Guilty Pleasure: Jane Johnson On Radio 4'S Shipping Forecast

There's something incredibly reassuring about it. It didn't matter that - until doing some research for this article - I didn't understand what it all meant. I have just become happily hooked on the calming voice of the announcer and all those poetic, far-off-sounding names in windswept coastal places - Lundy, Fastnet, Irish Sea, Shannon, Rockall, Malin and Hebrides.

I don't even know where a lot of them are - Forties, Cromarty, Forth, Tyne, Dogger? The only dogger I deal with at Closer is a celebrity one (remember Steve McFadden's dodgy car park pastime?)

I now know that the 350-word forecast is written to a set rhythm, and is enunciated in a deliberately calm and soothing way at dictation speed - presumably first and foremost to help a fisherman avoid danger, and secondly to lull people like me to sleep.

You may also like to know that reports from the coastal stations around the UK are told in a clockwise direction, and that stormy weather is always announced first.

Are you getting sleepy yet?

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