A British man has probably set the world record for quickest time in flunking a driving test after failing it five seconds in, reported the Metro newspaper yesterday.
Craig Barraza, aged 33, originally from Portlethen in Aberdeenshire but now living in Norfolk, crashed out of his driving test after pulling out of the centre of the wrong side of the road, according to Metro. The hapless learner told the paper he had a ‘complete mind blank’ once he got behind the wheel and largely forgot everything the driving instructor had taught him over his lengthy and expensive preparation lessons.
Barraza, who appeared for his exam at the King’s Lynn test centre, immediately pulled out and began driving down the wrong side of the road. Vehicles in the UK drive on the left. His error was so obvious that even the examiner who was in the front passenger seat with him at the time exclaimed “You do realise you’re on the wrong side of the road?”.
Despite immediately failing his test, Barraza still had to continue driving for another forty minutes, where it is alleged he actually drove so well that he would have passed had it not been for the ghastly error he made at first. The examiner, and Barraza’s driving instructor, Steve Fletcher, said that it was the worst blunder they had seen in 50 years of instruction.
Barraza, who is employed as an operative on a wind energy farm, is said to have spent £1,000 in total on forty lessons with Fletcher, as well as the multiple-choice question ‘theory test’ that all new British drivers are required to sit in addition to the practical.
He said: “I was only just leaving the centre to get out. We were literally just five seconds into it. I was approaching the junction to exit it and I had an absolute mind blank, questioning in my head: ‘What side of the road do we drive on?”
‘I had a 50/50 chance, and I chose to exit it in the right lane. Instant fail. Had I not been so stupid I’d have breezed through.’
‘My examiner with 20 years experience, and my instructor with 30 years both said they have never witnessed anything like it in their careers. I hadn’t even left the test centre car park.”
He added: “I’ve avoided driving because when I was 17 I stalled at a roundabout which just completely put me off. But I was more confident now.
‘I think it’s when you get older you get a bit wiser but that’s rich coming from me after failing like that. I’ve lived in the UK my whole life so there’s no excuse for not driving on the left.
‘Honestly, who fails a test quicker than that? I didn’t even get to the junction.”
Despite his huge messup, Barraza has received supportive messages from his friends after posting about the calamity on social media, however it is not mentioned if he will retake his test.
As London’s housing crisis spirals out of control, and both house prices and rents became more and more painful for the city’s 8 million inhabitants, one enterprising worker has taken a peculiar, if somewhat desperate, solution to keeping a roof over his head, the newspaper Metro reported yesterday.
Alex Hill, aged 24, is an IT worker who emigrated to the UK’s capital from the small town of Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire county, England. Upon arriving in the big city, he found the price of renting beyond a joke, with single bedrooms in flatshares and houseshares now costing an average £550-750 per month. Buying a house would have also been just a dream, with the average London house now selling for around £500,000. There was no way, even in his relatively well-paid career, that Alex would have been able to purchase outright.
Instead he set up home….in a large blue commercial van. Hill uses the van as a place to sleep, parking it in side streets. While this seems makeshift, the IT employee, who works in the City, is able to save £1,000 per month on rent and utilities. Unfortunately the van has no running water or WC facilities, so Hill is forced to avoid drinking fluids after 7:00 pm to avoid having to use the toilet in a city where public urination is illegal.
He installed a bed in the vehicle, which also comes equipped with a solar powered generator for electricity and a small heater to keep Hill warm during this month’s cold winter nights.
“I was planning to cycle around Europe for a few months last summer and had already handed in the notice for my flat,” he told student newspaperThe Tab.
“The plan was to stay with friends until I got another flat, but I decided to try out living in my car for a few weeks and showering at work.”
He often parks his unusual mobile home in hip places like Clapham, Brixton or anywhere in Islington where he can visit friends and camp outside after, and surprisingly with such a large van in a city notorious for its scarcity and expense of parking places, Alex Hill says he has no trouble with parking.
He added: “I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone.
‘The most important thing for me was that I could still shower every day at the office, but it depends what you feel you need.”
It is not illegal in the UK to sleep or even live in your vehicle. Many homeless people often live in their cars in preference to being on the streets, and thousands of British holidaymakers often go on camping holidays in caravans, but Alex’s situation is also a sad example of the difficulties in finding safe and affordable accommodation in the capital, even for those in well-paid jobs.
Hill has been sleeping in his van since September 2015. The Metro article does not say whether he has any plans to move into a des res less mobile and four-wheeled.
A member of a group called the Welwyn Garden City Cannabis Club took a photo of what appears to be a fully grown cannabis plant nestled among pink flowers in the flowerbed, located across Marsden Road from the Nisa Local Handside Lane convenience store, Metro reported yesterday.
According to Metro, the Cannabis Club were responsible for planting the marijuana, famed the world over for its relaxing and behaviour-altering properties which causes users to mellow out. Although several American states and the South American nation of Uruguay have legalised cannabis for medicinal and minor personal use, the United Kingdom classifies the herb as an illegal ‘Class B’ drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, alongside amphetamines and ketamine.
A spokesperson from the secretive group told local newspaper the Welwyn Hatfield Times that the impromptu appearance of ganja in the council flowerbed was a stunt aimed at promoting the benefits of the plant.
“We can confirm that the cannabis plants found in WGC town centre are not a one off their existence is no accident”, the group revealed to a journalist at the Times.
The club, which agitates for the legalisation of cannabis also said: “These plants are the work of local activists as part of a movement which believes cannabis should be available for medical and recreational use, that we utilise and legalise hemp and replace our polyplastics industry and fossil fuel dependency”
The group also claimed that hemp ‘has over 50,000 uses and benefits that most people are unaware of’.
“We are here to raise awareness of the medical benefits of cannabis and the dangers of legal and pharmaceutical drugs”, group member Luna Tokes said.
Unfortunately for local ‘potheads‘ looking for material to fill their next joint, the city’s govering body and owner of the doped-up flowerbeds, Welwyn Hatfield Council, had the plants uprooted to prevent any ‘further confusion’, Metro states.
It is not the first time illegal vegetation has been added to city flowerbeds. In May 2015, Astana city council in the capital of Kazakhstan mistakenly planted cannabis fields on Astana’s main roads, with drivers treated to several feet wide roadside fields of the drug. Locals were said to have joked that the exotic plants, placed at the junction between Auezova and Dzhangeldina streets, were an attempt to lure in local junkies for processing by the Astana police.
A man allegedly screamed “f*** the alligators” before jumping into a pool inhabited by the reptiles, who then savaged him to death, reports UK newspaperMetro.
Tommie Woodward, aged 28 and of Orange County, Texas, USA was visiting a private marina on the Sabine River in the same state, when he began mocking the creatures before jumping into the marina, where they immediately closed in on him.
Local county official Rodney Price said that Woodward disregarded signs posted at the marina warning visitors against swimming there. He said “He removed his shirt, removed his billfold…someone shouted a warning and he said “blank (expletive) the alligators” and jumped into the water and almost immediately yelled for help”
Marina employee Michelle Wright, in an interview with news station KFDM, told how she approached Woodward and warned him against entering the marina’s waters, but to no avail as he decided to take the fatal plunge. She later found his dismembered body floating in the water. “I saw his body floating face down,” she recollected.
“And then he’s out there for a couple of seconds and then he’s dragged back down. And then he come back up still face down and then he gets pulled down again. And then he just disappears.”
Alligators kill their prey by often clamping their jaws around the victim’s neck and dragging them below the waterline in an attempt to asphyxiate them.
Marina owner Allen Burkhart added: “He went under one time, then he hollered (shouted) at her to get out of the water.
‘Then he pulled him down the second time and that was it.
‘I’ve been here all my life and this is the first time something like this has happened. … I’m still in shock.”
Tommie Woodward had relocated to Orange County from St. Louis along with his twin brother and had found a job at a local shipyard. The reason for the plunge which killed him was not reported by Metro.
There are believed to be millions of alligators residing in the southern United States, with Louisiana and Florida states alone having 3.3 million. Most alligators avoid human contact and rarely feed on people, but can attack with often lethal consequences if they feel threatened or alarmed. They normally hunt turtles, fish, mammals and amphibians. In Florida, there are a dozen alligator attacks per year, but fatalities are rare. Only twenty people have been killed by the reptiles in that state in the past 40 years, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
British tabloidMetro has reported yet another strange moment where a photographer has caught one animal hitching a ride on another, as a wave of apparent laziness sweeps the vertebrate kingdom. This time, it is a crow perching precariously on the back of a bald eagle while the eagle is in mid-flight, and pretty much owning the situation.
The unnamed photographer was out and about when they spotted the strange aerial goings-on happening several feet above their head. The three photographs were then forwarded to the newspaper by photo agencyMedia Drum World, as the strange factor sank in across the Pond. The location of the photos is also undisclosed, but the species of eagle depicted suggests they were taken in the United States.
The first shows the black crow flying in tandem with the eagle as it appears to be closing in on a warm sunny day. The second then shows the brave (or foolhardy, depending on your viewpoint) corvine rodeo participant perching on the eagle’s back – on one leg, leading Metro journalist Nicholas Reilly to comment that the crow rode the raptor like an ‘absolute boss’ – clearly indicating his new-found respect and awe for the plucky little passenger, who normally would be more at home cawing from the tops of chimney stacks than grabbing hold of the king (or queen) of the American skies like it was a errant Uber cab. Reilly also presumably got his breath back and also complimented the crow’s ‘serious landing skills’.
The third in the instalment depicts the respected symbol of American freedom fluttering its massive wings, perhaps in an attempt to dislodge and possibly devour its unwanted passenger. The crow, adopting a similar posture with its own much smaller wings, remains resolutely anchored to the eagle. “Get thee to the Crow’s Nest…where’s that, guv’nor?…..er….as far as the crow flies…”
The fate of the two birds or what happened next is not known, but Metro officially billed 2015 as the “year of animals effortlessly riding on the back of another animals”.
In March, wildlife photographer Martin LeMay saw a weasel attempt to attack a woodpecker that was perched on the ground. Its quest for an easy meal came hilariously unstuck when Woody decided that the weasel was taking the pee and promptly flew off, with the mammal clinging on for dear life on the woodpecker’s back. Then earlier in June, Richard Jones snapped a North American raccoon hitching a ride across a swamp on the back of an alligator.
While the famous abilities that American backpackers have for thumbing rides from motorists on quiet interstates are well-known to the point of being plot pieces for Hollywood horror films, it seems the animals of the USA have cottoned on too and taking equally risky rides. I wonder how much that eagle will charge for a ride to the local cinema?
The parents of a six-year old American schoolchild are up in arms against the child’s school after teachers punished the boy for being late to lessons, by making him eat his lunch behind a cardboard screen while forced to sit on a separate table from other children.
Hunter Cmelo’s parents, from Grant’s Pass in Oregon, were running late when they managed to take the first-grader to Lincoln Elementary School, the local primary school in the town. Teachers there punished Hunter by seating him on an unoccupied bench with a folded piece of cardboard shielding him from the eyes of his schoolmates. A set of polystyrene cups with the letter ‘D’ – standing for detention – scrawled on one of them was also placed near Hunter as he sat down to eat.
Pictures of the incident were put up on Facebook by Hunter’s grandmother Laura Hoover, who commented in the British newspaper site of Metro “This is my grandson, Hunter. He’s a little first grader“.
“His momma’s car sometimes doesn’t like to start right up. Sometimes he’s a couple of minutes late to school.
‘Yesterday, he was 1 minute late and this is what his momma discovered they do to punish him! They have done this to him 6 times for something that is out of his control! They make a mockery of him in front of the other students.”
The harsh punishment of being segregated from friends at lunchtime has caused considerable distress to Hunter, who was on one occasion taken home in tears by his mother, Nicole Garloff. Hunter’s father, Mark Cmelo, said to local television station KOIN6: “They are shaming him for something that’s not in his control.” Hunter’s parents are reported to be devastated at the treatment of their son by the school.
His mother said the punishment has left her son anxious about attending school, and that a few days ago, he began ‘flipping out’ because they were running late for the school journey. She said that she has experienced car troubles and suffers from the brittle bone condition osteoporosis, which can set her back in the mornings. “It causes a lot of pain and in the mornings it’s especially hard for me to get going,” she said, according to the Daily Mailnewspaper.
Lincoln Elementary School have agreed to stop using the cardboard partition in light of the Cmelos’ complaint, but have not said if they will end the policy of separating late students at lunchtime and forcing them to eat alone. According to the Daily Mail, the school received hundreds of complaints and threats after the incident went viral on social media.
A spokesman for the school district said: “The parents’ concerns were politely discussed and, ultimately, the issues were resolved to the satisfaction of both parents and the school. All parties involved believe that an appropriate resolution has been reached.“
Meanwhile, the school’s superintendent John Higgins, who received a barrage of threatening phone calls, told Newswatch 12 that the “protocol was communicated to parents via newsletter and is intended to provide the students with an above average level of tardiness, supervised additional learning time in a non-distracting setting,
‘It was never intended to isolate or stigmatize students.“
Principal Missy Fitzsimmons reached out to Hunter’s parents and arranged a meeting this past Thursday to hear the parents’ concerns, including ceasing use of the cardboard partition. Fitzsimmons said: “We are pleased to report the meeting was productive,“
‘The parents’ concerns were politely discussed and, ultimately, the issues were resolved to the satisfaction of both parents and the school. All parties involved believe that an appropriate resolution has been reached.”
The school has a roll call of 444 pupils and forms part of the Grant’s Pass School District 7 administration in the Oregon town.
The Genome Project, which despite its name has no connection to theHuman Genome Projector to any organisation in the field ofscientific research, was set up by the BBC to encourage its viewers and listeners to search their homes and garages for any old recordings orVCRtapes of BBC and other shows which they are then invited to submit. It is hoped that donations of TV shows from times long gone past will help the BBC preserve older programmes for future generations. The Project’s archives extend from the years 1923 to 2009.
The website enables you to choose individual editions of the Radio Times, as well as search through the magazine archive via year, people’s names, particular programmes and key dates. A virtual gallery of actual Radio Times covers means the Genome Project’s users can witness the changing face of one of theUnited Kingdom’smost recognisable entertainment magazines – which has been a fixture of the country’s living rooms for over ninety years and is still running. The actual schedule information is presented as plain, easy-to-read text.
According to theMetronewspaper, the BBC claims that the project currently has a total of 4,423,654 programmes incorporated into the archive from 4,469 issues of its magazine.
“The hope is that the project will lead to programmes being recovered if the public realises they have audio or video recordings of their own.“
Hilary Bishop, editor of archive development at the BBC, said: “Genome is the closest we currently have to a comprehensive broadcast history of the BBC.
`It is highly likely that somewhere out there, in lofts, sheds and basements across the world, many of these “missing” programmes will have been recorded and kept by generations ofTVand radio fans.
‘So, we’re hoping to use Genome as a way of bringing copies of those lost programmes back in to the BBC archives too.“
The Genome Project will not only be of benefit to media studies and journalism students and historians of public life in the 20th century, but will also be valuable to people who are curious as to what programmes and services were shown on the day they were born.
As part of the celebration of the unveiling of this unique archive, the Half-Eaten Mind’s blogger-in-chief Vijay Shah tried out the BBC’s Genome Project for himself. His aim was to see if he could discover what was broadcast on the day of his birth thirty years ago, Thursday the4th of October, 1984.
My first impression of the BBC’s new Genome Project website was how much it was like many of the other online arms of the BBC in the internet world. Its slick and minimalist design, a hallmark of the public broadcaster, was reassuringly familiar, yet seemed to understate the vast quantity of publicly-accessible data stored inside. I quickly read through the site’s blurb, while distracted by the strapping image taken from a BBC studio filming from the Sixties or Seventies. A camera operative holding an angular relic with the BBC logo from that time splashed on the side sits precariously on the far right, while a slightly dour-faced audience await the show to begin and the cameras to start rolling.
I scrolled down the page to reach a chapter entitled “Browse the issue archive” which gives you all of the years shown in the archive arranged as a table with the columns set aside for different decades. If you scroll further down, there is a selection of thumbnails of front covers from the Radio Times, arranged by decade. Underneath that is a list of up-to-date schedules from the post-digital BBC stable of channels.
I clicked on the year ‘1984’ and that took me to a list of all the Radio Times editions, or issues, for that year, starting from Issue 3139, which came out across England only on the 5th January of that year. The 1984 archive solemnly ends with Issue 3189, published solely for the London TV region on the 20th of December. My birthday issue was numbered 3178, and was published exactly on the 4th October, much to my relief.
Another click of the mouse brought me to some listings of several BBC stations but these only began from the 6th October, which was a Saturday. I then rewound back and tried the previous issue, No. 3177, released on the 27th September 1984. I found TV and radio listings for the following stations: BBC One London, BBC Two England, BBC Radio 1 England, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 4 FM. There is no mention of any schedules for ITV and Channel 4, which probably was not mentioned as these channels are independent of the Beeb and the Radio Times is a publication funded by the BBC’s print media division. C4 had been founded just two years before my birth and satellite, cable, digital and internet TV and radio was not to appear for a couple of decades yet. BBC One, or BBC1 as it was then called, tends towards popular and light entertainment programming, while BBC Two (BBC2) at that time was more geared to educational and political programming, as well as documentaries. I was fascinated by how many shows from my later childhood, such as Blue Peter, Henry’s Cat, Grange Hill (a soap set in an urban secondary school) and the Six O’Clock News withMoira Stewartwere already well established on TV, considering that my memories of these shows are from the late 1980s at the earliest. It was a great trip down memory lane.
While the simple layout of the TV schedules was a bit of a mood killer, I liked the way that information from the pages of the Radio Times was presented in a clear and accessible format, while keeping faithful to the original text, as far as I could see. Even the mention of Ceefax subtitles was retained, showing just how far technology in television had gone since all those years ago.
Here are the TV schedules for BBC1 and BBC2 as they were presented in the Radio Times on 4/10/1984:
2: Pascual Flores Pascual Flores was built 60 years ago in southern Spain as a fast schooner, but she very nearly ended her days as a scruffy little motor coaster. Now she’s restored. Narrator Tom Salmon Director JENNI BURROWS Producer ROBIN DRAKE BBC Bristol. (Part 3 tomorrow at 9.0 am)
with Moira Stuart and Frances Coverdale including a special report on the Labour Party Conference Weather BILL GILES 12.57 Regional News (London and SE: Financial Report, and News Headlines with subtitles)
Mystery at the Old Mine Eric Twinge is just another schoolboy-but when danger calls, a few mouthfuls of his special bananas and Eric is Bananaman. With the voices Of TIM BROOKE-TAYLOR , BILL ODDIE, GRAEME GARDEN, JILL SHILLING Written by BERNIE KAY Music by DAVID COOKE Produced by TREVOR BOND Directed by TERRY WARD
with Howard Stableford Round 3 of this week’s quiz featuring the most amazing brain-teasers in the world. THE KING DAVID HIGH SCHOOL, LIVERPOOL V ST BERNADETTE ‘S RC SCHOOL, BRISTOL Devised by CLIVE DOIG Designers VIC MEREDITH , LES MCCALLUM Producer IAN OLIVER (Part 4 tomorrow at 4.15)
Godzilla, the 600-ton monster who has been asleep for a thousand years, rises from the depths of the Pacific to come to the aid of mankind. In this new series he continues his role as guardian to the crew of the research ship Calico. The Golden Guardians The Golden Guardian attacks Godzilla and turns him into a golden statue.
with Simon Groom Janet Ellis and Michael Sundin Flood Alert! After the summer drought, the villagers of Topsham in Devon were faced with floods when the River Exe produced its highest tide since 1966. Michael helped to build the barricades to protect the centuries-old houses and joined the men of the Devon Fire Brigade keeping anxious watch on the rising waters. Assistant editor LEWIS BRONZE Editor BIDDY BAXTER *CEEFAX SUBTITLES
A series of 18 programmes Episode 5 by MARGARET SIMPSON Jimmy McClaren , the ‘Godfather’ of Grange Hill, begins to take a ‘friendly interest’ in Pogo’s chain-letter enterprise. Devised by PHIL REDMOND Producer KENNY MCBAIN Director CAROL WILKS * CEEFAX SUBTITLES
by ROY CLARKE starring Ronnie Barker with Sharon Morgan and Myfanwy Talog William Thomas , Dickie Arnold Film cameraman REX MAIDMENT Film editor DON CANDLIN Studio lighting RON BRISTOW Designer TIM GLEESON Produced and directed by SYDNEY LOTTERBY *CEEFAX SUBTITLES
Written and presented by Roger Cook Radio 4’s award-winning programme comes to television for a short series to investigate cases raised by viewers which can include unfair dealing, bureaucratic bungling, injustice or even fraud. Video cameraman LAURIE RUSH Researcher DINA GOLD Television producers DAVID BOWEN-JONES and DAVID HANINGTON Editor JOHN EDWARDS Roger Cook’s Checkpoint. A BBC Aerial Book £2.95 from booksellers
from Wembley Arena featuring The Norwich Union Championship Puissance mght at Wembley when all eyes are focussed on the big red wall in the centre of the arena. Plus horses racing against each other in the Knock-Out Stakes, and a look at some of the other entertainment.
Introduced by DAVID VINE Commentators RAYMOND BROOKS-WARD, STEPHEN HADLEY Producer JOHNNIE WATHERSTON
with David Jessel At the heart of the actions that make the news lie decisions and dilemmas, prejudices and passions, that are defined by our sense of what’s right and what’s wrong. Each week David Jessel takes issue with a major story of concern or conscience, and looks for what can be found at the Heart of the Matter.
Film editor MICHAEL ALOOF Series producer COLIN CAMERON
Fay Weldon and Richard Hoggart look at working lives and tides of change in Britain: 3: Sweet Dreams with Miriam Margolyes Managing a small business is a dream to which many people aspire but it’s a dream that doesn’t often come true. A women’s fashion company, a hairdressing salon and an engineering works are three dreams that have come true – but with a struggle.
9.20 Tout compris Everyday life and language of French teenagers. Au college; Au café bar; Chez Claire ; A une boom 9.38 La maree et ses secrets A five-part adventure serial in French by CHRISTOPHER RUSSELL and JANE COTTAVE 3: Une ombre du passé 9.55 Thinkabout See How they Grow It’s hard to believe that Frank was once a baby. 10.12 Science Workshop Paper ‘A’ 10.34 Scene Troubled Minds – What a Lousy Title! 11.5 Near and Far Concrete The look of many towns and cities owes much to the use of concrete. However the extraction of its raw materials – limestone, clay, sand and gravel has had a dramatic effect on rural areas Producer ROBIN GWYN 11.30 Home Ground Towns of Wales 2: Just Down the Road A town is largely composed of buildings – private houses and public edifices. What can these patterns of brick and stone. tile and slate, glass and paint, tell of a town’s history? Presenter STEPHEN BOTCHER Producer J. PHILIP DAVIES BBC Wales 11.55 Swim
ANDREW HARVEY introduces a series for swimmers and non-swimmers of all ages. 3: Breaststroke
12.20 pm Illusions of Reality An examination of newsreels of the 1930s 3: Once a Hun…. Discussion notes from [address removed] 8QT. (Please enclose 12″ x 9″ sae and 33p postage) 12.45 Letting Go 3: Sex Education How parents prepare teenagers for this important part of adult life. 1.10 Mind How You Go Ten programmes about road accident prevention presented by JIMMY SAVILE OBE 3: Think Child 1.20 Encounter: Germany 3: Communications By train from Hamelin to Braunschweig – and the work of the railways. A police car chase; a waterways patrol; an island waterway harbour; and life on a canal barge. 1.38 Around Scotland The Great Glen 1: The Ancient Corridor JOHN CARMICHAEL explains how the Great Glen was formed and shows how man has made use of the landscape for forestry and the production of hydro-electricity. Producer ROBERT CLARK Director PETER LEGGE
My Brother’s Keeper As J.R. drives the final wedge between Pam and Bobby, his masterplan to oust his brother from Ewing Oil gathers momentum. Donna meets an old admirer and Sue Ellen finds she has a new one … Written by ARTHUR BERNARD LEWIS Directed by LEONARD KATZMAN (For cast see Monday. Continued tomorrow at 3.0 pm. Repeat) * CEEFAX SUBTITLES
The last of a three part series starring The Martians November 2006: Earth is an amber cinder, all life annihilated by total nuclear war. A handful of settlers left on Mars are the sole survivors of the human race. They face a desolate future, cut off and isolated even from each other. Sam Parkhill holds a land grant to half of Mars, handed to him by the original inhabitants of the planet. Teleplay by RICHARD MATHESON Produced by ANDREW DONALLY and MILTON SUBOTSKY Directed by MICHAEL ANDERSON A CHARLES FRIES production
Breaking the Mould? For the bulk of production line workers throughout British industry tomorrow’s work will be just like today’s. Mindless…. repetitive…. demoralising. But deep in the ‘pot bank’ they’re trying to reshape working lives. Staffordshire Potteries, Britain’s major mug producers, have adopted a new Japanese style of management. They are aiming to increase the motivation and job satisfaction of their employees by giving them more say in the company’s decisions. But will this really improve work and conditions on the shopfloor, or is it just subtle psychology designed to boost productivity? Open Space goes to the Potteries to find out how shopfloor and management approach the new tomorrow. Producer JEREMY GIBSON COMMUNITY PROGRAMME UNIT
A series that follows the fortunes of entrepreneurs around the world as their stories unfold. Who Dares, Wins Readers? The inside story of this summer’s bizarre circulation war between Fleet Street’s tabloids. Last week’s Commercial Breaks showed how multi-millionnaire Robert Maxwell bought the Daily Mirror. He immediately vowed to topple the Sun as Britain’s top-selling tabloid. This programme goes behind the scenes as Maxwell controls every detail of his campaign, from directing his own commercials to cross-examining his circulation managers. Narrator Hugh Sykes Film editor PETER DELFGOU Research ROBERT THIRKELL Executive producer JONATHAN CRANE Producer DAVID DUGAN
Our sense of humour baffles them, our politics bother them, our preoccupation with tradition bemuses them. Apparently we don’t wash, and we are morose and miserable even on holiday. On the other hand we are polite and kind to animals, and we would be great in a crisis – if we knew one when we saw one. Each week Derek Jameson looks at the way foreign television reports this country. Tonight he looks at foreign interest in the Royal Family and discovers that, in some ways, they are even more obsessed with them than are the natives. Research MARK ROGERS Producer LAURENCE REES
with Ron Bain, Robbie Coltrane. Miriam Margolyes, Roger Sloman, Tracey Ullman. Also featuring Kevin Turvey Special weight-watchers edition: non-fattening sketches, low-calorie situations, semi-skimmed jokes and a protein-packed song.
Music DAVID MCNIVEN DirectorBRIAN JOBSON Producer COLIN GILBERT BBC Scotland
3: On Tour The third documentary in the informal four-part series on the London Symphony Orchestra follows the 107 musicians and their £350,000’s worth of instruments on tour to Paris, Vienna and Frankfurt. The film goes behind the scenes with the orchestra and their conductor Claudio Abbado as they rehearse, relax, worry about the Vienna concert and celebrate their successes. There’s music from WEBERN. MAHLER and SCHUBERT, an appearance by Zubin Mehta and more unexpected glimpses into the habits and attitudes of orchestral musicians. Film cameraman JOHN GOODYER Sound STAN NIGHTINGALE Film editor PETER HARRIS Produced and directed by JENNY BARRACLOUGH
John Tusa and Vincent Hanna with a full report on the day’s events at the Labour Party Conference in Blackpool, with Donald MacCormick and Jenni Murray in London to assess the news at home and abroad. Producer DAVE STANFORD Editor DAVID DICKINSON
Discussion: Alan Plater ‘s ‘Reunion’ The play concerns two men who meet again many years after their schooldays together. It explores the risks involved in personal relationships, and is followed by a discussion with the author and actors.
For our readers and bloggers from the HEM Community, especially those from the UK, you can see what the BBC played on your birthday and reminisce while you’re doing so. Visit the BBC’s Genome project at this link