Thursday, February 04, 2010

#1158 Charlie Brooker - TV News, Sculpture Sells For 65 Million Pounds, Babble

Show 1158 Thursday 4 February
Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi I'm Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

The video I recommend today is a clip from a programme called Newswipe with Charlie Brooker which is a news review programme on BBC Four in the UK.

In Wikipedia it says: The aim of Newswipe is to expose the inner workings of news media.

The video is a parody of a TV news story where he explains the standard style of TV news.

There are a lot of words that you may not be familiar with – so you can go and check out the script here.

Charlie explains that the first shot of a TV news story is usually: a lacklustre establishing shot of a significant location.

Lacklustre means not interesting or exciting.

Then he says: Next a walky-talky preamble from the auteur.

A preamble is an introduction and auteur is: used to describe film directors (or, more rarely, producers, or writers) who are considered to have a distinctive, recognizable style.

From what I’ve seen, TV news in most countries has a pretty similar style. How about in the country you’re from. Is the style very different from this?


Yesterday someone bought a life-sized bronze sculpture of a man at an auction for 65 million pounds.
It was the most expensive sculpture ever sold at an auction.
The artist was a man from Switzerland who died in 1966.
The buyer was an anonymous telephone bidder.

And that was Stick News for Thursday the 4th of February.
Kia ora.

Word of the Day

Today’s word is babble.

v. talk rapidly and continuously in a foolish, excited, or incomprehensible way

Babbling is similar to rambling, but I think rambling is more mellow than babbling.

Ranting and raving are other words which describe ways of speaking, but you do those when you’re even more excited or worked up.

In today’s video, Charlie says that in part of a TV news story, there’s: a filler shot designed to give your eyes something to look at while my voice babbles on about facts.

conversations with sarah
#734 Do you watch TV news?

Step 1: Read Jimmy’s lines.
Step 2: Repeat Jimmy’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Jimmy Do you watch TV news?

Sarah No.

Jimmy Why not?

Sarah I guess partly because I’m just not really interested in the stuff they focus on.

Jimmy Like what?

Sarah Stuff like violent crime. For example, if there’s been a murder, it’s enough for me to read the headline and maybe skim through the article if I want to read more. I don’t need to listen to someone talking about all the little details like the weapons or whatever.

Charlie Brooker - How To Report The News - Transcript

Before long a standard news report, visual language, established itself. One that's immediately recognizable to anyone.
Me has this report.

It starts here, with a lacklustre establishing shot of a significant location.

Next a walky-talking preamble from the auteur, pacing steadily towards the lens, punctuating every other sentence with a hand gesture. And ignoring all the (?) around him, like he’s gliding through the fucking Matrix, before coming to a halt and posing a question: What comes next?

Often something like this – a filler shot designed to give your eyes something to look at while my voice babbles on about facts. Sometimes it’ll slow down to a halt, turn monochrome and some of those facts will appear one by one on the screen.

This is followed by the obligatory shots of overweight people with their faces subtly framed out.

After which the report is padded out with a selection of lazy and pointless vox pops.

Um, usually get some inane chatter from people.

I think they do have too much, I think what we want to hear is actually what’s happening and not what other people think of it.

I hate these sound, sound bites. I, I, I don’t want some punter’s opinion, usually, no.

Another bit of dull visual abstraction to plug another gap now, before the report segues gracefully into a bit of human interest, courtesy of some dowdy man opening letters in a kitchen and explaining how he’s been affected by the issue.

When I’m watching the news, I don’t really, you know, there’s a person talking to me, telling me what’s going on and I don’t really listen to what they’re saying. It’s just news. It’s just news.

He unfortunately was boring, so to wake you up, this is an animated chart, this is a silhouette representing the average family and this is a lighthouse keeper being beheaded by a lazer beam.

As we near the end of the report, illustrative shots of pedestrians and signs and a (?) to window.

And then the finally summary, ending on a whimsical shot of something nearby. Accompanied by a wry sign-off. If you’re lucky a bit of word play fit for a king, or in other words, a Regent Street.



show start
artist: Kevin MacLeod
track: Future Cha Cha
from: Brooklyn, NY, United States
artist site

cws start
artist: Kevin MacLeod
track: The Jazz Woman
from: Brooklyn, NY, United States
artist site

qa start
artist: ioeo
album: triptracks
track: triptrack2
from: Saint Raphael, France
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

qa bgm
artist: Scoop
album: Dub Therapy
track: Our Prophecy
from: Orleans, France
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo

Did you notice a mistake in this script? Please leave us a comment and tell us! We really appreciate people pointing out our mistakes.Thank you.

Have you translated this script - or part of it - into your language for English practice and published it on your blog? Please leave a comment and a link so other people can read your translation. Thank you.

No comments: