We Just Wanna feel Good - Let us!
- 19 Oct 06, 10:16 AM
I've got to write something that makes me feel good. I'm concerned that my recent blogs have been really cage rattling. So read on.
On BBC 1 in 2006, even when the World Cup was on, Natural History was in the top 10 programmes viewed. Planet Earth - the natural world block buster made by the Natural History Unit - was at number 10. The World cup occupied almost every other slot. Flip over to BBC 2 - And Spring watch was at number 4. Autumn Watch is doing just as well with over 3 million people watching it (which is very good for BBC2). Our internal index of audience appreciation is always very high for natural history television - And this applies to radio too. Nature, Living World, Shared Earth, SoundScape and many other series - like the landmark Sound of Life all have fantastic audience appreciation figures. Migration is a good one too. Nature often has the highest of all factual programmes on Radio 4.
We have to feel good. Bill Oddie, Kate Humble and Simon King make us feel great on Spring and Autumn watch. The natural history flows, the chitchat, the issues - smiles, humour. Planet Earth is awe inspring. The greatest of the imagery - Same for the Galapagos. Pure delight. We need to feel wonder to care - we have to be allowed to feel good.
Looking at the papers today: Daily telegraph: "He yelled at me and grabbed me by the neck and started choking me" - The McCartney's. As I thumb through the pages the big editorials are all angst ridden. Same for the Guardian - nice on Page 11 "Dawrin On-line". The Times, important story about Hippo slaughter. The Independent stands out today with a greater variety of angst laden and lighter environmental editorial. I'm not knocking the papers - they've got an important job to do and the broadsheets I laid my hands on above do a great job. But are we tapping angst too much when it comes to reporting climate change the natural world.
It's interesting that TV coverage of the London Marathon is very popular with the audience. I can't believe all the audience are runners (maybe I'm wrong) - my instinct tells me the audience like seeing something positive. They like the combination of the event tied in with individuals doing things for others (the numerous fund raising activies) and a witnessing individuals achieving success. It's not just entertainment it's something else.
Comes back to natural history output. So many people come up to me and say how wonderful Autumn and Spring watch are. And the shows are wonderful and inspiring. They are gentle and don't always challenge. Which is good. We need to feel good about ourselves and not have the angst within us always tapped.
It's ok to feel good as well as understanding the big issues of the day.