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BBC World News Live: A Closer Look at its Unparalleled Journalism
In today’s fast-paced world, staying informed about global events is more important than ever. With the rise of digital media, accessing news from around the world has become easier and more convenient. One platform that stands out for its unparalleled journalism is BBC World News Live. In this article, we will take a closer look at BBC World News Live and explore why it has become a trusted source of information for millions of people worldwide.
The Power of Live Broadcasting
One of the key strengths of BBC World News Live is its commitment to live broadcasting. Unlike pre-recorded news programs, live broadcasting allows for real-time reporting on major events as they unfold. This immediacy and authenticity give viewers a sense of being at the heart of the action, making BBC World News Live a reliable source for breaking news stories.
With its extensive network of reporters stationed around the globe, BBC World News Live can provide on-the-ground coverage from virtually anywhere. Whether it’s political developments, natural disasters, or sporting events, viewers can rely on BBC World News Live to deliver accurate and up-to-date information.
Unbiased Reporting and Editorial Integrity
Another reason why BBC World News Live has gained such widespread trust is its commitment to unbiased reporting and editorial integrity. As one of the oldest and most respected news organizations in the world, BBC has established rigorous journalistic standards that are followed by all its platforms.
BBC journalists adhere to a strict code of ethics that prioritizes accuracy, fairness, and impartiality. This means that viewers can trust that they are receiving factual information without any personal biases or hidden agendas. The dedication to unbiased reporting sets BBC World News Live apart from other news outlets and ensures that viewers receive objective coverage of global events.
Comprehensive Coverage Across Various Topics
BBC World News Live offers comprehensive coverage across various topics ranging from politics and economics to science and culture. By providing a diverse range of news stories, BBC World News Live ensures that viewers are informed about global events from a well-rounded perspective.
Whether it’s in-depth analysis, interviews with experts, or on-the-ground reporting, BBC World News Live goes beyond just reporting the news. It delves into the complexities of each story, providing viewers with a deeper understanding of the issues at hand. This comprehensive coverage allows viewers to stay informed on a wide range of topics and make well-informed decisions.
In addition to its exceptional journalism, BBC World News Live provides an engaging and user-friendly platform for accessing news content. The website and mobile app offer a seamless experience with intuitive navigation and visually appealing design.
BBC World News Live also understands the importance of reaching audiences across different platforms. With active social media presence, viewers can easily access news updates, watch live streams, and engage in discussions through various channels. This multi-platform approach ensures that BBC World News Live remains accessible to a wide range of viewers worldwide.
BBC World News Live has earned its reputation as one of the most trusted sources for global news due to its commitment to live broadcasting, unbiased reporting, comprehensive coverage across various topics, and engaging platform. By staying true to its core values of accuracy and impartiality, BBC World News Live continues to provide millions of viewers worldwide with unparalleled journalism that keeps them informed about the world around them.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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The BBC gives over a whole evening to an 'investigation into the supernatural'. Four respected presenters and a camera crew attempt to discover the truth behind 'The most haunted house in Br... Read all The BBC gives over a whole evening to an 'investigation into the supernatural'. Four respected presenters and a camera crew attempt to discover the truth behind 'The most haunted house in Britain', expecting a light-hearted scare or two and probably the uncovering of a hoax. They... Read all The BBC gives over a whole evening to an 'investigation into the supernatural'. Four respected presenters and a camera crew attempt to discover the truth behind 'The most haunted house in Britain', expecting a light-hearted scare or two and probably the uncovering of a hoax. They think they are in control of the situation. They think they are safe. The viewers settle ... Read all
- Lesley Manning
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- Trivia It earned the dubious honour of being the first TV programme to be cited in the British Medical Journal as having caused Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in children.
- Goofs When the Policewoman enters the house you can see her smiling like shes out of character.
Michael Parkinson : The studio's... completely dark. Just... just blackness. All the lights have failed. The... the power's gone off.
[phosphorescent glow rises]
Michael Parkinson : We've... got some lights in the studio. I don't know... there's cameras, but I don't know which one's working... I mean... there are no... No camermen! I mean... it's difficult to know even if anybody's still... still with us, but if they are, this is the scene in this studio... this totally deserted studio.
[cats start to shriek in background]
Michael Parkinson : Autocue's still working...!..."Round and round the garden... like a teddy bear?"
Ghost : [speaking through Parkinson] Didn't believe that story about Mother Seddons, did you? Fee... fie... foe... fum.
[cats shriek as camera dies]
- Connections Featured in Bite Back: Episode #1.13 (1992)
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The Live Halloween Special That Terrified an Entire Nation
When the BBC aired Ghostwatch in 1992, thousands were traumatized by what they thought was a real haunting.
The Big Picture
- Ghostwatch , a 1992 BBC TV special, fooled viewers into thinking it was real due to its commitment to realism and terrifying premise.
- The show featured real TV personalities playing fictional versions of themselves, adding to the believability of the ghost investigation.
- Ghostwatch's mix of big scares and subtle moments, along with its realistic production values, made it a groundbreaking and traumatizing horror classic.
Ghostwatch was a 90-minute TV special presented as a piece of live television that aired on the BBC on Halloween night in 1992, and despite the fact that there were some pre-credits, many viewers were fooled into believing it was real. The premise saw a ghost investigation spiral out of control with increasingly terrifying results. No one could have prepared for the impact it would go on to have on British audiences, least of all writer Stephen Volk . When he first concocted the idea for Ghostwatch , it was intended to be a six-part series.
However, it was reworked as a one-off special filmed weeks in advance of its airing. After it aired in 1992, it never aired again on British television, though in 2017 it was made available on horror streaming service Shudder and, as a result, a lot of international audiences saw the mockumentary for the first time. In the immediate aftermath of its first airing, a massive amount of controversy surrounded it. The movie’s unrivaled commitment to realism made it an utterly terrifying experience that still holds up after all these years.
What Happened in 'Ghostwatch'?
At the forefront of the ghost investigation are some very recognizable faces. Real-life TV personalities Michael Parkinson , Sarah Greene , Craig Charles , and Mike Smith play fictionalized versions of themselves, which duped audiences immediately. Parkinson and Smith are in a studio, whereas Greene and Charles are at a Greater London house actively investigating supposed paranormal activity terrorizing the Early family: mother Pamela ( Brid Brennan ), and two daughters, Suzanne ( Michelle Wesson ) and Kim ( Cherise Wesson ). Greene — best known for presenting children’s television — and Charles — best known for his comedic role in Red Dwarf — are initially skeptical of the Early family’s stories and play mischievous pranks on each other before the investigation properly starts.
RELATED: 10 Paranormal TV Shows to Watch That Will Creep You Out
Charles, in particular, provides a lot of comic relief in the early stages. In the studio in a talk show format, Parkinson interviews various experts (all of whom were actors) who either defend the possibility of a haunting at the Early residence or make attempts to dismiss the family’s claims. Parkinson gives a seamless performance as the show’s main host, a role which British audiences had seen him in for over 20 years at the time. Another crucial aspect to the format were the phone calls the studio took. Viewers from around the country were invited to call in to report any activity in their own homes, but in actuality the number they called went to a message that reassured them the show was not real. However, because of the amount of callers, few got through to the message. This caused further panic among audiences. Some of the “calls” went through to Parkinson in the studio, and reported terrifying events happening all over the country. To further elevate the movie’s plausibility, some calls are instantly dismissed as pranks or exaggerations by those in the studio.
What Inspired 'Ghostwatch'?
Though Ghostwatch was entirely fictional, Volk did take inspiration from the well-known Enfield poltergeist , a story that also served as inspiration for James Wan ’s horror hit The Conjuring 2 . The connections between the Enfield case and the Early family in Ghostwatch are fairly clear-cut with the family’s living situations, descriptions of poltergeist activities, and the suggestion of a hoax when the Early sisters are caught faking a paranormal event. While the movie is tame for a while, it springs into action once the terrifying backstories come to light. The dark, twisted stories of Raymond Tunstall and Mother Seddons elevate the movie to new heights of horror. We hear how Tunstall was the former inhabiter of the property, and how he molested and abused children before committing suicide, all while under the possession of Mother Seddons. Tunstall’s spirit, who terrorizes the Early family, is referred to as "Pipes," due to Pamela’s explanation to her daughters that the strange noises are just the pipes.
What Made 'Ghostwatch' So Terrifying?
Director Lesley Manning does a stupendous job at mixing big scares with subtle ones. Pipes’ appearance is that of a bulky, bald man with blood stains across his face, though Manning never shows him clearly. He appears sporadically throughout the movie, often obscured or in the background in heart-stopping, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shots. The end of the movie reveals a nationwide séance has been unwittingly created by the show’s broadcast, and has given Pipes the power to let himself into any home across the country. In the movie’s disturbing final scene, host Parkinson appears to get possessed by Pipes moments before the camera cuts to black.
The scenes at the Early household were shot on videotape, giving a realistic homemade aesthetic to the footage. The home is also set up with a variety of cameras, which pick up a lot of what the human eye may miss. In one instance, a piece of footage showing a figure behind a curtain is rewound three times, yet on each occasion the image shown to audiences is slightly different. The way Manning’s direction toys with audience’s minds is really chilling, and when ghostly activity is picked up, it is always indistinct before the chaos unfolds in the final third. When the movie plummets into hysteria and shows possible demonic possession and the presumed deaths of the hosts, audiences were already so wrapped up in what they were watching that it all felt too real. The production values of Ghostwatch went on to inspire those of subsequent ghost-hunting reality TV shows such as Most Haunted and Ghost Adventures . While those programs are for entertainment purposes, they follow the format birthed by Ghostwatch . It has also been cited as a huge source of inspiration for found-footage masterpiece The Blair Witch Project , Inside No. 9 ’s live Halloween Special “Dead Line,” and Rob Savage ’s screen life horror Host .
More than 30 years later, it is easy to see why so many believed everything they were seeing was genuine. There were thousands of calls from petrified viewers and the movie was met with a huge amount of controversy for its disturbing content. The irony is that this was never Volk’s intention when he first pitched the idea — it was billed as a fictional horror TV special, but those thousands of viewers who missed the advertisements and opening credits believed what they were seeing. It has even been listed as the cause of PTSD in some children who saw the movie when it was broadcast, despite it airing after the 9 p.m. watershed. In retrospect, it is a huge credit to the movie’s realism that it fooled so many people. The presence of Greene, who primarily presented children’s television programs, was also deceiving for young audiences. While rightly controversial, Ghostwatch remains a groundbreaking, believable, and traumatizing horror classic.
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The BBC broadcast GHOSTWATCH on the 31st of October 1992.
It seemed to be a live broadcast which was a cross between Crimewatch and the movie Poltergeist. The programme terrified Britain and caused outrage in the press. It s legacy lives on, cited as an inspiration for The Blair Witch Project and Derren Brown s The Séance . GHOSTWATCH is regarded as a classic of the genre and remains as relevant, as terrifying and as inspirational today.
Sarah Greene and Craig Charles report from a reputedly haunted North London council house for the outside broadcast, whilst Michael Parkinson and Mike Smith stay in the warmth and safety of a BBC studio. The Early family are allegedly being harrassed by the ghost Pipes - so named as his banging and crashing were initially attributed to bad plumbing. After a deliberately slow start the crescendo sees children speaking in tongues, Sarah Greene sent to her doom, and Michael Parkinson possessed by an evil spirit.
Although pure fiction, the masterly combination of great scripting, intuitive direction and perfect casting made the supernatural pastiche appear frighteningly real. Despite being part of BBC Drama s Screen One series, the presence of Michael Parkinson convinced thousands of people it was real. The drama caused an uproar and was banned from repeat transmission for over a decade.
- THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL FICTIONAL TV PROGRAMME OF A GENERATION
- BANNED BY THE BBC FOR A DECADE
- ONLY EVER BROADCAST ONCE IN THE UK
- OVER 30,000 PHONE CALLS TO THE BBC COMPLAINING OF HOW SCARY THE BROADCAST WAS
EXTRAORDINARY - A Supernatural TV Landmark --Sfx
- Language : English
- Product Dimensions : 1 x 1 x 1 cm; 70 Grams
- Media Format : PAL
- Run time : 1 hour and 31 minutes
- Release date : 17 April 2019
- Actors : Michael Parkinson
- Language : English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
- Studio : 101 Films
- ASIN : B005OJCPZU
- Number of discs : 1
- 197 in Thriller (DVD & Blu-ray)
- 271 in Horror (DVD & Blu-ray)
- 312 in Television (DVD & Blu-ray)
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Banned BBC show 'Ghostwatch' left traumatised viewers in tears and 'unable to sleep for MONTHS'
More 30,000 frightened viewers complained about the terrifying show when it was first broadcast 30 years ago
- 17:23, 30 OCT 2022
- Updated 21:26, 30 OCT 2022
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It's Halloween night and a nation is about to be traumatised by one of the scariest shows ever broadcast on British TV. At 9.25pm on Saturday, October 31, 1992, Ghostwatch, a mockumentary investigating reports of a poltergeist in 'the most haunted house in Britain', was shown for the first time on the BBC.
It was billed as a drama but cleverly put together like it was a live broadcast BBC documentary. And what added to the apparent authenticity of the one-off show was that its four presenters - Michael Parkinson, Sarah Greene, her husband Mike Smith and Craig Charles - were all household-names playing themselves.
Read more: We tried Halloween caterpillar cakes from M&S and Morrisons and one wasn't a patch on the other
The 'live ghost investigation' centred around two young girls, Kim and Suzanne Early, being haunted by a terrifying spook called Pipes - a name which still sends shivers down the spine - at their west London home. The ghoul was so called because the children heard noises in the house and their mum said it was 'just the pipes'.
Thirty years on the memory still haunts some viewers. Writing on the M.E.N. Facebook page Arfana Naseem said: "OMG I remember watching this when I was very little and all us kids screaming. Was it real? Back then it felt so real I was scared to go upstairs to sleep after."
Hawke Siona said: "Worst thing I’ve ever watched. What made it worse was they said the poltergeists targeted teenage girls- which we were at the time!" Karen Peers posted: "I remember watching this about the poltergeist called Pipes and I was crying my eyes out as I was so scared. I was 10 years old. I also remember my Dad shouting at me for getting so upset saying it’s not bloody real calm down!"
Christina Constantinou wrote: "Arrrrrrgh, I didn't sleep for months after watching this in 1992!," while Rachel Mason said: "Literally didn’t sleep for 6 months."
During the show viewers were asked to ring in with their own ghost sightings on 081 811 8181 - the standard number for BBC phone-ins at the time, used on shows including Crimewatch and Going Live!. The idea was that when people called up they were greeted with a message that told them show was fiction.
But the lines were deluged by callers. And with only five operators answering the phones most people could only hear an engaged line, which only convinced them the show might be real. In today's digital world, of course, viewers could check within seconds whether it was fake.
But back then imaginations were left to run riot. Ghostwatch's writer Stephen Volk said: "You couldn't do what we did nowadays and get away with it," he told the Daily Record .
"People would know in 30 seconds what was going on really."
Over the course of the 90-minute show, it was revealed Pipes was the disturbed spirit of a child molester called Raymond Tunstall, whose menacing figure was subtly dotted across various points in the show - including in the studio. Initially, the presenters were sceptical but slowly they began to suspect that it could be real.
Scratch marks appeared on the girls' faces, strange noises could be heard and objects seen moving by themselves. Disturbing scenes in the children's bedroom were reminiscent of the infamous photos from the Enfield poltergeist , an alleged real event from the 1970s and a clear influence on Ghostwatch.
By the end of the broadcast, a thoroughly creeped out Greene is seen being pulled into the mist-filled cupboard under the stairs by Pipes. A wind then howls through the studio and the lights blow out as mayhem ensues and its panicked staff flee.
Smith can be heard asking after his wife's safety and Parkinson, with only half his face showing on camera, begins to sing a nursery rhyme before being possessed by the voice of Pipes. Viewers duped by the hoax shown expressed their anger in their droves.
About 30,000 complaints were made to the BBC, including allegedly Parkinson's mum and a woman whose labour it induced.
"A vicar phoned in to complain that even though he realised it wasn't real he thought the BBC had raised demonic forces," Volk told the BBC in 2017 . "It was partly that it scared people, but the complaints were actually more that the BBC had made them feel like mugs. People felt the BBC was something they could trust, and the programme had destroyed that trust."
A 10-year ban was imposed on it being shown again but it has never been back on TV in full since and is now only available on DVD.
More than 11 million people watched the show. But things took a tragic turn when it was blamed for the death of teenager Martin Denham. The 18-year-old, who had learning difficulties, took his own life after his parents said he was 'hypnotised and obsessed' with Ghostwatch. The complaint, however, was not upheld by what is now Ofcom.
Originally meant to be six-part drama series about a paranormal investigator, the show was condensed into one episode after the BBC were unconvinced it warranted such length. The reaction has been compared to supposed mass hysteria caused by Orson Welles's War of the Worlds radio broadcast 54 years earlier in 1938 where listeners were told that aliens were invading the Earth.
The public panic caused has since been played down, with the press at the time accused of exaggerating the impact of the event. But despite the fact that a writer's credit was shown at the start of Ghostwatch and it was listed as a drama in Radio Times, people were convinced by its reality.
The BBC were accused of 'deliberately cultivating a sense of menace' by broadcast regulators. The show's director Lesley Manning told the Guardian in 2020 : "I definitely didn’t set out to cause mass hysteria.
"But I wasn't trying to make it look like a conventional BBC movie, either. I thought the fact that it was a drama was obvious: it was trailed as such by the continuity announcer, and it opened with a 'written by' credit."
In the 30 years since Ghostwatch was shown, its groundbreaking influence has only grown. Its use of videotape, instead of the typical 16mm film, to make it look more homemade and the now-familiar shaky camera-style of filming has been copied in everything from TV's Most Haunted to cinema hits like The Blair Witch Project and the Paranormal Activity franchise.
And while programme's controversial success at fooling so many people is unlikely to happen again in this ultra-connected world, its impact hangs around, just like a ghost.
Volk said: "It's tremendously gratifying to hear people were scared and yet excited by it. To have that effect on other people who then want to do the same is like passing the baton on to those who now want to go on and scare another generation of people."
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How we made: BBC mockumentary Ghostwatch
‘Our producer received a letter from a woman asking for compensation to buy new trousers for her husband, as he had soiled the ones he was wearing’
Lesley Manning, director
The script focused on the story of two girls, Kim and Suzanne Early (Cherise and Michelle Wesson), and their mother Pam (Brid Brennan), who lived in a reportedly haunted council house in Northolt, London. It was presented as a “live ghost hunt”, with reporters, interviewers and a film crew in the house, and an anchorman in the studio. To quote the screenplay: “Certain parts will be played by real television personalities, using their true names.”
I had never read anything as fresh and immediately started researching how to make the story, which was written by Stephen Volk, feel as real as possible. All of the adult cast – Michael Parkinson , Sarah Greene, Mike Smith, Craig Charles , each playing themselves – understood the concept, and were wholeheartedly behind the piece. Raymond “Pipes” Tunstall, the ghost haunting the Early family , was played by Keith Ferrari, a very game supporting artist in a non-speaking part. While he supplied the poltergeist’s physical presence, I ended up providing his guttural voice. We had done a one-hour recording session with a voiceover artist but that hadn’t cracked it.
I was trying to feature the Pipes character as much as possible: I seem to remember 13 being a satisfying number of appearances. But, as you can imagine, when it came to the cutting room, counting these wasn’t the focus of our work, and a couple were cut back. I was reaching for hyperrealism in performance, though I’m not saying I always achieved it.
It was a leap of faith on my part that Ghostwatch would air on Halloween. We hoped it would, but the production had been commissioned as a Screen One BBC drama film. I wasn’t seen as a documentary or studio director and I certainly didn’t have any control over scheduling, but it happened that there was a Screen One slot available on Halloween. A happy accident, perhaps.
Many viewers thought the programme was a real-time documentary, including, apparently, Michael Parkinson’s mother. Hopefully she deduced it was staged before his climactic possession scene. The BBC received 30,000 complaints, and imposed a 10-year ban on it being shown again. I believe our producer received a letter from one woman asking for compensation so she could buy a new pair of trousers for her husband, as he had soiled the ones he was wearing.
I definitely didn’t set out to cause mass hysteria. But I wasn’t trying to make it look like a conventional BBC movie, either. I thought the fact that it was a drama was obvious: it was trailed as such by the continuity announcer, and it opened with a “written by” credit.
Ghostwatch was using tried-and-tested formats to make us question the “truth” of television. On the front page of the script, Stephen wrote a quote from John Waite about his cousin Terry Waite , the former hostage and a humanitarian, when he heard of his release. “I won’t believe it until I see it on TV.”
Gillian Bevan, played Dr Lin Pascoe
I can’t remember whether I was allowed to read the script before auditioning: it seemed to be rather hush-hush. But I was excited to be trying out for a female director, female casting director and female producer. A rare thing in 1992.
I was blown away by Stephen’s writing and vision. He took me to hear lectures on the paranormal and gave me background reading. As far as I was concerned, I was making a very contemporary drama. It was a Screen One production with a cast list appearing in the Radio Times, so we were unprepared for the reaction Ghostwatch received from people who didn’t realise it was fictional.
Michael Parkinson, playing the host presenter, was a true pro. He was very respectful to everyone. He’s a fan of Gershwin and the great American songbook, and I remember us quoting lyrics to each other between takes. I didn’t experience any on-set spookiness. Not even when my character is listening to a recording of the poltergeist’s voice.
Ghostwatch got 11 million viewers and came in under budget, but talk of a Bafta nomination was quietly crushed, and I feel sad that the controversy meant that Lesley and producer Ruth Baumgarten’s talents weren’t recognised. Over the years, however, it has garnered cult status. Jonathan Ross, Derren Brown, Mark Gatiss and Andy Nyman are fans, and a couple of years ago I did a Q&A where people came dressed as Lin Pascoe, complete with wig and designer suit. Some of them weren’t even born when Ghostwatch aired in 1992.
Looking back now, it seems amazingly ahead of its time: pre-Big Brother, and seven years before The Blair Witch Project . Apart from being a brilliant ghost story, what it was really saying was: “Be very careful what you watch, question everything, and do not allow yourself to be manipulated.”
On Halloween, we all gathered to watch it on BBC One. I got home later to an answerphone message from a comically enraged Judi Dench , complaining that I’d ruined her night. She had sat down to watch Ghostwatch but – having directed me in the theatre that summer – knew as soon as she saw me on screen that it wasn’t real.
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