Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Pointless helicopters

Am I alone in getting irritated by the broadcasters' use of helicopters? The Prime Minister goes to Buckingham Palace to ask the Queen for a dissolution, and his motorcade through central London is covered live on TV via a helicopter. I suppose at least you could say that is a way of visualising a constitutional ritual. But then he sets off to St Pancras to get on a train, and we have to watch that journey from a helicopter as well. It is of no conceivable interest, except perhaps to notice in passing how many one-way streets the PM is allowed to go the wrong way down. It is wasteful of BBC licence-payers' money, exceedingly un-green in fuel terms, and damned noisy to boot, if you happen to be in the streets concerned.

1 comment:

RJGraham said...

The BBC was attempting to inject some drama and excitement into what was a dull non-story that could've been covered by a single reporter doing a package in the regularly scheduled news bulletin.

This is BBC News 24's fault: it requires more than that; it sometimes has to squeeze a whole hour of news into a day, so this visual padding was invented to make that hard job easier.

And then some bright spark decided to carry this exciting "breaking news" live on BBC-1 as well, so that meant letting the Poisoned Carrot out of his box to talk over pictures of a helicopter landing at Buck House taken from another helicopter hovering near Buck House whilst he stood in the garden of Buck House filling time ("the Queen will offer the Prime Minister tea, or possibly coffee; she'll be in the public reception room rather than her private apartments; she may be sat on a chair or perhaps a settee") until he could hand back to Jon Sopel to fill some more time ("On this historic day, when the general election was called at the time everybody knew it would be, a few days after the government issued a surprise press release saying it would be") and he could hand back to Huw Edwards who could fill whole bags of time ("You join us here today on this momentous day whilst we wait for the Prime Minister to leave Downing Street, possibly by the front door, possibly back the back door, possibly through the roof by personal jetpack although that's not confirmed at the moment, we expect him to leave the building at about 11am, giving us, oh, less than two hours before the country is left ungoverned for a whole month, a momentous thing to happen, the likes of which we've only rarely seen before, perhaps only 20 or thirty times in the last century, certainly momentous in every way I'm sure you'll agree, and if you've just joined us on this momentous day, let's go back to Nicholas Twatchell who's pretending he knows something about the Queen's helicopter").