those few seconds

News BBC News 24 were faced with a dilemma at about half seven this evening. Having spent the whole day talking to Terry Nutkins and various experts regarding the poor whale in the Thames as the poor mammal died, they found the themselves with anothe breaking story, regarding Mark Outon and his friend. In those few seconds, neither the presenters or the on-screen graphics seemed to know what to do. I'm surprised they didn't resort to a split screen with each presenter covering each story at the same time.

Watching the coverage of the whale story in and out for much of the day I was struck by the fact that not only had they not given the beast a name, but also actually how difficult it was to talk about. The news presenters were obviously in much the same situation as the viewer, trying to understand how such a thing which is so rare could happen now and the implications. There was some good, serious discussion with environmentalists regarding the global problem or whale hunting and how odd it was that so many people could be fighting to save this one example whilst others were being hunted elsewhere in the world. But that was generally drowned out by exchanges such as the one between Alan Knight, from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, who was standing about five feet away from the whale talking to (the ironically surnamed if you're a Star Trek fan) Carrie Gracie:

Carrie: We've been talking to Terry Nutkins all afternoon.
Alan: Yes.
Carrie: And he said that you'd be rubbing lanoline on the underside of the whale to keep it moist.
Alan: Oh we don't use that anymore because it sticks to the mammal. We use KY jelly.

Speaking of Carrie, who had the ignominious task of also being on duty during 9/11 and the Tsunami, googling the spelling of her name, I've just found this excellent interview from 1998 from when she was China Correspondent which is accompanied by this amazing photo on her old profile. She looks almost like a different person. But I digress.

Really I don't know what happened to the Lib Dems. At the end of last year they were still riding high on the back of the election success, then in the space of a few weeks have lost a leader and home affairs spokesman. I'm always under the assumption that scandal is always bubbling under across Westminster and that the public only ever hears about it when someone has an axe to grind or wants some people in other places for their own means. This affair has apparently being going on for two years, and it's inconceivable that it was a complete secret. Why would it suddenly be made public now -- and by that I mean why would the tabloid in question suddenly have the story to print?


Pete Ashton said...

I don't know this Terry Nutkins, though the name sounds familiar, so what I'm seeing in my mind is a giant squirrel being interviewed on TV. How odd.

Stuart Ian Burns said...

Terry Nutkins made a whole generation of children cry when his pet seal died.