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BBC RADIO 4 SALFORD GAFFE
 

Star date: 2nd November 2011

SALFORD IN LIVERPOOL SHOCK!

When BBC Radio 4 Midweek presenter Libby Purves interviewed Rita Tushingham this week she reckoned that Salford's most iconic play and film A Taste of Honey was set in Liverpool.

We know that London's BBC staff have problems moving to Salford's MediaCityUK but this is a bit much. Nigel Pivaro breaks out the green ink…

Full story here…


Here's a question for you - When is Salford not in…Salford?
When it's on the BBC of course.

Here is another one for you. Where does Salford go to when it is not in Salford? Well, according to the BBC Radio 4's Midweek presenter it goes down the Ship Canal to Liverpool, and remains there for the rest of the 45 minute broadcast as she interviews Rita Tushingham waxing lyrical about the iconic Salford based play A Taste of Honey by Salford's Sheila Delaney.

Libby Purves, veteran presenter of the long running programme, confused the play and film's Salford location by stating boldly on national radio, that this groundbreaking work which tackled many taboo subjects such as "race and homosexuality" was set in…Liverpool.

As if to amplify her mistake, Purves told listeners that she had watched the film on DVD as recently as Sunday.

Perhaps she fell asleep before the film started and failed to recognise giveaway signs such as location shots of the Manchester Ship Canal, the Whit Walks traversing Manchester City Centre and Chapel Street. And failed even to recognise Salford's future MP, the `cherubic' faced five year-old Hazel Blears skipping through the opening shots - and misheard the actors' bold attempts at Salford accents as opposed to Liverpudlian Scouse.
 
Perhaps she ignored the Ship Canal inspired rhyme The Big Ship Sails Up The Alley Alley Oh wistfully playing on the film's background soundtrack, as Salford kids played their street games.

What a cultural and geographical mistake! How does that happen? But beyond wounded local civic pride does it matter?

Well I think it does. How would Liverpudlians like to be confused with Cardiff or imagine a commentator confusing Blackpool with Southport, or worse still Morecambe.

Where does the it all end? Reviewers commenting on the re-make of Graham Greene's film noir classic Brighton Rock, describing Greene's central character Pinky's rise through the street gangs of the concrete jungle of Portsmouth's high rise estates!

I also have the suspicion that if the gaffe had been made in reverse, say Northern broadcasters Stuart Maconie or Mark Radcliffe confusing the London based Garrick club with the Athenaeum, you would have posh southern based former colonels, retired diplomats and be-knighted thespians splurting out their Pimms in disgust from Reigate to Reading.

What is more, is that a mistake such as this indicates the level of ignorance still prevalent in the country's only publically funded national broadcasting organisation. That they do not take the time to ensure accuracy before they speak about us. That they do not know the difference between two northern cities 35 miles apart.

Let's hope that BBC's partial relocation will finally eradicate forever this institutionalised ignorance, this tunnel vision myopia through which we in the north are viewed. If we replace that ignorance with a comprehensive understanding that England exists beyond Luton, then one never knows. We may even get a better balanced country and more evenly distributed economy. If that happens then never has the BBC in Salford seemed like money more well spent.

I will love you and leave you with that thought - I have to be off to the theatre to catch a production of Love on the Dole…apparently it's a gritty play about a family struggle against worklessness and poverty, based in Leeds.

* Our photo shows a still from A Taste of Honey with the Anfield gasworks in the background.


 

Nachtschlepper wrote
at 4:54:20 AM on Friday, November 4, 2011
Impartial & independent, yeah that's the Salford Star. You forgot to mention accurate. A word your masters at the Beeb coud do with looking up.
 
James wrote
at 3:59:36 AM on Friday, November 4, 2011
Typical Star. People make mistakes. I am sure this is not a reflection of the BBC who are trying to engage with the local population. Why not try writing articles about the good things the BBC bring to Salford like free events for everyone. I have even attached a link. And guess what it seems every time you apply from an M6 post code you get the tickets. I recently got tickets for both Elbow and the Charlatans. Ah but I guess then we would be getting close to true independent and impartial reporting. http://www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours/tickets/
 
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 5:56:38 PM on Wednesday, November 2, 2011
No it's Liverpool St.
 
Brian F Kirkham wrote
at 5:56:33 PM on Wednesday, November 2, 2011
One Word...OOPS!
 
Salford Star wrote
at 12:53:34 PM on Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Of course it's the Salford gasworks - all together now...`I found my love by the gasworks croft...I dreamed a dream by the old canal...kissed my girl by the factory wall...dirty old town...etc'
 
Sally woodland wrote
at 11:05:35 AM on Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Disgusting she obviously saw blackened streets, grim factories and ships and hey presto! Well that will be that northern place with boats thingy mijob Liverpool. Cant be Salford because that is next to Manchester......... which is inland a bit..... I think Now to make matters worse even the SS is at it with Regent Road Gas works Stop it, it is Regent Road isnt it?.............
 
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