Apple : To Die For!!

AppleBelow is an amazing story about Apple by the BBC. Apple is apparently (as you will read) “deeply offended” by the program showing children mining the tin for Apple’s production, and Apple even admit to visiting the site and were appalled.
apple bbcBut instead of HALTING PRODUCTION UNTIL IT’S SAFE AND ETHICAL… They have set up help organisations… and basically, the tin in your phones and iPads were mined by kids – several of whom have died doing it!
So…. kids die mining for Apple’s profit – because there’s no way in hell they’d stop the ability to make a profit…

Read Article and Apple’s letter to their employees HERE

Of course, like the title of this post, the dark and damaging humour has already taken hold “Kiddy Killer” being substituted for any Apple product name.
Now, while no great fan of Apple and they certainly don’t in anyway support this site, I can’t help but feel they have a few things the wrong way around. Once these issues were witnessed by their own people is it right to carry on letting the products be made with knowledge of all this is???
However, personally, I can see a way out for them and one that makes the look like saints – but while I’ve worked on and done some great things in my own tech career – I doubt they would even look to me for advice.

Published in: on 21 December, 2014 at 02:20  Leave a Comment  
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UK Telecoms wake up to the future the hard way with Olympic Data Usage Stats.

So ok, the main Olympic event is over and the Para-Olympics is in full swing – but there has been a repercussion the likes of which this blog has been going on about for years and has now frankly shocked telecom providers the world over.

It wasn’t just simply the demand that hiked up the usage, it was the fact that certainly here in the UK, the streaming was ALL in High-Def… So what am I talking about?

Well mobile/cell carriers anticipated and therefore allowed around a 20% increase in streamed media during the games. But when you add the blogs, sports pages, twitter, Face Book and just about everything else – they were staggered to find the usage for the average user rose by not the planned and predicted 20% – but a whopping jump to 80%… and this is without 4G services available in the UK yet!

Even the BBC were shocked, especially when their stream output at one point hit a stunning 2.7 Petabytes!! Well beyond the anticipated few hundred gigabytes… Obviously the knock on has been vast with Internet Service Providers struggling to cope, let alone to find that the High-Def throughput made most households in the UK exceed these so-called “fair usage policy’s” several times over within just a matter of days.

But this all comes back to the issues surrounding future planning and furthermore; High-Def technologies. The bottom line is you simply can’t transmit full HD over any distance to millions of TV viewers via standard radio waves and if they could, any terrestrial TV company would struggle to provide a true High-Def TV service to everyone, it really is almost impossible at present.

Well we can’t say they didn’t see this coming, but it’s fairly obvious that to build for tomorrow they’ll need to reconsider the vast throughput, quadruple it – then double it to understand the vast step up in streaming media if they’re to stand any chance. And just to be clear here, I suggested a long time ago that the absolute minimum they should be planning for is 200 GB’s per person, per month – or a Terabyte for an average family on a single connection…

Now, because of this level of High-Def, I think my estimate was conservative to say the very least…

Published in: on 31 August, 2012 at 23:32  Comments (6)  
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The Diamond Jubilee and the BBC

I did not (like all of us) choose where, or which country to be born in. As it happens I was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England – part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (and that’s a fair old mouthful…)

As such and like us all, we grow a loyalty to our respective roots wherever in the world we’re born, and as we do, we go through a fair degree of indoctrination and healthy doses of propaganda to define our national heritage – vital stuff considering we may one day have to go to war with or against other nations. These days, while we are at war, we don’t do it so much now –albeit I can’t think of a time in UK history we’ve ever gone more than 10yrs without a war somewhere… Go figure…

Either way, it leaves a Brit with an affiliation to a Monarch and a history and pride worth dying for. And if you ever hear a Brit question why we have a monarch – these people are generally retarded and have no sense of belonging – empty people, just imagine though, an American saying “why do we want or need our flag – let’s get rid of it”. It is their rally point, and with us the monarch is ours and that is that…

I’m old enough to remember the 1977 Silver Jubilee, it was the height of the Cold War and when they did a fly-past for Her Majesty – it took over 20 minutes, the quality of the diamond Jubilee was frankly a question of whether or not we put 20 aircraft in the sky… They apparently have the planes, hundreds of them, a fair few pilots as well, but spare parts and the fuel?  – Not so much.

The BBC coverage was brilliant in some respects, and nothing short of wondering if you were watching children’s TV in others. While some questioned presenter Ferne Cotton’s coverage of the river pageant – most women on Twitter screamed “What kinda shoes do you call those?!” as disapproval spread.  But the one thing that was seriously apparent was the parochial dumbing down and talking to or addressing the nation as complete and total idiots!! Don’t get me wrong, here in the UK we have as many idiots as the next country. When I say the next country, I have to be careful here as the next country happens to be Fr**ce and they do have a few more, so it’s a general statement ;-)

Then came the Jubilee Concert… complete with dodgy ticket sellers =>>>>

I will say it, right here and right now that I couldn’t quite understand what I was watching… If it was some wild pop-centred cabaret act with added Hoola-Hooping and singers whose voices had passed their time, maybe even an over audacious singer who was trying to push it and then salute a nation without headdress on then okay… Though I do think the Welsh contingent seemed to bellow it out quite well. Then there was some kid who looked like James Hewitt’s other son, he even played a toy guitar….Anyway, it turned out that it was supposed to be representative of the most successful artists from the whole Commonwealth of Nations over the period of Her Majesty’s reign. In this they got a few people right, but let’s not forget that we gave the world a harder rock, the most successful selling band album of all time was AC/DC’s Back in Black, those lovable blues rockers who for the most part were born in the UK but now hail from Down Under. But we also brought Disco and Punk, not that I’m suggesting that the Sex Pistols take the stage. But we only have to roll back 10 years to remember Brian May playing the national anthem from the roof of the palace and Ozzy rocking the whole place to bits. Old diehards Quo weren’t anywhere to be seen either – and what about a single track from the Stones, Bowie – anyone…?

Alas there are lots of people who could have really had the place bouncing – but sadly we had a Hoola-Hoop lesson instead. If you thought it was great then please allow me to buy you a bat for self tuition – sorry, but there it is… As for the rest of the Jubilee, it rocked!! Could we have done better?

Only on every bloody level! but hey…. ;-)

Published in: on 19 June, 2012 at 21:53  Comments (2)  
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Friday morning and night on BBC Radio 2

Apart from Janice Long and Alex Lester – who rocked the entire night away;

You have got to be kidding! BBC_Radio_2
Please, for the love of all things good – fire Aled Jones!!!! Oh, and stick Mark Lamar on that list too!!

But sadly, come the evenings and early mornings, it might have to be a case of switching to local commercial radio.

Published in: on 12 September, 2009 at 18:42  Leave a Comment  
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BBC Radio 2 – missing the plot!!!

BBC_Radio_2Everyday, the majority of the UK working world is either listening to a local radio station or BBC Radio 2.
Radio 2 isn’t bad, it’s very good. It’s had the right people migrate from Radio 1 (which is a dire station these days) and for the most part it is excellent, informative and of course entertaining.
Just because the evening drive time show ends at the end of rush hour – DOES NOT mean the working world has finished!!
Up and down the country tens of thousands of people are still working, trucks still rolling and shifts only just starting.
But RadioBBC+Radio+2+SteveWright 2 seems to forget this – or does not realise it!
There are mainly 3 regular shows in the evening, a couple of weekly shows worth listening to – the rest is nothing more than niche crap!!
After 14 hours on the road, trying to keep my eyes open I need the travel reports, the lively music to continue and certainly not some weird stuff or concert hall crap to keep going – and certainly no soppy love songs!
But when it comes to the weekend – then we tune in to the brink of hell itself!!!

Obviously, I’m not a radio DJ or producer, I have nothing against people who work on these shows. But it’s about time someone at the BBC realised that this is a 24hr working nation bouncing fast out of the recessionSuziQ and we need all the help we can get to get through the night.
There are so many BBC radio stations, it’s staggering – so please Radio 2, put the niche stuff on another station, a station that specializes in niche stuff maybe and lets keep the heart and soul of an industrious nation moving to an informative up-tempo tune in – that does not put people to sleep!!!!

Chris Evans taking over from Tel – excellent move (though it’s sad Tel is retiring). I just hope he brings back “How do they do that”

These are the better shows ;   Terry Wogan, Chris Evans, Suzi Quatro, Steve Wright, Alex Lester, Janice Long, Ken Bruce, Zoe Ball, Radcliffe & Maconie, the the traffic ladies do us proud!

Music and Entertainment rights and copyright


Here is the TWB solution to the music, Film, TV industries and personal use issues regarding the payment for all copyrighted media.

Simple and effective; riaa-logo
You register with an entertainment company or a special website for a minimal cost (lets say $5) to cover costs on a global database.
You are issued a number, a user name and password and maybe even a RFID tag for over the counter purchases.
Every time you purchase something, on the web, net where ever – you simply register the item under your own ID
From there on in, you can download and listen, copy (for yourself) and use that media – from ANY source.

So if you have a CD of lets say ‘Hotel California’ and it gets damaged – you simply download it again and make a hard copy at no extra costfilm to you.
If you want something new, then simply login, and the item is automatically billed to you at $1 a single record $5 album $8 a movie.

How and why

The prices take into account several things;
1 cost of distribution is almost nil
2 cost of packaging is nil
3 the media is instantly available to a massive global audience
4 the industry can take for more effective information and control from this simple method i.e. viewing figures and global musical taste.
5 The artists, production companies get and instant return on there investment.
6 Illegal users can be tracked and traced far more efficiently
7 Use on other 3rd party PC’s Telephones etc can use a self deleting software and cookies to make sure the other individuals do not copy the personal access information.
8 Software on personal Internet interfaces can verify instantly and automatically whether or not you have paid for licence use of an item.
9 It’s a one shot deal, that will never be hindered by media evolution – once you own it, you own it forever!
10 As TV moves to 4G, companies like the BBC who operate through licence fee payers, can work out direct charges for each programme etc.
11 Global freedom to watch whatever you want, when you want it.
12 No requirement for regional coding
13 if downloading a movie as a one off showing between friends and not to keep – can be based on the ‘hire’ principle.
14 To start the ball rolling, all movies over 15 years of age should be allowed to be free of any costs for anyone participating in the programme.

pirate33So basically, the industry gets far bigger (after all, there are 6 billion people in the world) and instant audiences, they get and instant return on everything and finally they can track and trace all non registered items – it’s as simple as that!

Of course, this would require every aspect of the industry to sit down and communicate..
The idea is simple and will work – all it takes is for people to want to do it and getting on with it.

TWB is happy to discuss this with anyone – just email

Published in: on 26 August, 2009 at 23:06  Comments (1)  
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War – it’s like that, it’s the way it is


You know, the recent shouting about the lack of British troops, kit and support makes me (and I’m only guessing here) and just about everyone who has served in the British forces, both laugh and want to scream in anger!!

Look, it’s sad, but when you start fighting – people are gonna die. So far our dead are few, very few. In fact, the numbers are so low, I think they’re almost unheard of. In return, very few returning soldiers have come home without killing several Taliban. For the most part, while the job is hard, the death toll of the enemy is staggering! Reports of weapons getting so hot from firing that they ah64seize are not uncommon at all. But war is expensive, very expensive in every way possible – especially in human term!

When the Brits went into Afghanistan, they replaced 9000 US troops with only 3000 British troops!! We laughed… We could not believe the oversight by our penny pinching leaders and the highly indoctrinated officers who went out there to do a Recce first.

Here is the truth; This war is Winnable! But understand this, it will take everything we have Challenger-2Eand more to do so. We are either ‘In’ or ‘Out’, whatever that decision is, it must made now and must be made clear. I watched a re-run of the BBC’s question time the other day on iPlayer – and was disgusted!! People so ready to westland-eh-101-merlingive up on the first sign that we losing troops in larger numbers – it was sickening. You see I’m British, giving up is not in our doctrine. This is the stuff a soldier lives for and if they need a hand out there, give me a weapon!

I disagreed whole heartedly with the Iraq war, it was and will prove to be the most ill thought out waste of life and money, with zero benefits for those involved and history will prove this the case. Afghanistan is a different beast and needs treating as such.

The UK armed forces are in a terrible state, the numbers are dwindling and when a situation arises where by the MoD employs more civil servants that it has soldiers in the army – there is something very seriously wrong!!dwr cap badge1

Un-amalgamate the regiments, reinstall regimental training depots and lets get back to how an armed force should look like. Stop p**sing about with NATO, it does not work!
Lets get the rest of the thousands tanks and armour we need, the rest of the helicopters, plus the other aircraft  and Warrior3equipment – and make sure we never give rise to the question that we do, or do not have enough kit!!  Even slightest hint of such a question is living proof of every type of known failure in leadership, planning and budgeting.
The ony things any military needs is an abundance of equipment, stores and manpower and we have none – that’s the way it is, get over it, take on board, do something about it and move on.

If you need it in simpler terms, can this country protect itself form and invading army? That is the basis of which our military strenglth should be.

Top Gear to really reveal The Stig?

jeremy-clarkson copytop-gear-logo

According to UK press and indeed, Jeremy Clarkson’s own article, tonight’s  all new season’s first episode of the BBC’s Top Gear will reveal the identity of The Stig.
Well my thought on this is – which one?
There are several Stigs from what I can tell, and all of them vary in height and weight. For qTG-Africa-Stig1uite some time I believed the original white Stig was former Formula One driver Johnny Herbert – I was convinced in fact. Yet through later appearances and shows I wasn’t so sure. As far as I am aware, Johnny Herbert still lives in Monaco and it would cost quite a bit of money tSTcco fly him up all the time. That said, Top Gear is the BBC’s most popular international export and creates a great deal of revenue for the BBC.

Then there are all of the Stig’s cousins… Stig’s African, American, Communist and Trucker cousins in fact…

However, I have yet to watch the show and so some time later today, I’m sure there will be an update to the post.




Schumacher?!   –  Not a chance!

The Stig

Because they tested the Farrari FXX on the track, and there is no way in hell that Farrari would let anyone else drive it!

No, the Stig is not Mr Schumacher…




Published in: on 21 June, 2009 at 17:54  Comments (7)  
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Finally…. Top Gear and the BBC get there finger out!

A few months ago I wrote an article raving about how Top Gear had probably done the best car test ever, more to the point, it was down to a viewer complaint that they no longer did serious car reviews. It was brilliant, it was funny and ulitimately – it was Top Gear.

I then posted a YouTube video of it – that was immediately killed for copyright infringements. So I went on to blog about how stupid the BBC was to do this – as a) they were effectively advertising a car, b) advertising the show, and c) we the people pay for the BBC….

Anyway, finally Top Gear and the BBC have released the video on YouTube and all I can say is – click Play, click on the HQ button, click to expand to fullscreen, watch it all and enjoy.



Published in: on 8 May, 2009 at 18:24  Leave a Comment  
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Dr Who’s Easter Special


I’m NOT that bigger fan of Doctor Who, I always think there is something wrong with the way they actually put it together. There is certainly stuff wrong with the dialog, I mean what does “Maximum code red mean’? It’s stupid!! (‘Red’ is the maximum- derr!!). Yet the show is watched by far more adults than it is children. Furthermore, they always dumb down the soldiers etc. What I mean is, there are some areas they should try to make more plausible and realistic while the storyline does what a Dr.Who story lines does. Torchwood on the other hand, I just can’t stomach.

Today I watched what I believe is possibly the best Doctor Who production to date!!  The reason is that for the first michelle-ryantime we didn’t see a melancholic and whined at Doctor, no, what we had was the awesome actress Michelle Ryan bounce off his character and in turn the Doctor bounce off hers!!  Finally! they got it almost right!!! They got U.N.I.T. horrifically wrong as always but added the great Lee Evans as a boffin for comedic value – and what value it truly was – Brilliant!

Brilliant casting, because it has to be obvious by now how coolly Michelle Ryan played her part, that one day she’ll be a legend in her own right. She was certainly brilliant in the Bionic Woman.

Now, I don’t know what actors think or how they do what they do (it’s rocket science to me), I also don’t know what goes into writing and producing such things. You know, that amazing essence of creative brilliance that eludes most mortals like you and me.

david-tennantBut for heavens sake, they have the chance here to take a highly entertaining show and make not just a good show – but a truly great one!! For once the right two people were playing the right two roles – so BBC, pay Mr Tennant and Ms Ryan WHATEVER – IT – TAKES (take into account worldwide release and dvd sales), tighten up the dialog and make it more realistic, move to 22 episodes per year and lets see you turn this show into the greatest, most entertaining, most ‘real’ SciFi show in history… The revenue will be huge… so start thinking huge and wake Mr Tennant up about what he needs to be doing. After all, he is and will be known as the greatest Doctor ever, and if that isn’t typecasting – what is?

Yep, sign them up for 100 shows, make there relationship like the greatest pals ever, like two sides of the same coin, keep the spark there, but let them tease each other with others for fun yet be as tight as family – make them rock solid!!  Let them be a team, a joint force without the questions and doubts who rip each other with sarcasm at the end of each adventure. Let other peoples emotions not bother them, in fact keep the two charaters ‘meaningful’ NOT emotional. Then after 100 shows – kill them off and bring in your new Doctor… But not now!!! Or at least get David Hewlett on the job!!

To the BBC Wales team – well done! Very well done !!!

To Mr Tennant, you’re on a good one with this and you know it, but you’re man of you’re own mind and so it’d be up to you.

To Ms Ryan, everyone is going to want you back, but bigger things await you – I just hope they have the where with all to sign you up before it’s too late for them.

PS People often say that Doctor Who is supposed to be a little silly, have a dodgy set etc – well it’s easy to look back now at the early shows and laugh – but in it’s day, it was the height and limit of Special FX and everything.



Published in: on 11 April, 2009 at 21:49  Comments (3)  
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The Nürburgring and Top Gears Respect for Sabine Schmitz

top-gear-logoYou don’t have to watch the UK’s Top Gear motoring show for long to realise that beyond the all too typical male bravado, there is one person whom stands head and shoulders above the prideful presenters tgteamsmlof Clarkson, May and the Hamster. This person is their nemesis, more highly skilled than all of them put together and frankly they love and respect her. That person is Sabine Schmitz. The fastest drcropsaiver of the torturous Nürburgring in Germany.

And this is why; Sabine not only out drives just about everyone, she set the lap record at Nürburgring at the age of 19 at 8 minutes 16 seconds in a Ford Sierra Cosworth. In October 2008 she set a new lap record for a non-turbocharged car at 7 minutes 07 seconds in a Porsche 997 RSR (Frikadelli Racing Team).


Nürburgring History and F1:

gp-track-copyNürburgring is not the little track you may have seen and possibly will see later this year in Formula 1 – no, it’s huge!!  It’s 13 miles long, it’s a mountain race track and has 147 corners!

With steep inclines, descents and hairpin bends, it is not only a formidable test on the skill and stamina of any driver irrespective of skill level – but the car itself. Simply put, if the car is not in 100% top shape, it will not survive this assault.

Back in the 12th century Count Ulrich probably never imagined that one day, anurbergring-copy1t the foot of his time-honoured Nürburg, the queen of racing courses would attract people from all over the world. After the Ring opened on 18th June 1927 it soon became clear what a great economic force this early form of the leisure industry was going to become in the entire region. Restaurants with guest rooms turned into hotels, meadows into car parks and the races were a blessing for what was one of the poorest regions in Germany. The story of the Nürburgring goes back eight decades – a period in which it has produced many stories, has thrilled many generations of racing drivers and fans and has become the economic powerhouse of the Eifel region.

Part of the track called the ‘Nordschleife’, still in use today was nick named ‘The Green Hell’ by Jackie Stewart. It is widely considered the toughest, most dangerous and most demanding purpose build race track in the world.

Sabine History:

Born to the neues-bild10local hotel and restaurant owning Schmitz family, Sabine and her two elder sisters grew up in the “Hotel am Tiergarten”  in Nürburg within the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Sabine came to mass public attention driving one of the two BMW M5 Ring Taxi around the 13 mile long race track in an entertaining manner. As she once put it “Anyone can drive fast on an Autobahn, but drifting a car sideways around a bend at 140 is different”.

Conservative estimates say that Sabine has driven around the Nürburgring no less than 20,000 times, and she has become known as both the “Queen of the Nürburgring” and “the fastest taxi driver in the world”.  Her company, Nürburgring – based Sabine Schmitz Motorsport, offers advanced driver training and a “Ring Taxi” service for passengers.img_0016

Her list of achievement is simply staggering by anyone’s account. She has raced for companies, driven all over the world and even put a Main Battle Tank through its paces. Furthermore she is an accomplished helicopter pilot. Ironically, Top Gear once raced an AH64 Apache Longbow, yet none of them could actually fly one – they might want to think about that.

Sabine is known worldwide, her Television career has brought heSabine Schmitz 8r global attention putting her all too familiar smile, style and highly entertaining skill into our homes.

Basically, if you ever wanted to see men put in their place, then not only can this lady do it – but the sheer intimidation of such an amazing race track, simply destroys them. And lets be honest, Clarkson deserves it.

First up, to explain what Sabine is all about The BMW M5 RingTaxi

Ok, you get the idea,  now lets see her with Top Gear (sadly the quality is low on these as the YouTube BBC page is yet to carry them.

Clarkson Diesel Jag Pt1

Clarkson Diesel Jag Pt2

Sabine Top Gear Ford Transit


Nürburgring 2009

This Year will see massive investment into the Nürburgring, in fact they are turning it into an all year round leisure facility with major upgrades and expansion costing around 252 million Euros. The four main areas of investment are in Racing, Adventure, Business and Holiday. They will be working with existing tourism service providers to make, frankly, one awesome site. From Rock concerts to Formula One and the myriad of other functions from driver training to the grueling Nürburgring 24hr race – Nürburgring will be, and IS, a must for anyone interested in motor sport at any level.

For more information regarding activities and events at Nürburgring, go to there website HERE

Sabine – present work + website

frikadelli-racing-teamSabine Schmitz continues to expand her awesome career to date and is still a keen Professional Racing Driver. She presently races for Team Frikadelli Racing and while there is the Sabine Schmitz Motosport Website, Sabine is vespeedbee-beery much involved in a real hands on capacity with her ALL NEW website . At present it is mainly in German Language format, but Sabine tells me the English version is coming very soon.

For further information about Sabine, her work (past and present) and what she’s doing in the future, please do not hesitate going to her websites.



In conclusion; TWBrit, or moreover, I would like to take a moment to thank Ihre Meltem Yildiz at Dederichs Reinecke & Partner who are Nürburgring’s PR Team and special TWBrit gratitude to Sabine Schmitz for information and help with writing this article.


Please hit “like it” “share” “subscribe” an Ad or anything else you can find ;) It’s always appreciated


‘Mummy, can I phone the pirates?’

This is an amazing story that ended in the BBC news journalist having proper conversations with the Somali Pirates. I have copied the article below – of you can read the original HERE

One of the biggest frustrations facing journalists is being unable to get through to people on the phone. But as Mary Harper discovered, contacting the Somali pirates on the Sirius Star turned out to be child’s play.


Sirius Star off the coast of Somalia (US Navy image via Getty Images)
The pirates on the Sirius Star put the phone down on the BBC


It was a cold, dark, wet and miserable Sunday afternoon. I was in my car, driving my 12-year-old daughter and her friend back from a birthday party. I was tired and fed up from being in the car.

“Mummy, mummy,” trilled a voice from the back. “I want to phone the pirates.”

My daughter had heard me repeatedly trying to get through to the Somali pirates on board the Sirius Star.

They usually picked up the phone but put it down again when I said I was from the BBC. My obsession with getting through to them had reached the point that I had even saved their number on my mobile phone.

“Mummy, mummy, please can I phone the pirates for you?”



By this time, with rain battering my windscreen and cars jamming the road, I was at the end of my tether.

“OK”, I said, tossing the phone into the back of the car.

“They are under P for pirates.”

Giggling with pirates

“Hello. Please can I talk to the pirates,” said my daughter in her obviously childish voice.

I could hear someone replying and a bizarre conversation ensued which eventually ended when my daughter collapsed in giggles.


Our last resource is the sea, and foreign trawlers are plundering our fish
Daybad, Somali priate


This was a breakthrough. Dialogue had been established.

The next day, I went to the crowded office in Bush House in London where the BBC Somali Service is based. I told them the story.

“Let’s try now,” said producer Said Musa, who, dare I say it, looks a bit like a pirate himself. He has a wild look about him with flashing eyes and a swashbuckling saunter.

He dialled the number. A pirate answered. “I’m sorry,” he barked in Somali, “the boss pirate is sleeping. He was very busy last night keeping watch for possible attackers, night time, you know, is the busiest time for us. Call back in two hours.”

Calm hostage

A pirate, who called himself Daybad, spoke in Somali, calmly and confidently. He said Somalis were left with no choice but to take to the high seas.




“We’ve had no government for 18 years. We have no life. Our last resource is the sea, and foreign trawlers are plundering our fish.”

The pirate said the crew was being treated well.

“They can move from place to place. They can sleep in their own beds, they even have their own keys. The only thing they’re missing is their freedom to leave the ship.”

Suddenly I heard a voice speaking English.

“Hello. This is the captain of the Sirius Star speaking.”

The captain, a Polish man called Marek Nishky, sounded surprisingly composed for a hostage.

He said he had no reason to complain, everybody was OK, and the pirates had allowed the crew to speak to their families.

As my questions became more challenging, he became more nervous. I could almost see the pirates standing around him. He said we would have to finish our conversation, and politely thanked me for my concern. The phone line went dead. But we had it, recordings of the pirate and the captain, and the interviews were broadcast all over the BBC.

Gun law

The Somali Service at Bush House is behind most of the stories you hear about Somalia on the BBC.

It consists of a tiny group of people, far away from home, from a country torn to shreds after nearly two decades without a functioning central government.

That means no proper hospitals, no schools and no safety. The gun means everything in Somalia.


Pirates on board the Ukrainian ship MV Faina, and its cargo of tanks and military hardware, off the Somali coast.
The Somali Service enjoyed a real scoop with our interviews but who knows if it would have happened if my daughter had not persisted and pressed P for Pirates


One member of the team showed me photos of the concrete bench outside his house where his mother used to sit to make tea. It was splattered with blood.

The house had been hit by a shell the day after his family left for the relative safety of the north. Neighbours had been killed.

Who knows whether the property was targeted because of its BBC connection.

Despite their concerns about what may be happening back at home, the people in the Somali Service are the most hilarious, irreverent bunch of people in the building.

They smoke like chimneys, and laugh uproariously at the most unsuitable jokes.

They tease me mercilessly. I was worth dozens of camels when I first arrived at the BBC as a fresh-faced young woman, they say, while now I may only be worth one or two camels, or maybe just a half.

The Somali Service enjoyed a real scoop with our interviews.

But who knows if it would have happened if my daughter had not persisted and pressed P for Pirates?



Published in: on 29 November, 2008 at 17:03  Comments (3)  
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This and other stuff

I just read an article on the BBC News site, here I’ll cut and paste it;200px-bbc_logo

Multi-million pound pay deals for the BBC’s biggest stars are “extremely unlikely” in the future, the controller of BBC One, Jay Hunt, has said. _45252646_jay_226

She told the Daily Telegraph she could not see herself agreeing to the sort of contracts that see Jonathan Ross earn a reported £6m per year.

“My reputation in this industry… is as one of the stingiest women in television,” she said.

You’re not kidding!! Have you seen the state of the BBC1 channel? it’s like something out of the dark ages. I’m not joking when I say that even ‘I’ could do a better job at BBC 1 than the crap the channel has turned into. Frankly, she should learn to spend the money on programming quality entertainment – not shoving every viable show on to the 6 million other BBC channels.

Other stuff;

The battle for the Taj is over.

Apparently it was Thanksgiving in the US over the last few days, I know it’s a big deal for thbart_vs_thanksgivingem but I still don’t get why it’s such a big thing to be honest – but what do I know. However, it seems several people lost their lives in the ensuing ‘Black Friday’ shopping rush – amazing!

Myfacebook_pic-copy1 Facebook is officially dead and for now I can’t see myself returning to it.

Twitter, I’m so not sure about this thing. It’s kind of weird. Yet it turned out to be one of the single most useful tools during the Mumbai thing – who would have thought!

Obviously we’re moving into crimble-treea more seasonal part of the year and I’m guessing that the pubs of this once great isle are gearing up for the whole thing. I haven’t actually had a ‘Chrichristmas-tree-inside-the-housestmas’ as such for several years due to work commitments. It would be nice to change that this year, but alas it is not to happen. I should get New Year off though. That said, I had my first Mince Pie of the year last night – alright, there were three, steaming hot and eaten with single cream.

I found myself staring into a bowel of Cheerios this morning, I think I have bridled my restlessness too much this past year. I need to sort a few things out and get on to complete any and all outstanding commitments and promises to friends and mates and get on to treading new ground.

Fenny seemds_amazon_laptop_web_188s to have returned from the dead, this is miraculous to say the very least. She is also sounding much better, but sadly her laptop is not in such a good way. Hope an image format will work wonders.

Had an inbox full of emails today. There were the usual Africans begging to allegedly give me millions because of some terrible banking issue with an ailing family member, advertising, a handful from friends, some trade stuff and the millionth email from PMI – but also someone calling herself Brittany who loved some profile of mine and thought I was hot – huh? then she must either be blind and/or grotesque!! 3 of the emails from friends were almost devoid of sense which would be fair enough if they’d sent them while drinking. Anyway as my brain wasn’t working after just getting up, I selected option ‘2’ and promptly deleted them. I’m sure that if they were important, they will write again – but please take your time, think and take a breath before doing so.

Last but not least, if I hear of any more stupid things done by our present government – i’ll take up politics.



Published in: on 29 November, 2008 at 15:42  Comments (3)  
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