Sad square eyes….
For decades, TV has been a lazy source of entertainment, presumably because channel-surfing takes little agility, shark attacks are rare and you can’t eat a couch potato so why bother raising one? This year, however, the humble hobby has become considerably harder. With Top Gear’s stars moving to Amazon prime, and BBC 3 set to follow them online too, it seems that an awful lot of entertainment is packing its bags for cheaper, less regulated areas . While this gives producers more freedom, less censorship and a bit of a ballooned budget- as long as the sponsors are there- in rural parts of Devon, 1/5th of houses don’t yet have the superfast broadband needed to stream it – meaning the shows might as well move to Alcatraz’s penthouse-suite for all the chance we’ll have of visiting . We might be a digital generation, but sadly our signal’s blocked by trees. And washing machines. And anything vaguely mechanical. Apparently our digital signal is absorbed by a huge number of things, but that signal should be boosted by 2017, so eventually everyone will be able to enjoy it.
Even if their wifi is tip top because they live astride a tall, paved mountain, chances are someone either belongs to either the Netflix, Now.TV or Amazon Prime tribe, purely because you’d need several credit-cards, and millennia, to watch everything on all three. Which can make for incredibly awkward small talk if, for example, you’re discussing The Man In The High Castle, realise you’re the only person who’s seen it, all these other people hate Netflix, you’re forced to abort the conversation and trail off mid-sentence- leaving them with something about Nazis and time travel. People migrate from your chit chat pretty quickly.
Elsewhere, there’s the poached show- unlike its delicious egg counterpart, the poached show is introduced to our waters for a short time before it’s nicked by a slightly richer company, never to be seen on terrestrial stations again. The sky may be the limit, but it’s also where TV shows go that have been taken from us too soon.
All these are quite new issues- it wasn’t so long ago that there were only 4 channels, chances are everyone was seeing exactly the same thing as you, and ratings for most shows could reach the million mark easily. Right now, you’d have to promise death, destruction or at the very least a wedding to pull in that sort of crowd, with so much vying for our attention at any one time. This introduces a new sense of jeopardy. By watching filler until something better comes on, are we actually missing something really good on one of the 212 other channels? Will this show be commissioned again next year, or are the 8 people who currently tune in not good enough? Or has its substantial following of 8 brought it to the attention of another TV station that’ll whisk it away from us? We don’t know any of the answers, and it changes how we watch the box. Each decision is fraught with danger, each series cliff-hanger may be left perpetually hanging, never to be picked up again. Television is no longer a relaxing distraction, in fact it looks like in years to come, we’ll need something else to distract us from it. But with broadband speeds set to peak over most of Bideford during 2016, we’ll always be able to watch it on catch up, and search for plot summaries of lost treasures elsewhere on the web.
Millie Sutherland O’Gara
First Buzz Challenge of 2016 – who will be the first to send us this information?
Did you know that that there is no central register of sports clubs for the area? There are a few on the Bideford Town Hall web site and Torridge District Council information but there are many more clubs in the area than appear on these.
With your help we can assemble one. All you need to do is send us the name of the club, where it meets, times, cost, age range and the contact number/email for further information.
North Devon Display Gymnastics Club.
The music from great British films was the inspiration for the North Devon Display Gymnastics Club when they performed at the London Festival of Gymnastics in Brentwood, Essex in November.
The 50 strong group of gymnasts performed two routines over the course of the two day festival, wowing the crowds with their display of tumbling, throws and dance sequences to classics from Harry Potter and James Bond.
With some gymnasts as young as six, for many it was the first time they had performed at a national event. Hard work and training paid off as they gave their all on stage to huge applause.
Many clubs at the festival train solely for display events but North Devon train for their displays for only three hours a week, thus gaining them high praise from their peers.
As well as festival performances the team had the chance of a little “down time”, making use of the swimming pool facilities on site. The highlight of the trip was a visit to Jump Giants trampoline park where everyone had a chance to show off their gymnastic skills – even the adults.
Following on from the success of the London Festival and the Gymnastic Magique competition at Disneyland Paris, the display team has gained a place at the Festival Del Sole in Italy. Taking place in July, the festival features teams from all over the world. The city of Riccione turns into a giant stage where more than 4000 athletes from around the world will perform at their best. The North Devon Display Club will represent Great Britain, taking part in the opening ceremony, performing their routines and enjoying the many workshops and activities on offer. The festival is the biggest international “Gymnastics for all” event in the Mediterranean area.
The team are seeking sponsorship to help raise funds for the trip and the gymnasts have many fund raising events planned over the coming months. If you are able to support the gymnasts in any way please contact Rattie, the Head Coach via our website, northdevongymnastics.org.
Jem Collins – Video Journalist and Producer at Politics.co.uk and former Buzz journalist. Jem was a regular contributor to the Bideford Buzz’s youth page while she completed her ‘A’ Levels at North Devon College, before going on to study journalism at the University of Kent. She continued to contribute occasionally whilst working towards her degree, and in 2012 was awarded the Bob Friend Memorial Scholarship from Sky News, paying for her tuition fees and offering a one month placement at the channel. After graduation she begun work as a reporter and presenter at Kent-based TV station, KMTV, where she interviewed the likes of Nigel Farage, David Cameron and Brian May. In November of 2015 Jem moved to politics.co.uk, where is she currently producing short political documentaries and breaking news. She also works freelance as a content writer for VoucherCodes.co.uk, and as a deputy editor for Grip Media, managing the popular student website, SavetheStudent.org.