Given the BBC's shift away from playing anything much from political speeches on its main news programmes (for more on which see links below), I'm wondering whether it was deliberate irony on the part of Radio 4's schedulers t0 broadcast a light-hearted investigation into The Art of the Public Address by Laurie Taylor - today, with less than a week to go before polling day.
I knew the programme was in the pipeline, as I make a brief appearance in it as a 'straight man' to Arthur Smith's comedy lines. And I confess to being mildly disappointed that my favourite PA announcement didn't survive the editor's cut. It came on the platform of Bath Spa station on a very rainy day, when those of us 'alighting' from the train were told:
"First Great Western apologises for delays to West-bound trains, which are being caused by a herd of goats sheltering in the Severn tunnel."
But I was very pleased to have made a more positive contribution as an amateur talent scout. On my way home after being interviewed by Laurie, I came across Scott, a particularly impressive PA announcer on the platform of a London Tube station, persuaded him to give me his phone number and emailed it to the producer - my debut as a casting consultant, and Scott's debut on BBC Radio 4.
Related posts on UK media coverage (or lack of it) of speeches
- Brown speaks and the BBC doesn't tell you what he says
- Silent speeches by party leaders: the wallpaper of television news coverage.
- Will the 2010 UK general election be the first one to leave us speechless?
- Televised debates about televised debates really would be worth watching
- Blair speaks and the BBC tells you what he says
- Before we watch the debates, has anyone seen or heard any proper speeches yet?
- Mediated speeches: whom do we really want to hear?
- Obama's rhetoric renews UK media interest in the lost art of oratory
- 'The Lost Art of Oratory' by a BBC executive who helped to lose it in the first place
- Is the media no longer interested in what goes on in parliament?
- BBC discovers the 'Lost Art of Oratory' (again)
- Political speeches can still make a big difference - like changing the date of an election