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back to article ALIEN DETECTION was SUPPRESSED by the BBC - top boffin

The BBC tried to put the kibosh on rock-star physicist Brian Cox's plan to eavesdrop on a planet with a radio telescope - because the corporation was apparently afraid the discovery of alien life could violate the Beeb's editorial guidelines. Perhaps Auntie feared the little green men, if found, would drop a very large swear …

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WTF?

I can believe it too

Just about says everything that is wrong with the BBC and country in general.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I can believe it too

I'm sure you CAN believe it. You can believe whatever you chose to. You'd be a fool for actually doing so, though:

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/tv/news/a436542/brian-cox-bbc-did-not-ban-search-for-aliens-on-stargazing-live.html

Now go back to your Daily Mail.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I can believe it too

You can't be surprised as the The Register, seemingly being part of the Daily Mail group, as had an irrational hatred for the BBC for quite some time now.

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Re: I can believe it too

Stop slagging the BBC off. I am really confused about the attitude to the BBC by the people in the UK. If you come from another country, like I do, you know that the BBC is one of the best national broadcasters in the world, and doing their best to be as impartial and even-handed as possible. And when you are trying to be impartial, I guess it is natural for extremists of any colour to be upset by a broadcaster that doesn't take their side. But that the population as a group to be so down on the BBC is a mystery. You have been brainwashed into believing the BBC is crap by Rupert Murdoch and the Daily Mail.

Shame on you.

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Re: I can believe it too

"Stop slagging the BBC off. I am really confused about the attitude to the BBC by the people in the UK."

The BBC is a fantastic institution. IMHO something to be proud of, as a Brit, like the NHS.

However, like the NHS, when you are used to it, it fades into the background. You forget how special it is, and focus on the small problems with it. For example, I am still upset with them for spending shed loads on moving to a new building while dropping Formula 1. Also, with the NHS, people complain about waiting times etc. while forgetting all the good things it does for us. It is natural.

Let's take, for instance, cars. You buy a brand new car to replace your ageing rust bucket. For the first few months you love it. It's the best thing in the world, reliable and comfortable. You are proud to be seen with it.

After a few months, however, you have become used to it. You start noticing small faults: The seats don't support your back quite right, the wipers are too loud, the radio sounds a bit tinny. You then start focussing on these small things, which you complain about, forgetting how damn good the car is.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I can believe it too

Well said, Dr. Mouse. Were this an actual pub, you'd be confronted with the offer of a pint.

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Re: I can believe it too

The BBC is just as biased as any other broadcasting organisation and you're a fool for believing otherwise.

See any article on climate change or Apple for examples of their 'impartiality'.

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Re: I can believe it too

"The BBC is a fantastic institution. IMHO something to be proud of, as a Brit, like the NHS."

Oh my god. Fainter praise can only come via radiowaves from outer space.

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Mushroom

Re: I can believe it too

We read:

....However, this evening, Cox tweeted: "As @daraobriain pointed out, we did the "health and safety" aliens story live on air last year as a joke. Not really news!"

Tossers. They only got themselves to blame. OPEN THE AIRLOCK!

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Joke

There's only one thing you can say to that:

'For fuck's sake!'

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Anonymous Coward

Who?

Who at the BBC?, name names, shame the idiot who made the decision

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Angel

Re: Who?

You want names? Well here's one: Mr Blobby.

What, you think he went away with Noel Edmonds? Well you're wrong: he moved into management and is next in line to succeed George Entwistle. God help us.

(I actually like the BBC, but this was fucking silly.)

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WTF?

And we pay our license fee because?

Fucking hell BBC ... get a grip!

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FAIL

Re: And we pay our license fee because?

Stumpy - don't let the facts get in the way of a good rant. Or you could get a grip yourself.

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Bronze badge

Its turned into

The British Politically Correct Broadcasting Corporation.

You can tell from the news anymore really. Its sad, they used to be quite good up until recently.

We only got their news on the BBC America subsidiary in 2001 and Ive been watching it ever since, but the quality has declined as the bias toward talking about every form of discrimination against minorities (even very obscure ones like Iraqi emo kids or Uzbekistani goths for instance) and also coverage of any kind of intolerance against their obvious favorite minority, the homosexuals, has increased exponentially.

Its still better than the fluff like CNN, MSNBC, and such, but honestly I think PBS' Newshour has better editorial quality and depth of coverage anymore. Which sucks, Id rather stick with what I know, and what I know is BBC. But its getting ridiculous.

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Devil

Re: Its turned into

FrankAlphaXII - could I suggest the Daily Mail Online - it seems like your natural home (they hate Uzbekistani goths)

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FAIL

Only Himself To Blame

It doesn't say much for Cox's powers to explain science that he couldn't persuade the Beeb's bosses of his idea. Maybe just saying "it's incredible" over and over again is not working.

Seriously though, any alien signal from the planet is going to be massively swamped by the nearby star, unless we're suggesting the star emissions themselves have been modulated to carry the alien's signalling, and how the feck is that supposed to be done?

He's a nice enough bloke, but when it comes to presenting popular science, he's no Carl Sagan, James Burke, or even Raymond Baxter. (The bunch off Bang Goes the Theory are pretty good though.)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Only Himself To Blame

As if communicating with sentient beings from another planet wasn't unlikely enough, you're suggesting he be able to communicate with /management/ ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Only Himself To Blame

And not able to explain they don't speak English?

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Re: Only Himself To Blame

You are obviously too young to have watched Star Trek. Not only English, but American English .... but then I always suspected Men in Black was an admission that Republicans were all from another planet.

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Unhappy

Is It April the 1st???

Nuff said...

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Re: Is It April the 1st???

Actually yeah, my thoughts turned to Orson Welles doing HG Wells... there has been a health and safety aspect to presenting aliens to an unprepared populace! (people were injured in the panic caused by what sounded like a newscast)

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COVERUP!

That is all!

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He seems to be downplaying the news here :-

Brian Cox: 'BBC did not ban search for aliens on Stargazing Live'

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/tv/news/a436542/brian-cox-bbc-did-not-ban-search-for-aliens-on-stargazing-live.html

It sounds to me like the usual, you can't make any jokey comment if there's potential to put the BBC in a bad light. 'Health and Safety gawn mad!' and BBC bashing in one story... quelle surprise.

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Anonymous Coward

'... broadcaster's fixation with "regulations and health and safety".'

Healthier than a fixation with Werther's Originals and Vaseline I suppose.

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WTF?

Healthier how?

I LIKE Werther's Originals...

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Anonymous Coward

They did still do it

As Dara O Briain, his co-presenter stated on Twitter later, "Actually not banned," said O Briain. "We still did it live on-air and heard nothing, sadly."

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TRT
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Alien

Re: They did still do it

Yeah, but I bet they made you put a four second delay on the transmission in case some alien called Matt Bianco a bunch of 1cars!

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Just pray that there's intelligent life up there for him to find...

...cos there's certainly bugger all down there at the BBC.

(With apologies to Eric Idle, although it is another opportunity for the two of them to do the Galaxy Song together and this time not change the best bit by leaving the punchline in).

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Paris Hilton

Yeah, but what if Hitler appears live, opening the Olympics?

What the hell is "Threapleton Holmes B"? Where does that name come from?

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Holmes

Re: What the hell is "Threapleton Holmes B"? Where does that name come from?

He was Sherlock's other, less well known, brother.

He is only remembered now for his attempts to popularise putting a person's middle initial after their surname.

HTH

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yeah, but what if Hitler appears live, opening the Olympics?

It's one of the non-league divisions. I think Exeter plays in it.

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Re: Yeah, but what if Hitler appears live, opening the Olympics?

He already did...in 1936.

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Coat

BBC's 'Health and Safety' is just a smokescreen

In defence (able?) of the BBC, their real concerns are any/all of:

- The cost of billing those aliens for the licence fee (should Prof Cox send a reply, especially...)

- The world's entire population might litigate against thet BBC for any of "...being a party to the Cultural Shock incurred...", "...diminishing my personal place in the Universe...", "...for mandating yet another set-top box that UK citizens will require to recieve BBC re-broadcasts of said ET messages..."

- Concern about the copyright position the aliens may take, should the BBC record and/or re-broadcast such a signal

- The intergalactic etiquette of the BBC doing their annoying 'voice-over' / copy spoilers - Just when did the ET broadcaster finish broadcasting? Was that part 1 of a 13 part set? But only one of six in the galactic autumn season?

- Will they have to re-brand / "re-imagine" BBC Wordwide to, perhaps, BBC Universe? If so, what does that do to the copyrights owned by the old brand? What media formats will be acceptable to the ET marketplace?

Infrared Ray, Ultraviolet Ray? Copyrighted encoding formats - MPEG NTSC, MPEG PAL, MPEG ET, MPEG 4 ET - Just thinking about this could be a major H & S health hazard to the person(s) that have to propose and negotiate rights with the ETs...

- There could be cause for Major Concern about BBC output the ETs have received and that they have found objectional - "Welcome to this special edition of Univerersal PoV..."

Mine's the one with the weird radio "Universal Transceiver" gizmo in the secret pocket...

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Alien

Re: BBC's 'Health and Safety' is just a smokescreen

They dont wan to be found, so they have exercised mind control of BBC bosses.

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Beaurocracies:

They can't handle change, or anything new.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Beaurocracies:

Spell checkers:

They're built into browsers these days.

(BTW, Daily Mail boy, if you think this is true, you have more than literacy issues <3)

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Coat

Re: Beaurocracies:

but at least they're rather attractive

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Bronze badge

Re: Beaurocracies:

-- Spell checkers ==

C H E C K E R S

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Joke

I think they were worried...

That they would just hear a faint echo that sounded like "How's about that then...How's about that then....Jangle Jangle Jewellery Jewellery" and they panicked.

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Alien

Uh ho...

>fsst< "Greetings Earth creatures. This is Zarg from the planet you call Threapleton Holmes B".

>click< "We have observed your puny attempts to intercept our broadcast signals and rebroadcast them on your own BBC network."

>squark< "Unfortunately you have failed to purchase a licence to do this, and our saucers containing crack teams of IP lawyers are entering your atmosphere even as you hear my words. Resistance is futile."

>crackle< "I warn you, we know about, and have already neutralised, your small dog defence system." >pop<

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Devil

Brian Cox v BBC...now there's a toughy...

The elf'n'safety bollox was probably the BBC trying to save the aliens from first contact with the Cox-ter. 5 mins listening to that nutter would probably have the aliens raising an armada to seek and destroy the infestation.

Mind you, I don't really care in the matter of Cox v BBC. As a Scotsman, it would be like watching England v England. You don't care who wins but you hope for a lot of injuries.

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"England v England. You don't care who wins"

At least, being England and not Scotland, we'd win something.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "England v England. You don't care who wins"

By hook or by crook, that's the jolly English way!

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I just hope this is a joke, misheard, taken out of context and them misconstrued otherwise I'd have to give up my last vestiges of respect for the BBC.

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Facepalm

It was. And 12+ hours after Dara had rubbished it on Twitter, El Reg still decided to run with the tall tale.

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FAIL

Perhaps they were

writing in to points of view.

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Random acts of management

This decision (even thought there's bound to be more in it than we've been told) is bizarre, but well in keeping with lots of other BBC decisions - and compares well with some of the decisions they make regarding programme commissioning, cancellations, scheduling and content.

The BBC is simply too big to manage effectively. That's why it seems to have evolved lots of little (or big) fiefdoms that seem to act independently of their charter, the DG's wishes or public opinion. While they pride themselves in being "independent" of government, they are also independent of the country as a whole and only distantly related to common sense. That is the only reason I can think of for why they have developed such a knack for pinning KICK ME signs on their own arses. For which they duly and frequently get the result due to them.

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Coat

Brian Cox not allowed to listen to aliens?

They might say "nobber"

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