After thinking about it in some depth, I have decided not to watch the Last Night of the Proms this evening when it is broadcast on the BBC.

Ordinarily, I try to arrange my evening around being available for the event and tune in with great excitement, but over the past few years I have become increasingly disenchanted with how it is presented on television.

What was once a grand party event inside the Albert Hall for the Promenaders and which we the mere public were graciously permitted to vicariously attend, has mutated into a gigantic festival of events dotted all around the country.

Not to say that this is a bad thing – I think it is brilliant, but the television side of covering the event has changed as well, as various celeb presenters are scattered around the place and the television viewing public are lurched from Hyde Park to Cardiff to Edinburgh and back around again with such speed that it leaves me dizzy with disorientation.

The Last Night of the Proms has become a mirror of another Last Night – the one that occurs on the last day of the year, as the various televison channels compete to show the most parties, the most people screaming and pull in the most guest celebs.

I would love to be able to sit at home, and simply watch the events inside the Royal Albert Hall, without being asked to endure – for endure it is – various episodes of Irish jigs, Welsh singing and Scottish music when I would much rather be watching the events in the Hall.

Maybe the BBC will give us a “hall only” option on the Red Button next year?

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8 Comments

  1. I guess that’s what happens when the coverage is provided by the BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation.

  2. Dan

    Ian … thank you so much for your calm and obvious thoughts on how to get my website back! I was in a high stress environment and couldn’t see the wood for the trees. You’re a legend.

  3. You need to listen to Last night of the Proms on the radio, then you only get what is happening in the Albert Hall.

  4. I think people other than those fortunate enough to get a ticket to the Last Night should be allowed to have fun too, no? And whats more fun than watching other people have fun? Its nice to see the various peoples of our great nation (and of so many other nations) waving their flags and jumping up and down and singing at the top of their voices (even though it was very obvious that soooooo many people don’t know the second verse of our own National Anthem!).

    And, as far as I was aware, coverage of the Proms is exclusively by the BBC – first on 2 and then on 1 at the end of the night, but not simultaneously. So I don’t see that “various channels” do actually compete. I doubt very much whether the average ITV viewer would tune into the ITV coverage of the Proms, even if there were such a thing.

    Have you ever thought that the people who enjoy Irish dancing, Welsh singing or Scottish music might enjoy seeing their own cultures represented? And who gave England the monopoly on music? Are the Proms to be ringfenced for only English music?? I mean, heaven forfend we should be forced to endure music written or performed by the other peoples of the world.

    Sarah’s right – tune into the radio if all you want is one venue – but then that means you forgo all the wonderful visual aspects of the event. Or jump through all the hoops necessary to get yourself a ticket for the Last Night and go along in person. That way you won’t have to endure the sight of all those barbarians in other parts of the country. Hurrah for the BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation for allowing so many non-English TV licence payers to join in this unique experience.

  5. IanVisits

    Can I presume those above who keep capitalising BRITISH will also expect that Silverstone racing is interrupted with views of people watching it in pubs around the UK, that every event that is based in a building is always interrupted with video clips of things happening elsewhere?

    What is wrong with wanting to watch the Last Night in the Albert Hall without it being interrupted by things that are not happening inside the Hall itself?

    This is nothing to do with the fact that the event happened in London, but that watching it was interrupted on regular events.

    Heck, with all the interruptions, it might as well be shown on ITV.

  6. Now now, just because the argument isnt going your way, there’s no need to throw your toys out of the pram.

  7. IanVisits

    Hardly – just responding to the bizarre suggestion that an event occurring in London is required to be a nationwide affair if broadcast by the BBC.

    Which is just plain weird.

    I noticed by the way, that the red button on the TV offered by the chance to watch the regional shows – but didn’t include an option to watch what was going on inside the hall – which the event is supposed to be focused on.

    Now that was also weird.

  8. Big D

    Exit pursued by bear,

    Sorry not really sure where you are coming from, Ian has already stated he thinks it’s brilliant that all around the country people are enjoying themselves, however all he is asking is uninterupted coverage and even puts a solution to the problem by asking the BBC to give a hall only option on the red button. A very sensible sugestion.

    Also if you think putting your point across is throwing your toys out of your pram, god knows what would happen if you ever came across an angry person in real life. I’m not sure you’d be able to cope.

    Big D

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