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I went to the recording of The Now Show last Thursday night - the last of the current run. It's recorded at the Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House. Free - and a very jolly evening can be had. The News Quiz also records there - as do a lot of other BBC shows. Click here to find out how to get tickets. In the previous week's podcast (but not on air) the team asked listeners outside the UK to email with their (personal) big news. We got a lot back - and used some of it in this week's show. I am indebted to the producer - Ed Morrish - for the geographical breakdown.

  • When The Now Show asked for news from listeners around the world, 621 podcast subscribers replied, from 72 different countries. The most remote was South Georgia (lumped together with the Falklands on the map) and furthest away Stewart Island, New Zealand, 11,828 miles from the Radio Theatre.
  • We used Many Eyes to visualise the geographic data. The visualisation is here and the raw data here (CSV file). Many Eyes doesn't recognise Antarctica, Easter Island, South Georgia or Tibet as separate countries, although listeners from all four emailed the programme).
  • The Now Show is off-air at the moment but you can still listen to the most recent episode and subscribe to Radio 4's Friday Night Comedy podcast.

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  • Comment number 16. Posted by TV Licence fee payer against BBC censorship

    on 18 Sept 2009 18:17

    #13. At 3:49pm on 24 Aug 2009, steve_bowbrick wrote:

    "@Boilerplated I asked Tony Pilgrim, Radio 4's head of scheduling, to come in on this one but sadly he's on holiday so we might not get his angle on this."

    Any possibility of a follow up comment from Mr Pilgrim regarding the issue I raised, or even blog about the art of programme scheduling as a whole?

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  • Comment number 15. Posted by lordBeddGelert

    on 27 Aug 2009 15:42

    Messers Damazer and Bowbrick.

    Just for light entertainment, I have to make the scandalous confession that I was a great fan of the amusing series Giles Wemmbley Hogg, thinking it was someone like Jon Holmes alter ego doing the voice, and having absolutely no idea that it was a creation of Marcus Brigstocke..

    Serves me right, I guess.. and it just shows how wrong one can be..

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  • Comment number 14. Posted by ooergosh

    on 24 Aug 2009 18:42

    " Er, how exactly ? Maybe if they are taxi drivers, possibly. But most in the office will not ..."

    Perhaps I should have said many rather than most. But please remember that there are very many of us whose work is based at home, or who can work at home linking to an office with video conferencing etc. In fact practically all the R4 listeners that I know are in those situations and only a couple of them are pensioners. Just because we have the radio on all day, it does not diminish the pleasure with which we listen to certain programmes (e.g. the Now Show) or the amount of abuse we hurl at other programmes (e.g. Any Questions/Answers)

    Sorry if you don't like this particular programme and Mr Brigstocke but there's an awful lot of us who do. And I loved the closing show with the comments from outside the UK - a splendid acknowledgment of their wider appeal.

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  • Comment number 13. Posted by Steve Bowbrick

    on 24 Aug 2009 14:49

    @Boilerplated I asked Tony Pilgrim, Radio 4's head of scheduling, to come in on this one but sadly he's on holiday so we might not get his angle on this.

    But although you're right that some programmes acquire a bigger audience by virtue of being scheduled next to popular ones, it's also true to say that programmes are scheduled next to each other on the basis that listeners to one might like the other.

    So there's a quite benign side to the scheduler's art and my limited experience of this area suggests that people like Tony are much less interested in 'pulling' listeners through from one big programme into the next than in designing coherent and satisfying schedules.

    And besides, since nearly a Million people voluntarily downloaded The Friday Night Comedy during June, more than for any other BBC programme and with no regard whatsoever for what comes before or after it, that must be some testament to its inherent appeal!

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog

  • Comment number 12. Posted by Andrew Oakley

    on 24 Aug 2009 14:02

    Re: Comment 4 by Steve Bowbrick: Whilst I love the Now Show and know that it stands up well to older satirical classics, I do not think that any metric that uses the phrase "Chris Moyles" will be a reliable indicator of quality.

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  • Comment number 11. Posted by lordBeddGelert

    on 21 Aug 2009 20:29

    "I think most Radio 4 listeners have the radio on for most of the day."

    Er, how exactly ? Maybe if they are taxi drivers, possibly. But most in the office will not have the radio on all day, and contrary to 'urban myth' not all Radio 4 listeners are pensioners for heaven's sake !!

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  • Comment number 10. Posted by TV Licence fee payer against BBC censorship

    on 21 Aug 2009 19:28

    #9

    "The point about lsitening to a show because you happen to have the radio on before or after is irrelevant. I think most Radio 4 listeners have the radio on for most of the day."

    No it is not irrelevant, if it means that programmes/content that would otherwise have very low audience figures are actually getting a higher figure on the back of their scheduling. For example, the audience figures of "Thought for the Day" (as contained within the "Today" programme) is probably very high but how would it fair if "Today" was to end at 08:50hrs and then be followed by "Thought for the Day" as a stand alone programme, is the same sort of (possible) distortion occurring to the audience figures with "The Now Show"?

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  • Comment number 9. Posted by ooergosh

    on 21 Aug 2009 17:16

    Sorry but it's each to his own. I'm a great Now Show fan and although I think Marcus Brigstocke is a bit predictable sometimes (and certainly a bit too lengthy) he raises some valuable points and says things that you won't hear elsewhere. He has drifted away from the comedy perspective a little but it's not out of keeping with the rest of the show.

    The point about lsitening to a show because you happen to have the radio on before or after is irrelevant. I think most Radio 4 listeners have the radio on for most of the day.

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  • Comment number 8. Posted by lordBeddGelert

    on 21 Aug 2009 12:53

    Nikki Noodle - I'm not Nocking the Now Show..

    I just think it would be Substantially Better if Mark Watson replaced Marcus 'smugchops' Brigstocke, who seems to have to check the 'party line' in the Guardian before writing his material.

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  • Comment number 7. Posted by TV Licence fee payer against BBC censorship

    on 21 Aug 2009 10:36

    #6. At 10:26am on 21 Aug 2009, nikki noodle wrote:

    "The Now Show is established, and many people tune in."

    That's the question I'm asking, how do we know that they are tuning in to listen to "The Now Show" and not for the content before and/or after?...

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