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charlie, computer cat

April 2019



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charlie, computer cat

Look ahead

One of my favourite New Year traditions is listening to Correspondants Look Ahead - highly informed, intelligent, friendly discussion between BBC senior correspondants about what will happen in the next year, plus a little bit of gentle ribbing about what people said last year. I was actually amazed at how much they did get right from last year - I had forgotten that Tunisia had already started by this time last year and Stephen Sacker predicted upheaval in Egypt, although he didn't go as far as it eventually did. The economics correspondant who's name escapes me (Paul Mason?) predicted defaults in Europe, although predicted Spain rather than Italy. It's a pretty impressive display.

The most interesting thing I've realised from listening this year is that there are presidential elections in the USA, Russia, China and France this year which is quite a startling selection of top table powers. Someone just predicted that possibly Jeb Bush will be so horrified by the paucity in the Republican field that he'll have to step up and might possibly be the only republican who could beat Obama, which is a horrible thought. No-one knows much about the Chinese candidate, even the correspondants, which is interesting in itself. In Russia, I personally think Putin will still win, but who knows what will happen after that. That's been the piece of news that's most amazed me this year - anti Putin protests in Russia. I never thought I'd see that.

Anyway, I highly recommend it. I wish they did it more often - perhaps twice a year, although you couldn't do it too often and retain the charm. In a completely different vein, by the way, the News Quiz Panto was hilarious - listened to in on the way home from visiting [twitter.com profile] marta_u and Rachel to reminince about our university days, which was actually great. It's so long since I've seen them that I was slightly nervous but it was really relaxing and we talked for ages as well as watching a dreadful film (The Adjustment Bureau) once we got too sleepy for conversation :)


have just listened to it

thank you very much! I've never heard that before. What a wide gaze. So many under-reported things, as well as the ones that are in the news.

Re: have just listened to it

Glad to have passed on the tradition :) Yes - wide gaze describes it very well, it's just what I love about it.
Correspondents’ Year Ahead is the sort of programming I wish the BBC could afford to do more of: knowledgeable experts discussing their expertise knowledgeably. I wouldn’t mind having a Week Ahead—they already do something similar for Parliament specifically, but I would like something for correspondents generally. I think the problem would be scheduling their time together! The torrent of news we are bombarded with could do with the occasional pause to discuss what is really significant and what merely sensational.

Also enjoyed Sue Perkins’s documentary on Mrs Dickens, a discussion of the position of women in middle-class Victorian society enlivened with cooking and dressing up.
Yeah, I think it works quite well in the holidays because they're not all dashing off here there and everywhere quite so much. Maybe they should have another one in August when the news slows down again for silly season - it would be a nice antidote to that!