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Funny pips

Eddie Mair | 14:21 UK time, Wednesday, 17 September 2008

greenwich.JPGSomething odd happened to the pips this morning at 0800 on Radio 4. On PM tonight, we'll get to the bottom of it.

In the meantime, here is a history of the pips, written by a former BBC Broadcast Duty Manager.


  • 1. At 2:41pm on 17 Sep 2008, Blogarooney wrote:

    Botched Pips= Bruised Apples= Credit Crunch.. is the answer to move to France (despite the French) and live on Golden Delicious?

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  • 2. At 2:42pm on 17 Sep 2008, Sid wrote:

    Is that my old quiz colleague Mike Todd?

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  • 3. At 2:59pm on 17 Sep 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    I heard this - I thought they'd fallen down the hole into the tube they use when being shoved through the 'Internet iPlayer' route..

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  • 4. At 3:04pm on 17 Sep 2008, Blogarooney wrote:

    Where the pips not rinsed, dried and polished to the usual standard before being forced through the transmitting thingummy? Where they Golden Delicious this time?

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  • 5. At 3:11pm on 17 Sep 2008, DI_Wyman wrote:

    ..are caused by 'funny' fruit?

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  • 6. At 4:19pm on 17 Sep 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    anybody know any punny fips?

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  • 7. At 4:35pm on 17 Sep 2008, mygloriousleader wrote:

    Wogan has trouble crashing the pips. If you can crash the pips, should you have a driving licence for them before being allowed out?

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  • 8. At 4:55pm on 17 Sep 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    They were a little late, weren't they? But 'Our Jim' seemed to cope.

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  • 9. At 5:01pm on 17 Sep 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Ooops, apologies to Mr. Humphrys, for 'twas he who carried the day.

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  • 10. At 5:10pm on 17 Sep 2008, Froggersfroat wrote:

    Knew that Large Hadron Colander thingy would have a down side... the clocks are going back a month early... it'll be Christmas by next Thursday if this carries on.

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  • 11. At 5:27pm on 17 Sep 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    So now you can not only 'crash' the pips, or 'kiss' them, but 'miss' them as well...

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  • 12. At 5:31pm on 17 Sep 2008, Screamingmuldoon wrote:

    GPS satellite involvement? No doubt they had to go under a low bridge

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  • 13. At 5:39pm on 17 Sep 2008, Stewart_M wrote:

    I just thought "Jim" had just got his timing wrong. He often tell us all the wrong hour just to keep us on our toes no doubt.

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  • 14. At 5:39pm on 17 Sep 2008, Stewart_M wrote:

    Or even Mr Humphreys

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  • 15. At 5:48pm on 17 Sep 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Or even the Young Mr. Grace, Stewart? ;o)

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  • 16. At 5:59pm on 17 Sep 2008, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Think it screamingly funny that the Beloved Beeb take this pips thing so seriously. Your Man was so delightfully apologetic... only in England.

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  • 17. At 6:02pm on 17 Sep 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Lady Sue: As you may not have seen it, I'll repeat here how lovely I think are all of your canine friends. They are, by the way, on Tuesday morning, along with Mr. Monty, Sam, and others.

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  • 18. At 6:13pm on 17 Sep 2008, frivolite wrote:

    Dear BBC

    First an unprecedented financial catastrophe, then the pips go funny. Blimey! Could both events have the same cause? Could they both not be ominous reverberations of the recent turning on of the big bang machine (Large Hadron Collider) at Cerne.

    Last week's media parade of gloating, hubristic scientists made me think of nothing but the saying, "pride before a fall". If only they'd read books instead of finding a new way of destroying the universe. Is this how Pandora felt?

    See you in the Black Hole (no it's not a pub!)


    Nick Hewes,


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  • 19. At 6:19pm on 17 Sep 2008, Blogarooney wrote:

    Sorry about the mis-spellings!! where/were.
    Of course, if the pips are of Greek origin, then that would explain the delay. Everyone knows that in Greece GMT means Greek Maybe Time.

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  • 20. At 6:44pm on 17 Sep 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    I rather enjoyed it.

    There were a few sound-type glitches on the Today prog this morning. If there are still SMs, I bet one has a sore ear...

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  • 21. At 00:56am on 18 Sep 2008, Delicolor wrote:

    Did I hear seven pips this morning?

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  • 22. At 5:34pm on 18 Sep 2008, Fifi wrote:

    The real explanation is that the pips were hung over after too much fermented apple juice at the Beach the night before.

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  • 23. At 6:43pm on 18 Sep 2008, Lady_Sue wrote:

    (17) Big Sis: are there pics of my beloved canines somewhere? I haven't seen them. Do please send me a link, or directions. BTW: I thought your comment on the Doom and Gloom on the Glass Box most apt - as I think most of your comments are. All this reporting on money money money... all this reporting on the Credit Crunch and banking takeover wotsits is surely only really interesting for those who have major stocks and shares? The concern voiced by the Stock Brokers et al is so obviously not because they care about their clients... they care about their massive million pound bonuses and are only sleepless and worrying because these may not happen this year. Thank God we have you as the Voice of Reason!

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  • 24. At 7:25pm on 18 Sep 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Lady Sue: You're very kind, but I fear I'm blushing :o)

    This is the link:


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  • 25. At 10:16pm on 18 Sep 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Stop Press:

    Two pips @ 2215 on The World Tonight!

    Wot is going on???

    (pip, pip, old chap)

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  • 26. At 10:42pm on 18 Sep 2008, U10783173 wrote:

    Frances O - I heard those pips! Do you think that the BBC have been imprisoning them and that they are making a bid for freedom?

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  • 27. At 11:01pm on 18 Sep 2008, gossipmistress wrote:

    Frances & TIH - I heard them too!

    Rebel pips!!

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  • 28. At 11:02pm on 18 Sep 2008, gossipmistress wrote:

    Oooh! How did I get away with using that 'and' sign???!!

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  • 29. At 11:03pm on 18 Sep 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    What a delightfully surreal idea.

    I wonder if we'll find them on the Beach?

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  • 30. At 11:09pm on 18 Sep 2008, U10783173 wrote:

    Frances O & the Rebel Pips.

    I'd buy that record!

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  • 31. At 11:26pm on 18 Sep 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Sold to the horse over there - oh, he's disappeared

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  • 32. At 11:44pm on 18 Sep 2008, U10783173 wrote:

    Hah - he's still here! Two pound fifty, was it?

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  • 33. At 09:01am on 19 Sep 2008, Lady_Sue wrote:

    (24) Big Sis - thanks for the link! Monty is gorgeous - he and Darcy could nearly be cousins. The text alongside my pics is rather squew-whiff but I'm sure folk can figure it out.

    (26) TIH and subsequent: think the idea of imprisoned pips so funny. Did anyone hear Eddie repeat a bit of speech a few nights ago? Perhaps there's a Radio Eddie and a Real Eddie and they were fighting it out for supremacy when the pips saw their opportunity and scarpered.

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  • 34. At 09:08am on 19 Sep 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Lady Sue, You're welcome!

    I'd commented on the mixed up titles, and I think others have figured them out. Still, at least dear Eddie posted them up, eh?

    Funny you should say that about Darcy. I can see Bess has some merle in her, and Darcy is a tricolour. While Monty is black and white, he has both merle and tricolour in his parentage, his eyes being, as a result, rather lighter than is usual for a b+w. There were tricolours and a merle amongst his litter, but I am hooked on b+w collies, and (having just lost Dafydd) wanted to stick to them. I love all dogs, and particularly collies, though.

    Re the pips, I rather think they're planning something at the moment as we keep getting them pop up in unexpected places. Daily Mail headline: "Pips take over the BBC".

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  • 35. At 10:04am on 19 Sep 2008, Lady_Sue wrote:

    (34) Big Sis: I don't know what "merle" is, please explain. My (real) Big Sis says that my two are descendant from Four Eyed Siberian Wolfhounds... they have orange "eyebrows" which fooled predators when they slept into thinking their eyes were open. I've been told Bess is a "pennyfeather" having such curious colouring - as though someone put them in a blender momentarily. Agree, it is very good of Eddie and the team to post our photos.

    Serious headline? How funny!

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  • 36. At 10:52am on 19 Sep 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Lady Sue (35): Re merle, and other collie colours, I'll try posting a link here. If it fails, I'll try something else.


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  • 37. At 12:43pm on 19 Sep 2008, Lady_Sue wrote:

    (36) Big Sis: thanks. It worked. So my Bessie-boo is a Merle. She has the characteristic spots on her front legs - I think she is the Princess Grace of the canine world as she curls up as though she has some expensive "fur" draped around her. (Not that I am a fur fan, you understand). Darcy and Bess both have the tan eyebrows too. Perhaps Eddie's team should set up a Dog Lovers Link?

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  • 38. At 2:34pm on 19 Sep 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Bessie-boo is clearly very special, Lady Sue, and indeed she does wear fur - but being her own, there are no ethical issues!

    You may not know about the alternative Beach, where we have a Fido's Corner.
    Perhaps we can work out a link on the Blog? I've just looked, and Jonnie has uploaded all the dog photos posted by froggers in the past to this link:


    If you click on each photo, you will find out a bit more about each one.

    Jonnie: Can you upload the new pictures, do you think? Or should we resend them to you?

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  • 39. At 5:53pm on 06 Feb 2009, Sylviagu wrote:

    I have always thought Jeremy Clarkson was not worth listening to or watching. After decimating Sir Steve Redgrave's garden, which was not only infantile but also dangerous he is now more than offensive to the Prime Minister. What does this man have to do to be sacked? Children and some adults see him as a role mode. The country I love is losing its standards which were admired worldwide, and people like him are contributing to how we are seen abroad.

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