"..a bardy view!"

Just Shufflepants….lets talk about the weather!

"There's lots of weather around the UK today" so said BBC weatherman Tomasz Schafernaker. He went on to qualify his statement with "what I mean is there is lots of different weather about." Quite! That's generally the case over the British Isles. Just-william

I find great amusement from the BBC TV weather presenters.

They are all qualified meteorologists, but stick them in front of a camera and they behave as if they've all had a touch of the sun.

Mr Schafernaker is a case in point. One of the most prominently preened and egotistical presenters, he's never short of a flamboyant gesture or inane comment.

Indeed, one wonders whether he is there to give a forecast or merely to advance his image.

Listen mate, I just want to know the weatherok!

"Shufflepants" (as nicknamed at the Beeb), has made some wonderful faux pas and has even displayed his pecs on the cover of a UK gay magazine. I couldn't see Michael Fish doing that!

My own particular favourite is "Diddy" Daniel Corbett. Now here's a chap who relishes his job.

Unlike Shufflepants, who appears to have been surgically squeezed into his suit, Diddy Dave always looks like he fell into his as it always looks two sizes too big.

But the overriding image of all these presenters is that there appears little to distinguish one from another. Especially the men. Indeed, they are like the British bobby in that they seem to be getting shorter and younger. (Have you ever met a Dutch copper? They are tall!)

There was a time when the BBC weathermen looked like lecturers from a 1970's Open University programme. But the viewer back then wasn't bothered about their appearance, they just wanted to know the weather.

But along with hi-tech graphics and twenty-four hour news, so also came the new age weather presenters in designer clobber. Such is the demand for their services every fifteen minutes on screen, they tend to venture off-script to give us occasional personal opinions and banter with the news anchors.
However, such is my distraction that I ponder on their attire below the screen. In Schafernakers case, I always imagine him in short trousers with a catapult hanging out of one pocket, and a pea-shooter in the other. Add scuffed kneecaps and socks hanging around his ankles and the picture of Just William is complete.

A saving grace for them all is that their animations are limited to the upper body. Over on Sky TV the picture is very different. The weather presenters are all women with the exception of Francis Wilson. Few of them are professional meteorologists. Francis came to prominence in the early eighties with the dawn of BBC Breakfast Time, and was remembered back then for describing clouds as "fluffy bits".

Anyway the ladies on Sky are dwarfed by a giant screen of Europe, and they tend to walk up and down with specific choreography demonstrating their lovely pins and tight skirts. They do talk about the weather, but I suspect the viewer's attention is elsewhere. These performances are normally preceded by an advert for Qatar Airways bestowing their wonderful coffee at 30,000 ft.

Still lets not knock them too harshly. Even if a force 10 gale is blowing up the Pennines (sounds painful) they manage to convey the information with penache. "Don't worry" they imply "The weather's lousy, but heck, look at me, am I sexy or what?"

Given a choice between Lucy Verasamy (pic) and Thomaz I know which I would choose.  Lucy

Oh dear! This post is starting to sound sexist. But lets not forget when the mould was broke. It was by Barbara Edwards, the first female weather presenter back in 1974 on the BBC.

She caused quite a storm in the tabloid press. Why? Because she was a women and was innocently inviting criticism on her dress sense. She was known to remark that her male members of the team did not have to contend with that.

Fast forward 36 years and such comment is rare.Tabloid attention is more likely to be directed at women in other roles. Weathermen have had a fairly comfortable and uncontroversial passage throughout the changing scenery. But just like the weather map of Britain, which has undergone several incarnations over the years, so too have the presenters.

Bring back Michael Fish with his cardboard stickers that kept falling off the map.

How about a dual act with Tom and Lucy. The new show could be called "Britain's Got Weather".

And as Shufflepants has said, "there's a lot of weather around the UK"!

*Latest news* – October 2010 – Shufflepants has been dropped in the presenting role. It's put down to cuts, but as he is particularly gaff-prone with a recent one-finger salute whilst on air, the Met office (or the BBC) has decided to to send him back behind his desk where he can make less bother.


July 17, 2010 - Posted by | Culture, Current Affairs, Education, General, Science, United Kingdom | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. The trouble with all these people is that, they will not look out of the window to see what the weather is actually doing. I’ll go for the Ladies every time.


    Comment by spook | July 18, 2010 | Reply

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