Shipping Forecast
Overview
The Shipping Forecast is a four-times-daily BBC Radio
BBC Radio
BBC Radio is a service of the British Broadcasting Corporation which has operated in the United Kingdom under the terms of a Royal Charter since 1927. For a history of BBC radio prior to 1927 see British Broadcasting Company...

 broadcast of weather
Weather
Weather is the state of the atmosphere, to the degree that it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloudy. Most weather phenomena occur in the troposphere, just below the stratosphere. Weather refers, generally, to day-to-day temperature and precipitation activity, whereas climate...

 reports and forecasts for the seas around the coasts of the British Isles
British Isles
The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles. There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and...

. It is produced by the Met Office
Met Office
The Met Office , is the United Kingdom's national weather service, and a trading fund of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills...

 and broadcast by BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

 on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency is a UK executive agency working to prevent the loss of lives at sea and is responsible for implementing British and International maritime law and safety policy.This involves coordinating search and rescue at sea through Her Majesty's Coastguard , ensuring that...

. The forecasts sent over the Navtex
Navtex
NAVTEX is an international automated medium frequency direct-printing service for delivery of navigational and meteorological warnings and forecasts, as well as urgent marine safety information to ships...

 system use a similar format and the same sea areas. The unique and distinctive sound of these broadcasts has led to their attracting an audience much wider than that directly interested in maritime weather conditions.

The waters around the British Isles
British Isles
The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles. There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and...

 are divided into sea areas, also known as weather areas (see map below) and many listeners find the well-known repetition of the names of the sea areas almost hypnotic, particularly during the bedtime (for Britain) broadcast at 0048 UK time (GMT
Greenwich Mean Time
Greenwich Mean Time is a term originally referring to mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. It is arguably the same as Coordinated Universal Time and when this is viewed as a time zone the name Greenwich Mean Time is especially used by bodies connected with the United...

 or BST
British Summer Time
Western European Summer Time is a summer daylight saving time scheme, 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time. It is used in the following places:* the Canary Islands* Portugal * Ireland...

 depending on the time of year).
Encyclopedia
The Shipping Forecast is a four-times-daily BBC Radio
BBC Radio
BBC Radio is a service of the British Broadcasting Corporation which has operated in the United Kingdom under the terms of a Royal Charter since 1927. For a history of BBC radio prior to 1927 see British Broadcasting Company...

 broadcast of weather
Weather
Weather is the state of the atmosphere, to the degree that it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloudy. Most weather phenomena occur in the troposphere, just below the stratosphere. Weather refers, generally, to day-to-day temperature and precipitation activity, whereas climate...

 reports and forecasts for the seas around the coasts of the British Isles
British Isles
The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles. There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and...

. It is produced by the Met Office
Met Office
The Met Office , is the United Kingdom's national weather service, and a trading fund of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills...

 and broadcast by BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

 on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency is a UK executive agency working to prevent the loss of lives at sea and is responsible for implementing British and International maritime law and safety policy.This involves coordinating search and rescue at sea through Her Majesty's Coastguard , ensuring that...

. The forecasts sent over the Navtex
Navtex
NAVTEX is an international automated medium frequency direct-printing service for delivery of navigational and meteorological warnings and forecasts, as well as urgent marine safety information to ships...

 system use a similar format and the same sea areas. The unique and distinctive sound of these broadcasts has led to their attracting an audience much wider than that directly interested in maritime weather conditions.

The waters around the British Isles
British Isles
The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles. There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and...

 are divided into sea areas, also known as weather areas (see map below) and many listeners find the well-known repetition of the names of the sea areas almost hypnotic, particularly during the bedtime (for Britain) broadcast at 0048 UK time (GMT
Greenwich Mean Time
Greenwich Mean Time is a term originally referring to mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. It is arguably the same as Coordinated Universal Time and when this is viewed as a time zone the name Greenwich Mean Time is especially used by bodies connected with the United...

 or BST
British Summer Time
Western European Summer Time is a summer daylight saving time scheme, 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time. It is used in the following places:* the Canary Islands* Portugal * Ireland...

 depending on the time of year). It is regarded with affection by many listeners, and in the UK often arises in general knowledge
General knowledge
General knowledge has been defined by differential psychologists as referring to 'culturally valued knowledge communicated by a range of non-specialist media' General knowledge therefore encompasses a wide range of knowledge domains...

 quizzes and is the butt of many affectionate jokes.

There are four broadcasts per day at the following (UK local) times:
  • 0048 - transmitted on FM
    FM broadcasting
    FM broadcasting is a broadcasting technology pioneered by Edwin Howard Armstrong which uses frequency modulation to provide high-fidelity sound over broadcast radio. The term "FM band" describes the "frequency band in which FM is used for broadcasting"...

     and LW
    Longwave
    In radio, longwave refers to parts of radio spectrum with relatively long wavelengths. The term is a historic one dating from the early 20th century, when the radio spectrum was considered to consist of long, medium and short wavelengths...

    . Includes weather reports from an extended list of coastal stations at 0052 and an inshore waters
    Inshore coastal areas of the United Kingdom
    The inshore coastal areas of the United Kingdom are fifteen fixed stretches of coastline that are used in weather forecasting especially for wind-powered or small coastal craft. Each area is delimited by geographical features such as headlands, seaports or estuaries...

     forecast at 0055 and concludes with a brief UK weather outlook for the coming day. The broadcast finishes at approximately 0058, and is followed by a short goodnight message and the National Anthem
    God Save the Queen
    "God Save the Queen" is an anthem used in a number of Commonwealth realms and British Crown Dependencies. The words of the song, like its title, are adapted to the gender of the current monarch, with "King" replacing "Queen", "he" replacing "she", and so forth, when a king reigns...

    .
  • 0520 - transmitted on FM and LW. Includes weather reports from coastal stations at 0525, and an inshore waters forecast at 0527.
  • 1201 - normally transmitted on LW only.
  • 1754 - transmitted only on LW on weekdays, as an opt-out from the PM programme
    PM (Radio 4)
    PM, sometimes referred to as the PM programme to avoid ambiguity, is BBC Radio 4's long-running early evening news and current affairs programme.-Broadcast times:...

    , but at weekends transmitted on both FM and LW.

Region names

The sea areas covering the waters around the British Isles
British Isles
The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles. There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and...

 are as defined by the map shown here:
  • Viking
    Viking
    The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

  • North Utsire
    Utsira
    Utsira is a municipality in Rogaland county, Norway. It is part of the traditional district of Haugaland. Utsira was separated from Torvastad on 1 July 1924.The municipality consists of an island located in the North Sea, 18 km west of Haugesund...

  • South Utsire
  • Forties
    Long Forties
    200px|rightThe Long Forties is an area of the northern North Sea that is fairly consistently forty fathoms deep . It is located between the northeast coast of Scotland and the southwest coast of Norway, centred about 57°N 0°30′E...

  • Cromarty
    Cromarty
    The Royal Burgh of Cromarty is a burgh in Ross and Cromarty, Highland, Scotland.-History:It was previously the county town of the former county of Cromartyshire...

  • Forth
    River Forth
    The River Forth , long, is the major river draining the eastern part of the central belt of Scotland.The Forth rises in Loch Ard in the Trossachs, a mountainous area some west of Stirling...

  • Tyne
    River Tyne
    The River Tyne is a river in North East England in Great Britain. It is formed by the confluence of two rivers: the North Tyne and the South Tyne. These two rivers converge at Warden Rock near Hexham in Northumberland at a place dubbed 'The Meeting of the Waters'.The North Tyne rises on the...

  • Dogger
    Dogger Bank
    Dogger Bank is a large sandbank in a shallow area of the North Sea about off the east coast of England. It extends over approximately , with its dimensions being about long and up to broad. The water depth ranges from 15 to 36 metres , about shallower than the surrounding sea. It is a...

  • Fisher
    Fisher Bank
    The Fisher Bank is a sand bank in the North Sea, off the west coast of Denmark. As Fisher it gives its name to one of the sea areas in the British Shipping Forecast.It is defined by the co-ordinates:* 57°45'N 04°00'E* 56°00'N 04°00'E...

  • German Bight
    German Bight
    German Bight is the southeastern bight of the North Sea bounded by the Netherlands and Germany to the south, and Denmark and Germany to the east . To the north and west it is limited by the Dogger Bank. The Bight contains the Frisian and Danish Islands. The Wadden Sea is approximately ten to...

  • Humber
    Humber
    The Humber is a large tidal estuary on the east coast of Northern England. It is formed at Trent Falls, Faxfleet, by the confluence of the tidal River Ouse and the tidal River Trent. From here to the North Sea, it forms part of the boundary between the East Riding of Yorkshire on the north bank...

  • Thames
    River Thames
    The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

  • Dover
    Strait of Dover
    The Strait of Dover or Dover Strait is the strait at the narrowest part of the English Channel. The shortest distance across the strait is from the South Foreland, 6 kilometres northeast of Dover in the county of Kent, England, to Cap Gris Nez, a cape near to Calais in the French of...

  • Wight
    Isle of Wight
    The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest island of England, located in the English Channel, on average about 2–4 miles off the south coast of the county of Hampshire, separated from the mainland by a strait called the Solent...

  • Portland
    Isle of Portland
    The Isle of Portland is a limestone tied island, long by wide, in the English Channel. Portland is south of the resort of Weymouth, forming the southernmost point of the county of Dorset, England. A tombolo over which runs the A354 road connects it to Chesil Beach and the mainland. Portland and...

  • Plymouth
    Plymouth
    Plymouth is a city and unitary authority area on the coast of Devon, England, about south-west of London. It is built between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound...

  • Biscay
    Bay of Biscay
    The Bay of Biscay is a gulf of the northeast Atlantic Ocean located south of the Celtic Sea. It lies along the western coast of France from Brest south to the Spanish border, and the northern coast of Spain west to Cape Ortegal, and is named in English after the province of Biscay, in the Spanish...

  • Trafalgar
    Cape Trafalgar
    Cape Trafalgar is a headland in the Province of Cádiz in the south-west of Spain. It lies on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, northwest of the Strait of Gibraltar...

  • FitzRoy
    Robert FitzRoy
    Vice-Admiral Robert FitzRoy RN achieved lasting fame as the captain of HMS Beagle during Charles Darwin's famous voyage, and as a pioneering meteorologist who made accurate weather forecasting a reality...

     
    (formerly Finisterre
    Finisterre
    Finisterre, Finisterra, Fisterra, or Finistère may refer to:Places* Cape Finisterre , headland in Galicia, north-west Spain, the Southern landfall of the Bay of Biscay...

    )
  • Sole
    Sole Bank
    The Sole Bank is a sand bank in the Atlantic Ocean, south-west of Cornwall. It is best known for giving its name to a sea area in the Shipping Forecast...

  • Lundy
    Lundy
    Lundy is the largest island in the Bristol Channel, lying off the coast of Devon, England, approximately one third of the distance across the channel between England and Wales. It measures about at its widest. Lundy gives its name to a British sea area and is one of the islands of England.As of...

  • Fastnet
    Fastnet Rock
    Fastnet Rock is a small island in the Atlantic Ocean and the most southerly point of Ireland. It lies southwest of Cape Clear Island and from County Cork on the Irish mainland...

  • Irish Sea
    Irish Sea
    The Irish Sea separates the islands of Ireland and Great Britain. It is connected to the Celtic Sea in the south by St George's Channel, and to the Atlantic Ocean in the north by the North Channel. Anglesey is the largest island within the Irish Sea, followed by the Isle of Man...

  • Shannon
    River Shannon
    The River Shannon is the longest river in Ireland at . It divides the west of Ireland from the east and south . County Clare, being west of the Shannon but part of the province of Munster, is the major exception...

  • Rockall
    Rockall
    Rockall is an extremely small, uninhabited, remote rocky islet in the North Atlantic Ocean. It gives its name to one of the sea areas named in the shipping forecast provided by the British Meteorological Office....

  • Malin
    Malin Head
    Malin Head , on the Inishowen Peninsula, County Donegal, is usually given as the most northerly headland of the mainland of Ireland . In fact, the most northerly point is actually a headland named Banba's Crown on the Inishowen Peninsula about 2 km to the northeast...

  • Hebrides
    Hebrides
    The Hebrides comprise a widespread and diverse archipelago off the west coast of Scotland. There are two main groups: the Inner and Outer Hebrides. These islands have a long history of occupation dating back to the Mesolithic and the culture of the residents has been affected by the successive...

  • Bailey
    Rockall Basin
    The Rockall Basin is a large sedimentary basin that lies to the west of Ireland and the United Kingdom beneath the major deepwater area known as the Rockall Trough. It is named after Rockall a rocky islet lying 301.4 km west of St Kilda...

  • Fair Isle
    Fair Isle
    Fair Isle is an island in northern Scotland, lying around halfway between mainland Shetland and the Orkney islands. It is famous for its bird observatory and a traditional style of knitting.-Geography:...

  • Faeroes
    Faroe Islands
    The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

  • Southeast Iceland
    Iceland
    Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...



  • The areas were roughly as listed above by 1949. Later modifications include the introduction of Fisher
    Fisher Bank
    The Fisher Bank is a sand bank in the North Sea, off the west coast of Denmark. As Fisher it gives its name to one of the sea areas in the British Shipping Forecast.It is defined by the co-ordinates:* 57°45'N 04°00'E* 56°00'N 04°00'E...

     in 1955, when Dogger
    Dogger Bank
    Dogger Bank is a large sandbank in a shallow area of the North Sea about off the east coast of England. It extends over approximately , with its dimensions being about long and up to broad. The water depth ranges from 15 to 36 metres , about shallower than the surrounding sea. It is a...

     was split in two. Heligoland
    Heligoland
    Heligoland is a small German archipelago in the North Sea.Formerly Danish and British possessions, the islands are located in the Heligoland Bight in the south-eastern corner of the North Sea...

     was renamed German Bight
    German Bight
    German Bight is the southeastern bight of the North Sea bounded by the Netherlands and Germany to the south, and Denmark and Germany to the east . To the north and west it is limited by the Dogger Bank. The Bight contains the Frisian and Danish Islands. The Wadden Sea is approximately ten to...

     a year later.

    Around 1983, the Minches sea area was merged with Hebrides
    Hebrides
    The Hebrides comprise a widespread and diverse archipelago off the west coast of Scotland. There are two main groups: the Inner and Outer Hebrides. These islands have a long history of occupation dating back to the Mesolithic and the culture of the residents has been affected by the successive...

    .

    In 1984, the areas in the North Sea
    North Sea
    In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

     were coordinated with those of neighbouring countries, introducing North Utsire and South Utsire and reducing Viking in size. Finisterre was renamed FitzRoy
    Robert FitzRoy
    Vice-Admiral Robert FitzRoy RN achieved lasting fame as the captain of HMS Beagle during Charles Darwin's famous voyage, and as a pioneering meteorologist who made accurate weather forecasting a reality...

     (in honour of the founder of the Met Office
    Met Office
    The Met Office , is the United Kingdom's national weather service, and a trading fund of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills...

    ) in 2002, to avoid confusion with the Spanish Finisterre peninsula
    Cape Finisterre
    right|thumb|300px|Position of Cape Finisterre on the [[Iberian Peninsula]]Cape Finisterre is a rock-bound peninsula on the west coast of Galicia, Spain....

    . Some names still differ; for example, the Dutch KNMI names the area equivalent to Forties after the Fladen
    Fladen
    The Lightship No. 29 FLADEN is a lightvessel built in 1915 and now a museum ship moored at the Maritiman Marine Museum in Gothenburg, Sweden.She was stationed in the Baltic Sea at Hävringe and later at Öland bank. She was then moved to Fladen bank in 1966....

     bank.

    In the forecast, areas are named in a roughly clockwise direction, strictly following the order above. However, a forecast for Trafalgar is found only in the 0048 forecast - other forecasts do, however, report when there are warnings of gales in Trafalgar.

    Broadcast format

    The forecast, excluding the header line, has a limit of 370 words, and has a very strict format.
    • It begins with "And now the Shipping Forecast, issued by the Met Office on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency at xxxx GMT
      Greenwich Mean Time
      Greenwich Mean Time is a term originally referring to mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. It is arguably the same as Coordinated Universal Time and when this is viewed as a time zone the name Greenwich Mean Time is especially used by bodies connected with the United...

      /BST
      British Summer Time
      Western European Summer Time is a summer daylight saving time scheme, 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time. It is used in the following places:* the Canary Islands* Portugal * Ireland...

       today." This normally follows this strict format, although some continuity announcers may read out the actual date of issue as opposed to the word "today".
    • Gale warnings (winds of force 8 or more, on the Beaufort scale
      Beaufort scale
      The Beaufort Scale is an empirical measure that relates wind speed to observed conditions at sea or on land. Its full name is the Beaufort Wind Force Scale.-History:...

      ), if any (e.g. There are warnings of gales in Rockall, Malin, Hebrides, Bailey, and Fair Isle). This sometimes follows the opposite format (e.g. There are warnings of gales in all areas except Biscay, Trafalgar and FitzRoy).
    • The General Synopsis follows, giving the position, pressure (in millibars) and track of pressure areas (e.g. Low, Rockall, 987, deepening rapidly, expected Fair Isle 964 by 0700 tomorrow).
    • Each area's forecast is then read out. Several areas may be combined into a single forecast where the conditions are expected to be similar. Wind direction
      Wind direction
      Wind direction is reported by the direction from which it originates. For example, a northerly wind blows from the north to the south. Wind direction is usually reported in cardinal directions or in azimuth degrees...

       is given first, then strength (on the Beaufort scale), followed by precipitation
      Precipitation (meteorology)
      In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

      , if any, sea state and (usually) lastly visibility.
    • Change in wind direction is indicated by veering (clockwise
      Clockwise
      Circular motion can occur in two possible directions. A clockwise motion is one that proceeds in the same direction as a clock's hands: from the top to the right, then down and then to the left, and back to the top...

       change) or backing (anti-clockwise change). Winds at or above force 8 are also described by name for emphasis, i.e. Gale 8, Severe Gale 9, Storm 10, Violent Storm 11 and Hurricane force 12. The word "force" is only officially used when announcing force 12 winds.
    • Visibility is given in the format Good, meaning that the visibility is greater than 5 nautical miles (9.3 km); Moderate, where visibility is between 2 nautical mile nautical miles; Poor, where visibility is between 1000 metres and 2 nautical miles and Fog
      Fog
      Fog is a collection of water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface. While fog is a type of stratus cloud, the term "fog" is typically distinguished from the more generic term "cloud" in that fog is low-lying, and the moisture in the fog is often generated...

      , where visibility is less than 1000 m (3,280.8 ft).
    • When severe winter cold combines with strong winds and a cold sea, icing
      Icing (nautical)
      Icing on ships is a serious hazard where cold temperatures combined with high wind speed result in spray blown off the sea freezing immediately on contact with the ship...

       can occur, normally only in sea area Southeast Iceland; if expected, icing warnings (light, moderate or severe) are given as the last item of each sea area forecast.


    Examples of area forecasts:
    • Humber, Thames. Southeast veering southwest 4 or 5, occasionally 6 later. Thundery showers. Moderate or good, occasionally poor.
    • Tyne, Dogger. Northeast 3 or 4. Occasional rain. Moderate or poor.
    • Rockall, Malin, Hebrides. Southwest gale 8 to storm 10, veering west, severe gale 9 to violent storm 11. Rain, then squally showers. Poor, becoming moderate.
    • Southeast Iceland. North 7 to severe gale 9. Heavy snow showers. Good, becoming poor in showers. Moderate icing.


    And most spectacularly, on 10 January 1993, when a record North Atlantic low pressure of 914 mb was recorded
    Braer Storm of January 1993
    The Braer Storm of January 1993 is the most intense extratropical cyclone on record for the northern Atlantic ocean. Developing as a weak frontal wave on January 8, 1993, the system moved rapidly northeast developing at a moderate pace...

    :
    • Rockall, Malin, Hebrides, Bailey. Southwest hurricane force 12 or more.

    With the information provided in the Shipping Forecast it is perfectly possible to compile (and then interpret) a pressure chart for the coasts of North Western Europe. Extended shipping forecasts (0520 and 0048) also include weather reports from a list of additional coastal stations and automatic weather logging stations, which are known by their names, such as "Channel Light Vessel Automatic". These are the Coastal Weather Stations. This additional information does not fall within the 370 word restriction. (RTÉ Radio 1
    RTÉ Radio 1
    RTÉ Radio 1 is the principal radio channel of Irish public-service broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann and is the direct descendant of Dublin radio station 2RN, which began broadcasting on a regular basis on 1 January 1926...

     broadcasts similar coastal reports for Ireland
    Ireland
    Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

    ).
    Other maritime countries also use sea area maps but with local variations. For instance, the area that the British forecasts call Dover is referred to by the French as Pas-de-Calais. The extended forecast also includes an inshore waters
    Inshore coastal areas of the United Kingdom
    The inshore coastal areas of the United Kingdom are fifteen fixed stretches of coastline that are used in weather forecasting especially for wind-powered or small coastal craft. Each area is delimited by geographical features such as headlands, seaports or estuaries...

     forecast.

    Interestingly, Boulmer is only included in the closedown version of the reports from coastal stations.

    Gale warnings

    In addition, gale warnings are broadcast at other times between programmes and after news; for example That was the news, and now 'attention all shipping', especially in sea areas German Bight and Humber: The Met Office issued the following gale warning to shipping at 2206 today. German Bight, west or northwest gale 8 to storm 10, expected imminent. Humber, west gale 8 or severe gale 9, expected soon. That completes the gale warning.

    When giving a gale warning the Met Office
    Met Office
    The Met Office , is the United Kingdom's national weather service, and a trading fund of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills...

     will indicate a time interval for when they expect the gale to occur. Imminent means that a gale is expected within 6 hours, Expected soon that a gale is expected within 6 to 12 hours and Later in more than 12 hours time.

    Frequencies

    The reason for choosing BBC Radio 4
    BBC Radio 4
    BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

     for the Shipping Forecast is not because it is a mainly speech-based channel, but because it broadcasts via longwave
    Longwave
    In radio, longwave refers to parts of radio spectrum with relatively long wavelengths. The term is a historic one dating from the early 20th century, when the radio spectrum was considered to consist of long, medium and short wavelengths...

     on 198 kHz as well as FM
    Frequency modulation
    In telecommunications and signal processing, frequency modulation conveys information over a carrier wave by varying its instantaneous frequency. This contrasts with amplitude modulation, in which the amplitude of the carrier is varied while its frequency remains constant...

    , and the longwave signal can be received clearly at sea all around the British Isles
    British Isles
    The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles. There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and...

     regardless of time of day or radio conditions. For the same reason, the Shipping Forecast was broadcast in the BBC National Programme
    BBC National Programme
    The BBC National Programme was a BBC radio station from the 1920s until the outbreak of World War II.-Foundation:When the BBC first began transmissions on 14 November 1922, the technology for both national coverage and joint programming between transmitters did not exist – transmitter powers were...

     until September 1939, and then after the Second World War on the BBC Light Programme
    BBC Light Programme
    The Light Programme was a BBC radio station which broadcast mainstream light entertainment and music from 1945 until 1967, when it was rebranded as BBC Radio 2...

     (later BBC Radio 2
    BBC Radio 2
    BBC Radio 2 is one of the BBC's national radio stations and the most popular station in the United Kingdom. Much of its daytime playlist-based programming is best described as Adult Contemporary or AOR, although the station is also noted for its specialist broadcasting of other musical genres...

    ) until November 1978: these services all being broadcast on longwave (200 kHz). When BBC Radio 4
    BBC Radio 4
    BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

     took over the longwave frequency from Radio 2 on 23 November 1978, the Shipping Forecast "moved" to Radio 4 – although in fact it stayed just where it always had been, on the long wave. The frequency changed slightly to 198 kHz in 1989 when the frequencies of all LF and MF broadcast stations across Europe were adjusted under the reorganisation agreed in the Geneva Frequency Plan of 1975.

    Before closedown

    The last broadcast of the Shipping Forecast at 0048 each day is traditionally preceded by the playing of Sailing By
    Sailing By
    Sailing By is a short piece of light music composed by Ronald Binge in 1963, which is used before the late Shipping Forecast on BBC Radio 4...

    , a light orchestral piece by Ronald Binge
    Ronald Binge
    Ronald Binge was a British composer and arranger of light music.-Biography:He was born in a working-class neighbourhood in Derby in the English Midlands. In his childhood he was a chorister at Saint Andrews Church , London Road, Derby - 'the railwaymens church'...

    . This is only very rarely omitted, generally when the schedule is running late. Though occasionally played in full, it is common for only a section of the piece to be broadcast; that section being the length required to fill the gap between the previous programme's ending and the start of the forecast at precisely 0048. More importantly, Sailing By serves as a vital identification tool - it is distinctive and as such assists anyone attempting to tune in. The forecast is then followed by the National anthem
    God Save the Queen
    "God Save the Queen" is an anthem used in a number of Commonwealth realms and British Crown Dependencies. The words of the song, like its title, are adapted to the gender of the current monarch, with "King" replacing "Queen", "he" replacing "she", and so forth, when a king reigns...

     and the closedown of the station for the day, with the BBC World Service
    BBC World Service
    The BBC World Service is the world's largest international broadcaster, broadcasting in 27 languages to many parts of the world via analogue and digital shortwave, internet streaming and podcasting, satellite, FM and MW relays...

     taking over the frequencies after the BBC Pips at 0100.

    "Mini" shipping forecast, maritime safety

    The Shipping Forecast should not be confused with similar broadcasts given by HM Coastguard to vessels at sea tuned into Marine VHF and MF Radio Frequencies.

    HM Coastguard's Broadcasts can only be heard by vessels or persons using or tuned into marine VHF and MF radio frequencies, whereas the Shipping Forecast can be heard by anyone tuned into BBC Radio 4
    BBC Radio 4
    BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

    .

    The Coastguard's broadcasts follow the same format as the shipping forecast using the same terminology and style, but the information only normally applies to the area sector or region covered by that particular Coastguard Co-ordination Centre (such as the Bristol Channel
    Bristol Channel
    The Bristol Channel is a major inlet in the island of Great Britain, separating South Wales from Devon and Somerset in South West England. It extends from the lower estuary of the River Severn to the North Atlantic Ocean...

    , for instance).

    Announcements of pending broadcasts by HMCG is given on marine Channel 16 VHF
    Channel 16 VHF
    Channel 16 VHF is a radio frequency on the marine VHF radio band. It is used for shipping and maritime purposes, to call up ships and shore stations, and as an international distress frequency. After an initial response the call is to be switched to one of the working channels, except in case of...

     and would normally be announced along the lines of "All stations. This is Portland Coastguard... Maritime Safety Information will now be Broadcast on Channel 23... Portland Coastguard".
    A similar broadcast on MF is initially announced on 2182 kHz, with a further frequency specified, e.g. 1770 kHz.
    It is worth noting here that VHF optimum range is approximately 30 nautical miles (NM), effectively line of sight, whereas MF range is much greater at approximately 150 NM, alowing ships in the Atlantic Ocean and North Sea to receive the broadcast.

    As with the Shipping Forecast many people from a non-maritime background have been fascinated by this little known and very important service to the extent that they have bought handheld maritime radios purposely to listen to Coastguard Safety and Weather announcements. It is probably for the same reasons outlined later in this article about the main shipping forecast that it has such a committed fanbase.

    Vocal delivery

    The Shipping Forecast is intended to be read with clear diction and at a slow, measured pace to aid those who wish to write down the information.

    Occasionally, mistakes occur. For example on Friday 17 August 2007, the 0520 forecast and data, as read by BBC
    BBC
    The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

     Weatherman Philip Avery, was in fact that for the previous day, and a special reading of the correct day's issue was given out at 0700 on 198 kHz Longwave, before rejoining the normal FM programming. This has occurred on other occasions and, when noticed, a repeat forecast is generally transmitted in a diversion from the advertised schedule.

    Influences on popular culture

    Due to its set rhythm, calm enunciation, and evocative names, the Shipping Forecast can sound quite poetic when broadcast. It is perhaps not surprising that it has featured in songs and poetry as a result.

    Music

    "This Is a Low
    This Is a Low
    "This Is a Low" is a song by English alternative rock band Blur for their third studio album, Parklife.- Music and lyrics :The song is in the key of E major and is in 4/4 time. In total, the song contains two verses, two choruses, a guitar solo and two further choruses. The music commences with a...

    " on Blur
    Blur (band)
    Blur is an English alternative rock band. Formed in London in 1989 as Seymour, the group consists of singer Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree. Blur's debut album Leisure incorporated the sounds of Madchester and shoegazing...

    's album Parklife
    Parklife
    Parklife is the third studio album by the English alternative rock band Blur, released in April 1994 on Food Records. After disappointing sales for their previous album Modern Life Is Rubbish , Parklife returned Blur to prominence in the UK, helped by its four hit singles: "Girls & Boys", "End of a...

     includes the lyrics:
    "On the Tyne, Forth and Cromarty
    There's a low in the high Forties"


    The song also contains references to Biscay, Dogger, Thames ("Hit traffic on the Dogger bank / Up the Thames to find a taxi rank") and Malin Head, one of the coastal stations.

    Blur's early tour film, Starshaped
    Starshaped
    Starshaped is a 1993 documentary film on the British band Blur. Conceived as a fly on the wall documentary, it became a collection of live performances, videos and festival footage, and band interviews....

    , also features extracts from the Shipping Forecast during the opening and closing credits.

    Radiohead
    Radiohead
    Radiohead are an English rock band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, formed in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke , Jonny Greenwood , Ed O'Brien , Colin Greenwood and Phil Selway .Radiohead released their debut single "Creep" in 1992...

     used lyrics relating to the Shipping Forecast in their song "In Limbo" to represent a theme of being lost:
    "Lundy, Fastnet, Irish Sea
    Irish Sea
    The Irish Sea separates the islands of Ireland and Great Britain. It is connected to the Celtic Sea in the south by St George's Channel, and to the Atlantic Ocean in the north by the North Channel. Anglesey is the largest island within the Irish Sea, followed by the Isle of Man...

    I've got a message I can't read"


    The Young Punx
    The Young Punx
    The Young Punx are an English based electronic dance music act whose eclectic and energetic style encompasses french house, breakbeat and drum and bass, mashed up with elements as diverse as 1980s pop music, hard rock, disco and glam rock.-Personnel:...

     sampled the shipping forecast as read by BBC presenter Alan Smith
    Alan Smith (radio)
    Alan Smith is a presenter and newsreader on BBC Radio 4, who also appears on sister stations Radio 2 and Radio 7. Born in Scotland, his family moved to Cumbria at an early age. He joined Radio 4 in 2002 after presenting on regional radio & TV. In addition to his BBC work, he hosts an in-flight...

     for their track "Rockall". The shipping forecast forms the entire lyric for the track, both used in its original form (yet rhyming and scanning) e.g. "Tyne, Dogger, German Bight. Humber, Thames, Dover, Wight" and also with the words re-edited into new orders to form new meanings and puns such as "expected to, Rock All, by midnight tonight".

    Other popular artists who have used samples
    Sampling (music)
    In music, sampling is the act of taking a portion, or sample, of one sound recording and reusing it as an instrument or a different sound recording of a song or piece. Sampling was originally developed by experimental musicians working with musique concrète and electroacoustic music, who physically...

     of the Shipping Forecast include Andy White
    Andy White (singer-songwriter)
    Andy White is an Irish singer/songwriter and poet, born in Belfast. He started writing poetry and music from a young age, penning a poem called "Riots" aged nine. He attended Methodist College Belfast. He studied English Literature at Robinson College, Cambridge University, graduating in 1984...

     who added the forecast to the track "The Whole Love Story" to create a very nostalgic, cosy and soporific sound, highly evocative of the British Isles; Tears for Fears
    Tears for Fears
    Tears for Fears are an English new wave band formed in the early 1980s by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith.Founded after the dissolution of their first band, the mod-influenced Graduate, they were initially associated with the New Wave synthesiser bands of the early 1980s but later branched out into...

    , whose track "Pharaohs" (a play on the name of the sea area "Faeroes") is a setting of the forecast to a mixture of mellow music and sound effects; and Thomas Dolby
    Thomas Dolby
    Thomas Dolby is an English musician and producer. Best known for his 1982 hit "She Blinded Me with Science", and 1984 single "Hyperactive!", he has also worked extensively in production and as a session musician.-Early life:Dolby was born in London, England, contrary to information in early 1980s...

    , who included a shipping forecast read by BBC
    BBC
    The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

    's John Marsh on the track "Windpower". "The Good Ship Lifestyle", a track on the album Tubthumper
    Tubthumper
    Tubthumper is an album by the band Chumbawamba, and is the album that catapulted them into the mainstream, released by EMI Electrola GmbH and in the US by Universal Records...

     by Chumbawamba
    Chumbawamba
    Chumbawamba is a British musical group who have, over a career spanning nearly three decades, played punk rock, pop-influenced music, world music, and folk music...

    , starts out with a listing of the sea areas — in the wrong order, however.

    British DJ Rob Overseer's album Wreckage has a final track entitled "Heligoland
    Heligoland
    Heligoland is a small German archipelago in the North Sea.Formerly Danish and British possessions, the islands are located in the Heligoland Bight in the south-eastern corner of the North Sea...

    ", where the Shipping Forecast surrealistically alternates between reporting the weather and the emotional states of an individual. The band British Sea Power
    British Sea Power
    British Sea Power are an indie rock band based in Brighton, England, although three of the band members originally come from Kendal in Cumbria. Critics have likened their sound to a variety of groups, from The Cure and Joy Division to the Pixies and Arcade Fire. The band are famed for their live...

     entitled a B-side of their "Please Stand Up
    Please Stand Up
    "Please Stand Up" was the second single from British Sea Power's second album Open Season. It heralded a far more mainstream, pop-oriented and produced sound for the band. Despite predictions of it being a crossover hit, it failed to grab the attention of the public and was not popular with many of...

    " single "Gales Warnings in Viking North". Beck
    Beck
    Beck Hansen is an American musician, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, known by the stage name Beck...

     includes a 27-second sample five minutes into the track "The Horrible Fanfare/Landslide/Exoskeleton" on the album The Information
    The Information
    The Information is the tenth studio album by American alternative rock musician Beck, released in October 2006 on Interscope Records. It was produced and mixed by longtime Beck collaborator Nigel Godrich. Recording began in 2003 concurrently with Guero, but the album was not completed until 2006...

    . Experimental electronic musician Robin Storey, recording under the name Rapoon
    Rapoon
    Rapoon is a musical project of Robin Storey, a former member of Zoviet France, who has released material on notable independent labels such as Staalplaat, Soleilmoon, Manifold, Beta-Lactam Ring, and Lens Records.- Selected discography :...

    , sampled the shipping forecast for the track "Falling More Slowly" on the album Easterly 6 or 7. The Prodigy
    The Prodigy
    The Prodigy are an English electronic dance music group formed by Liam Howlett in 1990 in Braintree, Essex. Along with Fatboy Slim, The Chemical Brothers, and other acts, The Prodigy have been credited as pioneers of the big beat genre, which achieved mainstream popularity in the 1990s and 2000s...

     sampled a short section of the shipping forecast in their song "Weather Experience" on their album Experience. Manfred Mann's Earth Band
    Manfred Mann's Earth Band
    Manfred Mann's Earth Band is a British progressive rock group formed in 1971 by Manfred Mann.-Formation:Having started in the 1960s with a British band that had such hits as "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" and "The Mighty Quinn", then moving on to Jazz Fusion with Manfred Mann's Chapter Three, Manfred's third...

     extensively used samples of shipping forecasts as a part of the backing track to "Stranded", from their 1980 album, Chance.

    The Jethro Tull
    Jethro Tull (band)
    Jethro Tull are a British rock group formed in 1967. Their music is characterised by the vocals, acoustic guitar, and flute playing of Ian Anderson, who has led the band since its founding, and the guitar work of Martin Barre, who has been with the band since 1969.Initially playing blues rock with...

     album Stormwatch
    Stormwatch (album)
    Stormwatch is the twelfth studio album by the rock group Jethro Tull. It is considered the last in the trilogy of folk-rock albums by Jethro Tull...

     features the shipping forecast in between verses of North Sea Oil. It is read by Francis Wilson
    Francis Wilson (meteorologist)
    Francis Wilson, CMet , is an English weather forecaster who was a presenter and the Head of Weather on Sky News, from 1993 until 2010.-Career:...

    , a TV weatherman who also reads the introduction to Dun Ringill on the same album.

    Silly Wizard
    Silly Wizard
    Silly Wizard was a Scottish folk band that began forming in Edinburgh in 1970. The founder members were two like-minded university students—Gordon Jones and Bob Thomas...

     includes a snippet of a gale warning from the shipping forecast in the closing instrumental of "The Fishermen's Song", which tells of the loss of a fishing boat in a North Sea storm.

    There is also Shipping Forecast by the composer Cecilia McDowall
    Cecilia McDowall
    Cecilia McDowall has been described by the International Record Review as having ‘a communicative gift that is very rare in modern music’ and Gramophone has said of her that ‘she has an instinctive understanding of the medium allied to the ability to speak directly to the listener wholly without...

    . Commissioned by Portsmouth Festival Choir and conducted by Andrew Cleary, it gained national media attention when it was first performed in June 2011. The work reflects the mystery and force of the sea, drawing together the poetry of Seán Street, the psalm 'They that go down to the sea in ships', and the words of the shipping forecast itself.

    There is a three-bell change ringing
    Change ringing
    Change ringing is the art of ringing a set of tuned bells in a series of mathematical patterns called "changes". It differs from many other forms of campanology in that no attempt is made to produce a conventional melody....

     method named "Shipping Forecast Singles". It was composed by Sam Austin and was rung to a peal in 2004 at St John the Baptist, Middleton, Warwickshire
    Middleton, Warwickshire
    Middleton is a small village in the North Warwickshire district of the county of Warwickshire, England.At the time of Domesday Middleton was under a Norman Overlord Hugh de Grantmaisnil who had several holdings in Warwickshire. When he died it passed to the Marmions of Tamworth. In 1291 the...

    . Other three-bell methods by the same composer are named after various shipping areas.

    Art and literature

    The Shipping Forecast has also inspired writing, painting and photographic collections, notably Charlie Connelly
    Charlie Connelly
    Charlie Connelly is an author and broadcaster. Connelly began his career as a writer of books relating to sporting events, most commonly football. His breakthrough 2002 book, Stamping Grounds, was his fifth, and followed the Liechtenstein national football team in their unsuccessful campaign to...

    's Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round The Shipping Forecast, Mark Power and David Chandler's The Shipping Forecast, Geoff Saunders' Reports from Coastal Stations, and Peter Collyer's Rain Later, Good. Their critical and commercial success is a tribute both to the time and energy people are willing to invest in artistic projects inspired by the shipping forecast, and the warmth with which the public regard this regular radio announcement.

    Seamus Heaney
    Seamus Heaney
    Seamus Heaney is an Irish poet, writer and lecturer. He lives in Dublin. Heaney has received the Nobel Prize in Literature , the Golden Wreath of Poetry , T. S. Eliot Prize and two Whitbread prizes...

     wrote a sonnet
    Sonnet
    A sonnet is one of several forms of poetry that originate in Europe, mainly Provence and Italy. A sonnet commonly has 14 lines. The term "sonnet" derives from the Occitan word sonet and the Italian word sonetto, both meaning "little song" or "little sound"...

     "The Shipping Forecast", which opens:
    "Dogger, Rockall, Malin, Irish Sea:
    Green, swift upsurges, North Atlantic flux
    Conjured by that strong gale-warming voice,
    Collapse into a sibilant penumbra."


    The Carol Ann Duffy
    Carol Ann Duffy
    Carol Ann Duffy, CBE, FRSL is a Scottish poet and playwright. She is Professor of Contemporary Poetry at the Manchester Metropolitan University, and was appointed Britain's poet laureate in May 2009...

     poem "Prayer" finishes with the lines:
    "Darkness outside. Inside, the radio's prayer —
    Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre."


    Author Peter James
    Peter James
    Peter James is a British author and historian specialising in ancient history and archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean region. He graduated in ancient history and archeology at the University of Birmingham and does postgraduate research at University College London.James has advanced several...

     in his novel Looking Good Dead has a character (nicknamed "The Weatherman"), a computer geek savant type, who memorises the Shipping Forecast four times a day. In encounters with other characters, when he cannot think of an appropriate response, he recites the current Shipping Forecast.

    In the novel A Kestrel for a Knave
    A Kestrel for a Knave
    A Kestrel for a Knave is a novel by British author Barry Hines, published in 1968. It is set in Barnsley, South Yorkshire and tells of Billy Casper, a young working class boy troubled at home and at school, who only finds solace when he finds and trains a kestrel whom he names "Kes".The book was...

     and its film adaptation Kes
    Kes (film)
    Kes is a 1969 British film from director Ken Loach and producer Tony Garnett. The film is based on the novel A Kestrel for a Knave, written by the Barnsley-born author Barry Hines in 1968...

    , the lead character Billy Casper calls out German Bight
    German Bight
    German Bight is the southeastern bight of the North Sea bounded by the Netherlands and Germany to the south, and Denmark and Germany to the east . To the north and west it is limited by the Dogger Bank. The Bight contains the Frisian and Danish Islands. The Wadden Sea is approximately ten to...

     after the teacher reads out the name of a pupil called Fisher during the class roll call. Author Barry Hines
    Barry Hines
    Melvin Barry Hines, FRSL is a British author who has written several popular novels and television scripts.-Early life:Born in the mining village of Hoyland Common near Barnsley, England, he attended Ecclesfield Grammar School and played football for the England Grammar Schools team...

     then has Billy say erroneously that Cromarty follows German Bight.

    Radio

    Frank Muir
    Frank Muir
    Frank Herbert Muir was an English comedy writer, radio and television personality, and raconteur. His writing and performing partnership with Denis Norden endured for most of their careers. Together they wrote BBC radio's Take It From Here for over 10 years, and then appeared on BBC radio...

     and Denis Norden
    Denis Norden
    Denis Mostyn Norden CBE is a former English comedy writer and television presenter. After an early career working in cinemas, he began scriptwriting during World War II. From 1948 to 1959, he co-wrote the successful BBC Radio comedy programme Take It from Here with Frank Muir...

     parodied the Shipping Forecast in a song written for an episode of Take It From Here
    Take It From Here
    Take It From Here was a British radio comedy programme broadcast by the BBC between 1948 and 1960. It was written by Frank Muir and Denis Norden, and starred Jimmy Edwards, Dick Bentley and Joy Nichols...

    :
    "In Ross and Finistère
    The outlook is sinisterre
    Rockall and Lundy
    Will clear up by Monday"


    Gavin Bryars
    Gavin Bryars
    Richard Gavin Bryars is an English composer and double bassist. He has been active in, or has produced works in, a variety of styles of music, including jazz, free improvisation, minimalism, historicism, experimental music, avant-garde and neoclassicism.-Early life and career:Born in Goole, East...

    's "A Man in a Room, Gambling" (1997), was written on a commission from BBC Radio 3
    BBC Radio 3
    BBC Radio 3 is a national radio station operated by the BBC within the United Kingdom. Its output centres on classical music and opera, but jazz, world music, drama, culture and the arts also feature. The station is the world’s most significant commissioner of new music, and its New Generation...

    . The ten short works were played on Radio 3 without any introductory announcements, and Bryars is quoted as saying that he hoped they would appear to the listener in a similar way to the shipping forecast, both mysterious and accepted without question.
    Bryars's music is heard beneath monologues in the same format of the forecasts.

    Dead Ringers
    Dead Ringers (comedy)
    Dead Ringers is a UK radio and television comedy impressions broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and later BBC Two. The programme was devised by producer Bill Dare and developed with Jon Holmes, Andy Hurst and Simon Blackwell. It starred Jon Culshaw, Jan Ravens, Phil Cornwell, Kevin Connelly and Mark Perry...

     parodied the Shipping Forecast using Brian Perkins
    Brian Perkins
    Brian Perkins is a senior newsreader on BBC Radio 4.All of Perkins' relatives are New Zealanders, although they refer to England as home...

     rapping the forecast (Dogger, Fisher, German Bight - becoming quite cyclonic. Occasional showers making you feel cat-atatatatatata-tonic...). Many other versions have been used including a "Dale Warning" to warn where Dale Winton
    Dale Winton
    Dale Winton is an English radio DJ and television presenter.-Early life:Winton's father, Gary, was "domineering" and died when Winton was 13. Winton was brought up by his mother, actress Sheree Winton...

     could be found over the coming period, and a spoof in which sailors are warned of ghostly galleons and other nightmarish apparitions.

    Stephen Fry
    Stephen Fry
    Stephen John Fry is an English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter and film director, and a director of Norwich City Football Club. He first came to attention in the 1981 Cambridge Footlights Revue presentation "The Cellar Tapes", which also...

    , in his 1988 radio programme Saturday Night Fry
    Saturday Night Fry
    Saturday Night Fry was a six-part comedy series on BBC Radio 4, first broadcast between the 30th of April and the 4th of June 1988. Episode One had previously been broadcast as a pilot on 19 December 1987, under the title 'Fry on Saturday'....

    , issued the following "Shipping Forecast" in the first episode of the programme:
    "And now, before the news and weather, here is the Shipping Forecast issued by the Meteorological Office at 1400 hours Greenwich Mean Time
    Greenwich Mean Time
    Greenwich Mean Time is a term originally referring to mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. It is arguably the same as Coordinated Universal Time and when this is viewed as a time zone the name Greenwich Mean Time is especially used by bodies connected with the United...

    .
    Finisterre, Dogger, Rockall, Bailey: no.
    Wednesday, variable, imminent, super.
    South Utsire, North Utsire, Sheerness, Foulness, Elliot Ness:
    If you will, often, eminent, 447, 22 yards, touchdown, stupidly.
    Malin, Hebrides, Shetland, Jersey, Fair Isle, Turtle-Neck, Tank Top, Courtelle:
    Blowy, quite misty, sea sickness. Not many fish around, come home, veering suggestively.
    That was the Shipping Forecast for 1700 hours, Wednesday 18 August."


    The BBC Radio 4 monologue sketch show One features a number of Shipping Forecast parodies, written by David Quantick
    David Quantick
    David Quantick is a freelance journalist, writer and critic who specialises in music and comedy.-Career history:...

     and Daniel Maier
    Daniel Maier
    Daniel Maier is a comedy writer and performer for television, radio, print and the stage.Since 2002 he has been part of the writing team for ITV1's Bafta Award-winning Harry Hill's TV Burp...

    , such as the following, originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Thursday 21 February 2008 :
    "And now with the time approaching 5 pm,
    It's time for the mid-life crisis forecast...
    Forties; restless: three or four.
    Marriage: stale; becoming suffocating.
    Sportscar, jeans and t-shirt; westerly, five.
    Waitress; blonde; 19 or 20.
    Converse all stars; haircut; earring; children;
    becoming embarrassed.
    Tail between legs; atmosphere frosty;
    Spare room: five or six."


    In an episode of BBC Radio 4 series Live on Arrival
    Live on Arrival
    Live on Arrival was a BBC Radio 4 series of six episodes aired in 1988. It was written by Steve Punt and featured Punt together with Hugh Dennis, Flip Webster and Guy Jackson. The format was narrative-based and featured surreal parodies and topical comment, broadcast live-to-air from the Paris...

    , Steve Punt
    Steve Punt
    Stephen Punt is a British writer, comedian and actor, best known for his long-time comedy partnership with Hugh Dennis. Punt lives in Wimbledon with his girlfriend and two children.-Life and career:...

     reads the Shopping Forecast, in which the regions are replaced with supermarket names, e.g. "Tesco
    Tesco
    Tesco plc is a global grocery and general merchandise retailer headquartered in Cheshunt, United Kingdom. It is the third-largest retailer in the world measured by revenues and the second-largest measured by profits...

    , Fine Fare
    Fine Fare
    Fine Fare was the name of a chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom. It was famous for its Yellow Pack budget own-label range.-History:The company started as a single supermarket in Brighton in 1956. It was one of a series of convenience store chains established in the 1950s, the others being...

    , Sainsbury". The sketch ends with the information, "joke mileage decreasing, end of show imminent".

    On the broadcast at 0048 on Saturday 19 March 2011, the area forecasts were delivered by John Prescott
    John Prescott
    John Leslie Prescott, Baron Prescott is a British politician who was Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007. Born in Prestatyn, Wales, he represented Hull East as the Labour Member of Parliament from 1970 to 2010...

     to raise awareness of Red Nose Day 2011
    Red Nose Day 2011
    Red Nose Day 2011 was a fundraising event organised by Comic Relief. There was a live telethon broadcast on BBC One and BBC Two from the evening of 18 March 2011 to early the following morning as well as a number of run-up events...

    , a charity event organised by Comic Relief
    Comic Relief
    Comic Relief is an operating British charity, founded in 1985 by the comedy scriptwriter Richard Curtis and comedian Lenny Henry in response to famine in Ethiopia. The highlight of Comic Relief's appeal is Red Nose Day, a biennial telethon held in March, alternating with sister project Sport Relief...

    . The format then reverted to the BBC continuity announcer Alice Arnold
    Alice Arnold
    Alice Arnold is a British newsreader and continuity announcer on BBC Radio 4.After gaining a degree in politics at the University of Sussex, she trained as an actress and was a magistrate for ten years....

     for the reports on coastal areas. On delivering the area forecast for Humber, Prescott (who had represented the parliamentary constituency of Hull East for almost 40 years before retiring) slipped deliberately into his distinctive Humberside accent - "'Umber - without the 'H', as we say it up there".

    Comedienne Marti Caine
    Marti Caine
    Marti Caine, born Lynne Denise Shepherd was an English actress, dancer, presenter, singer, writer, and comedienne who gained fame from the television talent show New Faces and became a major variety star....

     listed the Shipping Forecast as one of her eight records when she made her second appearance on Desert Island Discs
    Desert Island Discs
    Desert Island Discs is a BBC Radio 4 programme first broadcast on 29 January 1942. It is the second longest-running radio programme , and is the longest-running factual programme in the history of radio...

     on 24 March 1991.

    Film and television

    Terence Davies' film Distant Voices, Still Lives
    Distant Voices, Still Lives
    Distant Voices, Still Lives is a 1988 British film directed and written by Terence Davies. It evokes working-class family life in Liverpool during the 1940s and early 1950s, paying particular attention to the role of popular music, Hollywood cinema, light entertainment, and the public house within...

    , a largely autobiographical account of growing up in Liverpool
    Liverpool
    Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

     during the 1940s and '50s, opens with a shipping forecast from this period.

    In an episode of the BBC sitcom Keeping Up Appearances
    Keeping Up Appearances
    Keeping Up Appearances is a British sitcom created and written by Roy Clarke for the BBC. Centred on the life of eccentric, social-climbing snob Hyacinth Bucket , the sitcom portrays a social hierarchy-ruled British society...

    , a soon-to-be-sailing Hyacinth Bucket
    Hyacinth Bucket
    Hyacinth Bucket, who insists her last name is pronounced "Bouquet" , is the main character in the BBC sitcom Keeping Up Appearances , played by Patricia Routledge.-Personality:...

     calls over the telephone for an advance shipping forecast, even though the yacht she and husband Richard are to visit is moored on the Thames near Oxford.

    All the characters in the ITV cartoon The Adventures of Portland Bill were named after shipping areas or coastal weather stations, with two exceptions - Eddy Stone, named after a lighthouse
    Eddystone
    See also Eddystone Rock, Falklands Islands and Eddystone, PennsylvaniaThe Eddystone, or the Eddystone Rocks, are a seaswept group of rocks situated some 9 statute miles south west of Rame Head in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom...

    , and Ross, presumably so called as he was the best friend of the character Cromarty (a former Scottish
    Scotland
    Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

     county was called Ross & Cromarty). The same device is used for a group of minor characters in Jasper Fforde
    Jasper Fforde
    Jasper Fforde is a British novelist. Fforde's first novel, The Eyre Affair, was published in 2001. Fforde is mainly known for his Thursday Next novels, although he has written several books in the loosely connected Nursery Crime series and begun two more independent series: The Last Dragonslayer...

    's 2001 novel The Eyre Affair
    The Eyre Affair
    The Eyre Affair is the first published novel by English author Jasper Fforde, released by Hodder and Stoughton in 2001. It takes place in alternative 1985, where literary detective Thursday Next pursues a master criminal through the world of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre.-Plot summary:In a parallel...

    .

    A recitation of the Shipping Forecast by actor Peter Serafinowicz
    Peter Serafinowicz
    Peter Szymon Serafinowicz is an English actor, comedian, writer, composer, voice artist and occasional director.-Early life:Serafinowicz was born in Liverpool, England. He attended Our Lady of the Assumption Roman Catholic Primary School and St Francis Xavier Secondary School...

     features prominently in the Black Books
    Black Books
    Black Books is a British sitcom television series created by Dylan Moran and Graham Linehan and produced by Nira Park, first broadcast on Channel 4 from 2000 to 2004...

     episode "The Big Lock-Out".

    In the BBC TV show As Time Goes By
    As Time Goes By (TV series)
    As Time Goes By is a British sitcom that aired on BBC One from 1992 to 2005. Starring Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer, it follows the relationship between two former lovers who meet unexpectedly after not having been in contact for 38 years....

    , the housekeeper of the house in Hampshire
    Hampshire
    Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England in the United Kingdom. The county town of Hampshire is Winchester, a historic cathedral city that was once the capital of England. Hampshire is notable for housing the original birthplaces of the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force...

     (Mrs Bale) regularly mentions the Shipping Forecast.

    Mentioned briefly in the film Kes
    Kes (film)
    Kes is a 1969 British film from director Ken Loach and producer Tony Garnett. The film is based on the novel A Kestrel for a Knave, written by the Barnsley-born author Barry Hines in 1968...

     (see Art and Literature section above).

    A recording of part of the forecast is played over the opening and closing credits of Rick Stein
    Rick Stein
    Christopher Richard "Rick" Stein OBE is an English chef, restaurateur and television presenter. He is currently the head chef and co-owner of "Rick Stein at Bannisters" at Mollymook, New South Wales, Australia, owns four restaurants in Padstow, a fish and chip shop in Falmouth, Cornwall and has...

    's 2000 TV series Rick Stein's Seafood Lover's Guide.

    Online

    The Shipping Forecast is published online by the Met Office and the BBC.

    The daily 0048 forecast is available online via BBC iPlayer.

    In 2008, an unofficial Twitter feed was created.

    See also


    Further reading

    • Power, Mark (photog) & Chandler, David (text) (1998) The Shipping Forecast. London: Zelda Cheatle Press in association with Network Photographers ISBN 1-899823-03-4
    • Collyer, Peter (1998) Rain Later, Good: illustrating the Shipping Forecast. Bradford on Avon: Thomas Reed ISBN 0-901281-33-6
    • Connelly, Charlie (2004) Attention All Shipping: a journey round the Shipping Forecast. http://copac.ac.uk/search?rn=1&ti=attention+shipping&sort-order=rank] London: Little, Brown ISBN 0-316-72474-2
    • Bevan, A. C. (2000) Of Sea-graves & Sand-shrines. Todmorden: Arc ISBN 1-900072-46-7 (a few poems)

    External links

    The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
     
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