UK TIME SUNDAY
CARDIFF GOES WILD TO RAISE MONEY FOR THE TSUNAMI RELIEF
THE BBC GO CHEAP ON A GREAT
I write I am watching Charlotte Church singing from
a very damp Saturday afternoon in Cardiff on BBC, a
"live" concert, which I must watch on the
internet, as I am in Sydney. Sky UK are pitching it
as the biggest event since "Live Aid" in 1985,
which was organised by Irish singer Bob Geldof. The
concert is a one-off and its already known it will raise
one million pounds towards aid for the stricken regions
in Asia from the Tsunami.
I think that is great. It shows that the British really
care about whats happening in Asia right now, with over
230 thousand dead from the great waves of the Tsunami.
Having said all that, do you mind if I put my media
hat on and do some number crunching here? Okay.
of all, this is NOTHING on Live Aid in 1985. Sky News
really need to stop "sensationalising" on
disaster. Live Aid broadcast over 20 hours of "live"
music to 127 countries simultaenously from Wembley stadium
on TV, and then Los Angeles, not to mention getting
audio from Phil Collins as he was flying over the Atlantic,
"live" to this massive audience around the
world. To patch live audio to TV from a plane in 1985
was a wet dream to any broadcasting organisation. And
the Beeb did it. And the Beeb are doing this too. But
it cannot be compared to Live Aid, so Mr. Sky News,
shut up and appreciate the event for what it is, and
stop making it something it is not.
That is probably something you're going to say to me
by the end of this report, but I can't help myself.
Sky News seem obsessed that it only took three weeks
to organise this event. Let me tell you something.
In Australia, they had ONE WEEK to organise a similar
event, which included, in all fairness, a telethon.
They merged the three commercial channels here and raised
over 20 million Aussie dollars - thats about 13
million British pounds in three hours. That is 13 times
more than this concert from Cardiff is raising. Now
THAT might be closer in terms of a comparison to LIVE
AID in 1985 - but only by a fraction.
The BBC screwed this up. BIG TIME.
They were scared that, because the media as a whole
is so frigging shallow and fearful that the "tsunami"
story is going to wain in the eyes of the public, that
they should do this NOW. What they
should have done was organise the thing properly - do
a "Bob Geldof" on it - in say, three months
time. And do it like they did it with Bob for Live Aid.
Except they have the advantage of technology of the
21st century. They could have gone live from China,
Afghanistan, USA, London, Bande Ache, Sri Lanka, India
(as the Australian TV networks did), indeed anywhere
on earth, using the satellites that are so readily available
in 2005. They could REALLY have broken some new records
with how we use TV these days. They could have surpassed
LIVE AID with this, but they were scared. They were
scared because they feel people will forget this tragedy
once the media settles and reverts back to the unfortunate
circumstances in Iraq, or the idiotic George Bush inauguration,
or whatever else the media moves on. The BBC should
know better. I am disappointed. No, I am not just disappointed,
I am downright pissed off.
It is grossly clear that this concert is not organised
properly. The singers are doing the talking - they should
really just sing to the audience of 60,000 rain-drenched
people in the stadium. They could at least have got
a couple of comedians in there. Goldie lookin' Chain
might rock the audience, but the TV viewer (which spans
a far wider demographic) will have no interest in a
bunch of kids screaming to their latest musical whim.
What idiot in the BBC assumed that ONLY 15-25 year old
people care about the Tsunami? Ironically, its the older
people who would be more likely to pull out their credit
cards to help - after all, they actually have money
to spend, and the maturity to put it in that direction.
The kids are just seeing a great concert. In all fairness,
they are paying for it, but thats it. There is sooo
much potential lost in terms of raising money here its
I continue to watch this show, live from Cardiff, the
male and female presenters (I must admit I don't know
who they are) are talking nervously to the audience
because the next band are not ready to go on stage.
It is SO embarassing to watch this live on BBC. Eventually
the two presenters are told that it will take 60 seconds
before the band is ready and get the audience to do
a sixty second countdown, asking the audience to count
down with them. Then the band that comes on takes three
goes to get the song going. This is the stuff of live
TV from the fifties. Someone at the BBC needs to be
accountable for this. It is pathetic, and the product
of an organisation that rushed to a "popular"
gig, rather than doing a professional job, a job that
would be expected from 70 million people who pay licence
fees in the UK. Australia's TV network created so much
more money and supplied an ultimate service on top of
that, with no licence fees, to 20 million viewers and
in less time. I never thought I would be saying this.
Then they go to VT - this is a video segment of someone
(can't see on the net feed as they don't do a closeup
or captions for some inexplicable reason) and the audience
virtually ignores his "dedication speech"
towards the Tsunami appeal. This just keeps getting
The Tsunami is not going away for ten years at least.
The BBC could have waited three months and done a decent
job on this, and raised a thousand times more money.
On this site over the past three years I have had nothing
but good words for the Beeb. Now I am reeling. Even
the greedy Australian TV networks in Australia had the
concience to do a simulcast to raise so much more money
- but they are commercial organisations. The BBC get
licence fees from their viewers - they owe it to their
viewers to do a professional
job - as they did in 1985 with Live Aid.
To add insult to injury, BBC WALES pushes an online
survey to everyone who wants to view this on the internet.
I have no problems answering surveys but for Gods sake!
I'm being asked questions like, "what media stream
do you have?", along with other domestic questions.
Talk about bleeding a caring audience! This is bullshit!
I know some of you might think that I need to get a
life here, but really -
Anyway, I just had to give you my point of view on this,
because I thought the BBC could do no wrong! It's 6AM
here in Sydney and the concert is still raging at Cardiff.
I honestly think its great that they are going to raise
a million quid - I just think it could have been 50
times more if the BBC had their shit together, and just
waited a little longer to organise a proper concert.
I'm sure Bob Geldof would agree.
PS: Charlotte Church is being interviewed on Sky News
Britain - all she has to say is that the crowd is really
great. She is asked another question..."Oh, but
the crowd is really great", she replies...
10:30 PM UK TIME
Eric Clapton is saving the day...but its too late for