And Now the Shipping Forecast, By Peter Jefferson

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The Independent Culture

As measured and relishable as the nightly litany he read until 2001, Jefferson fathoms The Shipping Forecast from Utsira, named after a herring-rich Norwegian island, to Dogger, scene of a 1904 Russian attack on British trawlers mistaken for Japanese torpedo boats.

The shipping areas have inspired artists from Blur to Les Barker but none are as lyrical as the circuit of Inshore Waters: "From Lough Foyle to Carlingford Lough..."

Jefferson finds something interesting to say about every aspect of the forecast – he even turns misty-eyed about "my good old friend Smith's Knoll Automatic", though admits defeat with Bailey: "Purely a mass of water ... Very frustrating."