Tuesday, June 21, 2011

BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast scheduled for today

Produced and presented for an audience of just 43 - the brave and hardy scientists and technical staff who keep the Antarctic bases of the British Antarctic Survey running through the long, cold darkness of the polar winter - the Antarctic specials are possibly the BBC World Service’s most unusual broadcasts.

Once a year, on 21 June, in the dark days of the southern winter, staff at the four Antarctic bases - Rothera, Halley, King Edward Point and Bird Island - cluster round their shortwave radios to hear the BBC present half an hour of music requests and special messages from their loved ones back home.

There’s special messages from surprise celebrity guests, and a selection of music that reveals a deep longing for sunshine. This year the broadcast is presented by Martin Redfern, who was fortunate to spend a month in Antarctica three years ago, reporting on research and visiting field sites and the Rothera base.

As a result says Martin, “We feel we are talking to friends, we can imagine the scene down there and although we were only there for a few weeks in Summer, we know how food fantasies turn to salad and fresh fruit.”

This half-hour program will be on the air at 2130-2200 UTC today (Tuesday 21 June) on the following shortwave frequencies:

5950 kHz Skelton 300 kW beam 180 degrees
7295 kHz Rampisham 500 kW beam 180 degrees
7360 kHz Ascension 250 kW beam 207 degrees
9850 kHz Skelton 300 kW beam 180 degrees
The recorded program is already available online on this page.
(Source: BBC/R Netherlands Media Network Weblog )