I am occasionally asked why I describe the place where I live as “Darkest Somerset”. There are many reasons for this, but one of them is that the place is practically invisible to the rest of the country, especially the media. They don’t quite know that it is here.
How do I know that? Well, Sky has made a big fuss about their coverage of the Twenty20 Champions’ League. All three games so far have been shown in full. Today an English team finally takes center stage. But it is Somerset, so Sky is not bothering to show the game.
Of course there is a full program of international soccer and Heineken Cup rugby to worry about. I wouldn’t expect cricket to supplant that. But Sky has four sports channels. Somerset’s match against the IPL champion Deccan Chargers is apparently of less importance than a minor European golf tournament and a netball match between England and Malawi.
I’m actually quite pleased for the netball team, because UK sports broadcasters are notoriously sexist. But this should give you a very clear idea of how little notice folks in London take of my part of the country.
Fortunately Sky appears to have allowed Eurosport to show the game, so I may be able to watch some of it.
4 thoughts on “Sorry, are they English?”
It isn’t England. It is London. We’re county champions up here (again) and as far as Sky is concerned we are of far less importance than (bottom of the second division) Middlesex or (middle of the second division) Surrey. But why should they think any different to the ECB?
We don’t have it too bad – every now and then Somerset gets a bit of time in the national sun, like when the Glastonbury Festival is on, and Jenson Button from Frome was winning F1 races like mad, and then old Harry Patch being the Last Fighting Tommy and dying and having his funeral procession through Wells (which I went to). Only yesterday Radio4 had a half-hour docco on Weston-super-Mare’s pier going up in flames last year and how the rebuilding is going. (And Liz Jones has been in the news, worried about the lack of men with teeth and there aren’t proper wine bars… a news story of mixed blessings).
On the other hand, you don’t hear much about Shropshire.
I come from a place near Baltimore, MD. Once in a blue moon, the Ravens (NFL) gets the National spotlight on CBS and get the best crew (Jim Nantz and Phil Simms). The Ravens are a team that nearly made it to the biggest game in American Football last year.
The rest of the time we get the worst crews that CBS can throw at us. They are unlistenable, so I listen to the local radio broadcast while watching the game. I understand fully why they are called Darkest Somerset. It is kind of why I call my town (on LJ) Rednecksville, USA.
I love Somerset, got married there, in Crowcombe. Gorgeous part of the country and my parents are just the Devon side of the border.
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