Snow blanketed Great Britain on January 7, 2010, as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Terra satellite passed overhead and captured this image. Snow covers most of England, from the east to the west coast. (The large image shows snow cover over the entire island of Great Britain.) The cities of Manchester, Birmingham, and London form ghostly gray shapes against the white land surface. Immediately east of London, clouds swirl over the island, casting blue-gray shadows toward the north.
Over a year since it was taken down, literally hundreds of visitors per month come here to try and find a recording of the Shipping Forecast. My recording didn’t seem necessary once the BBC began making the broadcast available on the web.
At the time, those that linked to the recording explained to their readers what it is about the Shipping Forecast that appeals to them -the firm yet understatedly soothing Queen’s English accent. Once the working standard of the BBC, the accent is now rarely heard—except, of course, from the small group of Radio 4 continuity announcers. The longest serving member is Peter Jefferson who is, as far as I’m concerned, the voice of the Forecast.
Ever wondered what it takes to read the Forecast? Jefferson gained a double first class honours degree in Classic Greek at Oxford and later went on to master in Political Philosophy. It would seem they don’t let any old Joe do it.