, the only station to service the 90,000 people that live in the Argyll and Bute area. The other was a rock station that I think was based out of Glasgow. The variety of stations focusing on specific genres of music that we are so used to in America is almost non-existent here. It's quite weird!

TV was a weird disappointment for me. We've seen a handful of new things that are good, but most of the British TV shows are pretty bad, even to the people that live here. Most of the TV on the air here is imported from America. Scrubs is vastly popular, The Simpsons are on regularly, Friends, and How You Meet My Mother and in demand as well. Many of the movies on TV and advertised here are, understandably, from Hollywood. The movies that I've seen advertised that are from the UK are generally quite bad looking. Understandably, Bollywood films are in high demand around the island.

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