. . . and here again are the main points of the news

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The Independent Online
First Edition

THE BBC yesterday devised an elegant solution to the problem of finding news in the traditionally dull, dead days of August. Its bulletin at 10am on Radio 4 simply repeated the previous day's news, which included reports of firebombs in stores at Milton Keynes and the consequent traffic chaos.

The newsreader, Eugene Fraser, persuaded the nation that flames in Buckinghamshire were still licking round the John Lewis store and went on to reveal that Lloyds Bank had made a tidy profit. Exactly the same profit, in fact, that it had made in Friday's bulletins.

The BBC was naturally embarrassed. 'We apologise to listeners for this unfortunate error and we will conduct a full investigation,' a BBC spokesman said. But perhaps there is no need to be embarrassed. This is undoubtedly the best story so far in the silly season.

August's special news values were also apparent in Yorkshire, where celebrations were held for Yorkshire Day and demands made that the rest of the country accept that the three Ridings still exist. The Yorkshire Day anthem was sung.

Meanwhile, in Chard, Somerset, it was revealed that sex therapists hope that recitals by a 60- piece orchestra at the local wildlife park will stimulate the sexual appetite of an elephant named Sahib.

All in all, it may come as some relief to newsreaders to know that the football season in Scotland has already started. Real news, the stuff of dark days and winter.

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