Monday, August 11, 2008

Did you know...

...that the UK is the only country that experiences a power surge after a popular TV show (Eastenders) has finished?

I have decided this is because of the British love of tea - and kettles.

(Update : I should have mentioned that this fact was gleaned from the BBC Programme 'Britain from the Air - you can see an excerpt here)


Blogger jem said...

I found that programme awesome. I was on the verge of tears throughout - its something about feeling so very little but somehow significant at the same time. Looking forward to next week.

Tue Aug 12, 10:22:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Me too, Jem! Weirdly moving and very unusual. Actually, your comment makes me realise I should have mentioned the source. I'll amend now. Thanks!

Tue Aug 12, 10:40:00 am  
Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

There's a word for it - ‘TV pick-ups’ - and the National Grid actually plans its supply around major TV events. Eastenders is an easy one because it's fixed. What they have problems with are sporting events where how the game goes is a determining factor; if the game is going badly then more people are likely to switch off early for a cuppa. The team will look at what the weather will be like and the time of day

At the Rugby World Cup final in 2003, the electricity demand soared to 2110MW at half time, the equivalent of over 2 million kettles being turned on.

There's a nice BBC article on it: Sport: Football trouble brewing for National Grid if you're interested.

Tue Aug 12, 11:47:00 am  
Blogger Gordon McCabe said...

I find that simply flicking through the channels early in the evening often brings me to the verge of tears.

Wed Aug 13, 12:21:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

In the programme, Jim (I'm assuming you didn't see it) even the end of Eastenders was problematic - it actually ended a minute or so later than billed, and the controller had to be there, waiting for it. It was surprisingly dramatic - Welsh reservoirs, providing hydroelectric power, had to go to full capacity, and he even had to pull in some power from France - but unfortunately this tripped out for some reason and the power dropped to critical levels.

But as you say, I suppose at least he was ready for it - I expect the vagaries of football are likely to catch him out much more.

Gordon: Yes, but I think those may be different tears, ones of bitterness and frustration, perhaps.

Wed Aug 13, 06:37:00 am  

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