Monday, 26 September 2011

Making a mess of the weather....

Weather forecasts on the BBC news can be a little on the dry side (unlike their American counterparts), so as a bit of a weather geek I always looked forward to the segment when it was presented by the enigmatic and often aloof Tomasz Schafernaker. A modern day, better dressed answer to Michael Fish, Schafernaker has become infamous for his numerous slip-ups and bloopers live on air, most notably in 2010 when he inadvertently flipped viewers the bird (see below).

So imagine my dissappointment when in late 2010, Schaffernaker - who had recently posed on the cover of Attitude Active magazine and won "Best TV Weather Presenter" at the TRIC awards -  was taken off the news bulletin as part of a BBC "cost-cutting" re-organisation. (I'll leave readers to draw their own conclusions on this decision...)*

Well Tomasz if you're out there (and for some unknown reason you are reading the blog of a procrastinating graduate student) I just wanted to let you know that you are in good company. For the very first TV weather forecaster in the UK, George Cowling wasn't immune to the occassional on air mishap.

Some of the older readers may remember Cowling who presented the national BBC weather from the format's launch in January, 1954 until 1957. In November, 1956 Cowling was reprimanded after airing his grievances with the BBC's shortening of the weekend forecasts live on air:

Source: Authors own research. BBC written archives. ©BBC
 Unfortunately no recorded footage of these early televised weather forecasts is in existence and so we can't compare Cowling's technique which was alluded to by one BBC member of staff as being frivolous and innuendo laden, to that of the modern day presenter. However after looking over transcripts of some early forecasts I can assure you that however innuendo laden Cowling's forecasts, the 1950s presenter would today sound very square indeed. 

Nevertheless, George Cowling, TV weather pioneer and possibly the first man in the UK to slag off his bosses live on air, we salute you!

And I am happy to say that far from dissappearing from our screens Tomasz can now be found on many new exciting TV projects related to the weather.

1 comment:

  1. * This section was edited on 30/09/2011 after feedback from Mr Schafernaker himself. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

    Alex (@green_gambit)