BBC Radio 4 For Friends of Things English

@MALUSE (37884)
Germany
January 10, 2016 1:43pm CST
I can’t speak for the other BBC channels because I don’t know them, but I can vouch that Radio 4 fulfils the motto of the BBC perfectly, namely to offer "information, education, entertainment". About 10 million British listeners switch on Radio 4 every week who, according to a critic, see it as ‘the standard bearer of the cultural heritage of the island’. They’re said to be mostly white, middle-class and educated. Moderator Evan Davies thinks the channel should always have a bit more intellectual ambition than its listeners. It obviously does. The average listener simply can’t be able to give all the sources of quotations as they’re presented in ‘Quote - Unquote’ or find all the answers in the ‘Round Britain Quiz’. Such programmes show that the listeners prefer slight frustration to full satisfaction when they compare themselves to the people on the panel. I like discussions more than one person talking or reading about a subject. They’re easier to follow and never boring. ‘Saturday Live’, ‘Midweek’, the ‘Book Club’, ‘Front Row’, ‘Loose Ends’, ’Any Questions?’ et al are enjoyable and stimulating programmes. Of course, as a foreigner I also listen attentively to the way people use their mother tongue, the accents, the pronunciation and the choice of words. What has always puzzled me is that people with speech deficits, i.e., stuttering, can become presenters. If a guest stutters, it must be endured for the time being, of course. But a presenter! I have the suspicion that this is considered posh as many stutterers have a posh accent. As far as I know there are no stuttering presenters on German radio programmes. The genre Comedy offers some really great programmes. Insights into what is on British minds can be got from attentive listening. Not one week passes without a mention of homosexuality, Hitler and Nazi Germany and the Germans’ lack of humour. I think that the percentage of homosexuality is the same in all countries. From what I personally know and what friends from other countries have told me I can say that it’s not a frequent topic here or there. What about Hitler and Nazi Germany? The clocks in GB seem to move more slowly than in other countries . WW2 ended 70 years ago! Q: “What is a Brit without humour?” A: “A German.” Funny, eh? I bet that not one of the comedians knows enough German to be able to follow a German comedy programme, of which there are loads. They cover exactly the same range of humour as the British ones. From vulgar like occasionally in ‘Act your Age’ over sheer nonsense as in, say, ’Listen Against’ or ’The Odd Half Hour’ to biting political satire as in ’The Now Show’. But German bashing is always an easy way to get a cheap laugh. It helps to forget the wounds struck by losing the colonies and winning the war but now being worse off economically than the loser. MyLotters, have you got an opinion on that?
11 people like this
11 responses
@Mike197602 (13363)
• Worcester, England
10 Jan 16
I don't listen to the radio so much of your post I can't really comment on. As for "British" humour I'd agree there is a fair bit of german knocking in it. I'm not really sure why that is Currently there is quite a bit of german knocking in some sections of the UK press and that's particularly due to the german governments position on EU issues.
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (37884)
• Germany
10 Jan 16
"I'm not really sure why that is" - Don't you think my interpretation is correct?
1 person likes this
@Mike197602 (13363)
• Worcester, England
10 Jan 16
@MALUSE as regards radio I just don't know...I don't listen to the shows that you do so can't comment on their content. As for British comedy then yes, quite often the war is brought up. Also football...we always want (although never do)to beat the germans over any other teams except for maybe argentina. I think many of us do have a long memory regarding wars There's actually a new film coming out soon which is based on an old comedy series called dads army which was about the home guard in the war.
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (37884)
• Germany
10 Jan 16
@Mike197602 As to long memories regarding wars: None of the radio people were even born when WW2 *ended*!
1 person likes this
@Marcyaz (35756)
• United States
12 Jan 16
I didn't even know about Radio 4 but I have read articles on the BBC website. As to the war that was so long ago you would think people would not find those types of jokes amusing any longer.
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (37884)
• Germany
12 Jan 16
Brits will never stop laughing about such things. As you can see from the comments made by British members, my observation is correct.
2 people like this
@xFiacre (4245)
• Ireland
10 Jan 16
@maluse I listen to Radio 4 quite a lot when driving during the day time and early evening, and yes, the German jokes are somewhat irritating.
1 person likes this
@boiboing (12207)
• Northampton, England
10 Jan 16
I have forced myself to watch 'Dinner for One' and concluded that German humour really is VERY different. I don't know any Brit who would find that even mildly amusing.
@MALUSE (37884)
• Germany
10 Jan 16
Someone should write a thesis on this sketch and its opposed reception by British and German audiences. What Brits who don't find it funny shouldn't forget is that it was made by Brits, not by Germans and not for a German audience, either. So some people with British blood must have found it funny.
@boiboing (12207)
• Northampton, England
10 Jan 16
@MALUSE but the only Brits who have even seen it are ones who know it as a German tradition. We don't know the writer or the actors and the film was recorded by a German. I don't believe that it has been shown here on TV.
@MALUSE (37884)
• Germany
10 Jan 16
@boiboing As I've said, it's fodder for a thesis.
@Tampa_girl7 (24907)
• United States
12 Jan 16
I have never listened to Radio 4.
@DianneN (74250)
• United States
12 Jan 16
I have never listened to that program or even heard of it, but don't care for that type of "humor" against anyone or any country.
@BelleStarr (36965)
• Portland, Connecticut
12 Jan 16
I am not a fan of ethnic humor and certainly I don't find Hitler amusing in any way.
@Inlemay (16484)
• South Africa
11 Jan 16
That is funny - we have all sorts of Bashing over here in SA as we have the English to blame for all our segregation troubles from way back when, then we have the Irish that hate the English, and my personal best for now is How the New Yorkers think everything is bigger and better, when they dont even have it!
@JudyEv (118657)
• Bunbury, Australia
11 Jan 16
I think your last few sentences are probably spot on. England has many woes at the moment but she was pretty ruthless when colonising places.
@pgntwo (21551)
• Derry, Northern Ireland
10 Jan 16
Radio 4 Comedy seems to use the services of a German Comedy Ambassador, in the form of Henning Wehn, now and then. Probably no German knows of him in the same way that few in the UK know of Freddie Frinton, @MALUSE.
@pgiblett (6603)
• Canada
10 Jan 16
Radio 4 has always had a lot of fans.