Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Apprentice Episode 1: “If my team loses i’ll blame the project manager, if i’m the project manager – i’ll blame someone else”

So, there it goes the first episode of the apprentice 2011 the fairly standard here’s some money and a market, make me a profit task. As usual the candidates look like a proper mixed bag with a fair few er…. personalities, here’s a quick round up of my first impressions (warning if you haven’t seen it – look away now).


Edna: wow – is she going to rub someone up the wrong way quickly,  someone really early on said something she didn’t like and she looked like she was about to blow, not to mention the fact she was blatantly making up excuses for things all the way through the episode (she’s my ‘to hate’ candidate so far this year.

Melody: Another errr… strong personality but seems to have some effectiveness along with it there might be a bit of potential here, and after all her plan won!

Jim Eastwood & Gavin Winstanley: both seem like pretty straight guys, and basically competent – actually found myself more or less liking both of these two by the end.

Ellie: There’s definite comedy value here, with the not knowing how to spell vegetable, and the brilliant comment along the lines of “I wouldn’t eat it, but who knows I haven’t been in London that long” or whatever it was, recon she might bethe Baggs of this series, on value alone.

Edward: What an idiot, managed to be both a bad project manager, a useless accountant, and basically a tit – so no surprises for me when he got fired – especially when he took a couple of the more benign members of the team into the boardroom. What a muppet.

As for the others (including Felicity, who I’m backing) er, didn’t see much of you. Any chance you could sort of do something (or at least near a camera), then we might have an idea of who’ll win.

Quote of the week has to be “I’m the youngest, I’m also the shortest” – best way to attempt not to get fired ever, shame it didn’t work.

It’s Back… (The Apprentice 2011) #bbcapprentice

So anyone who knows me well will know I’m a bit of a fan of The Apprentice (ok… a borderline obsessive) – I’ve been watching the program since towards the end of the first series. I’ve been pretty much been hooked by the bizarre entertainment offered by a load of people who are supposedly business professionals proving that actually they mostly haven’t a bloody clue since the very beginning. The new series starts on May 10th on BBC1 at 9pm, and will give me something to do on Wednesday nights for a couple of months! The candidates for this series were announced today – and look like the usual mixed bunch of people with more confidence than discernible talent.

Since the 3rd series I and a few of my friends have ‘backed a candidate’ each based on their photo (and nothing else) – as there’s only 4 of us and we’ve picked ours I thought I’d open the rest up to blog reading types! There’s no prize or anything, but it makes the program more fun as we get a bit competitive (I backed Stella last year who went on to win – and am hoping to repeat my feat this year).

The candidates list as follows:

The Candidates

  • Leon Doyle
  • Alex Britez Cabral
  • Melody Hossaini
  • Felicity Jackson (taken by me!)
  • Edna Agbarha
  • Susan Ma (taken by @robjstyles)
  • Ellie Reed (taken by @RobFarrington)
  • Helen Louise Milligan (@AdamJTaylor)
  • Natasha Scribbins
  • Vincent Disneur
  • Jim Eastwood (taken by @WibbLarque)
  • Edward Hunter
  • Gavin Winstanley (taken by @Kate_Harrington)
  • Tom Pellereau (taken by @MissWimsett)
  • Glenn Ward (taken by @D_C_W)
  • Zoe Beresford (@thewelshbrummie)

Have a look at the candidates and make your choice on The Spy.

If you fancy backing one of the others (beware this exposes you to ridicule if your candidate does something particularly stupid during the show) stick a comment below with your choice and twitter ID!

As ever I’ll be tweeting/blogging along to the series (I’ll try not to get too carried away this year… but no promises!)

Braindump 30/04/2010

Leaders Debates

Leaders Debates

For one reason or another I haven’t had much to blog about these last few weeks, or at any rate – nothing which was too long to fit on twitter.

A few quick bits that have passed through my mind though….

  • Radio Listening: I’ve been enjoying the excellent ‘Vote Now’ show on Radio 4. A fantastic satire on the election process and the British political system in general – I’ve been lucky enough to attend a couple of these at the recording stage, and they’re even more amusing up close. I’m also genuinely impressed by the production team on this show, who manage to turn the show around in about 4 hours from finishing the recording to airing the programme itself.
  • Leaders Debates: These are second only to ‘The Apprentice’ for programmes to follow along with on Twitter (really missing the apprentice so far this year by the way). The debates themselves have proven fantastic in engaging the public with the election – and whilst most of my contributions tend to be childish remarks on what is said by the leaders, I’ll be amazed if these (along with the ‘Hung Parliament’ situation) don’t lead to a record turnout at the polls.
  • … and on the above, why has no-one done a decent cut-up of these yet. I’d have hoped cassetteboy would have weighed in (although his One Show efforts are brilliant) – maybe I should have a go myself, what do you recon?
  • It was also good to see a relatively high brow interview on breakfast commercial radio this week when Absolute Radio interviewed Professor Brian Cox (who’s series on the Solar System I must watch more of) – I think Absolute got the  balance between educational end entertainment spot on with this (and I was a little bit late to work, because I had to hang on to catch the whole thing). I’ve been listening to absolute a lot since acquiring a DAB radio recently, and whilst it can be a bit blokey and football-focused for me (though what to expect with a world cup on) the experience has been far from unpleasant.
  • Other things I’ve learned this week: The radio-mic was invented in 1949, I discovered this after this humble gadget played a big part in this weeks news (dot.Rory being my source).
  • Music recommendations this week: Train – Hey, Soul Sister.
  • Oh, and a nice little toy from Farrington labs for those interested in Student Radio. Here’s the Student Radio Playlist for this week.

Hopefully I’ll find something to write a proper blog about something interesting soon, promise.

Paying for the news

The Times

The Times

So, The Times and Sunday Times have today announced they’ll be charging for content on their websites (note the link is to the guardian, I’m not paying…!) to me this is interesting news. It’s been in the pipeline for a while now, with News Corp’s intention being to move all their online newspaper content into a subscription model over the coming year.

I’m not for a second going to dispute the paper’s right to charge for content – people have to be paid to write it, and it costs the company money to put it on the internet, plus the newspaper’s “old media” audience have paid for it for years, I guess you could argue it’s unfair for them if they’re subsidising an increasingly large number of people who just go and read the news online for free. My real question is who’s going to pay for it? As I mentioned – the “old media” audience are already paying, and presumably are quite happy with the platform on which they’re receiving the news (otherwise they’d have been getting it online already, for free). Anyone else is perfectly able to look at the huge number of other websites (a number of them rival newspapers, not to mention by far the best news agency in the UK, The BBC) who aren’t insisting on a subscription, or better still use a news aggregator (like google news) to give them a huge choice of sources for a particular story.

So, who’s going to pay the pound a day, or 2 pounds a week (which I agree isn’t a lot of money if it proves to be a decent service as Murdoch has promised) – the answer has to be those who enjoy the things they can only get in the Times, specifically the opinion columnists. The times actually has some fairly good columns with some familiar faces, and some experts sharing informed opinions (alongside some utter drivel as well, but that’s comment!) and if anyone’s going to pay for The Times Online it’ll be those who really enjoy reading these columns each week.

But will they, that’s really the question – and one which only time will tell. As for me, I’m ok as the three columns I actually read on a semi-regular basis (Charlie Brooker, David Mitchell and Bad Science as you’re interested) are all in The Guardian/Observer – who (as far as I’m aware) have no plans to start charging at the time of writing…

(incidentally – recommendations of other comment based reading welcomed!)

(Photo: tripu on flikr)

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Mark Farrington

Mark Farrington
Broadcast Engineer working in UK Commercial Radio, former Student Radio person (and Honorary Lifetime Member of the Student Radio Association) - I also play with bits and pieces of web stuff, cycle, take photos, cook food and enjoy a good pint of real ale.