Weekend Wogan

Posted on March 15, 2010


A spot on the BBC homepage is a surefire way to grab the attention of the laziest of the surfers.

Personal experience reminds me of the dizzying experience a promotion on the BBC Homepage can be. It’s also breathtaking what effect it can have on click-throughs.

That’s why getting your content on the BBC Homepage is one of those nice-to-haves you’d be more than happy to sleep with someone for. Although obviously, I didn’t sleep with anyone to get it. Nor did I pay people any money either.

You’d think with all the other bits and pieces available on the page that the last place users would click would be on anything which appears on the top right-hand side of the page. Aren’t users meant to be interested in sourcing information now? They haven’t got time for anything else. They’re too easily distracted. I know I am.

User Experience

In a bid to ram the point home, here was my experience earlier this afternoon.

1. I log on to the BBC Homepage to distract me from the website I’m working on at the moment.

2. I ignore the news panel (I rarely look any further down the page – I loathe sport for example) and catch sight of Weekend Wogan’s latest highlight being promoted from the main panel.

3. I click play to watch the video. Within seconds, time has stood still as I watch agog at Beverley Knight singing live during Terry Wogan’s Sunday morning show from Broadcasting House.

4. I enjoy it so much I end up clicking through to the Weekend Wogan Homepage and start watching the entire show.

So what?

Wogan’s got currency. He’s popular. He’s incredibly popular. The fact I can’t stand him is neither here nor there.

But what’s interesting is how that single homepage promo and the strength of Beverley Knight’s cracking performance makes me want to see the entire show. When I start watching the show I’m engaged with an incredibly polished production which is both a radio show and a TV presentation rolled into one. You’d think watching something originally conceived as a radio show would be uncomfortable viewing. It’s not though. There’s an atmosphere – an engaging one – evident in the video of the show.

So engaging in fact I’m left wondering why the hell Terry Wogan isn’t back on TV with this show going out live on TV and on radio in one of those little retro-like simulcasts. It’s better TV than some entertainment TV I’ve seen in recent weeks.

And of course … if anyone’s considering putting it on TV then for the love of God make sure it’s just how it is now. It doesn’t need tinkering with. Sometimes simple is best.

It’s about the live performances

There are some key dependencies in this entire experience. As someone who wouldn’t otherwise go anywhere near Wogan, it is the strength of the soloist spotlighted on the homepage which draws me in.

Editorially, this demonstrates how the core proposition of Wogan’s show isn’t – as you might expect – Wogan himself but more the artists on his show. Moreover, the real selling point is that those artists are singing LIVE on his show.

Sure, that goes on a lot on 6 Music and definitely on Radio 3, but sometimes it’s forgotten on Radio 2. That homepage promotion reminds me there’s something of quality to be found on a Sunday morning on Radio 2.

One impressive feat

Thinking about the show itself there’s got to be a pretty good artist booker at work to secure guests who are prepared to sing live, a band who are able to play live (a contribution which harks back to old-school radio entertainment days) and a presenter who is not only able to call upon his experience in live radio broadcasting but can combine that with communicating with a live audience.

The fact that all of that comes across convincingly in the video coverage means that producers are working in tandem to stage something optimised for both radio and video at the same time. One impressive feat.

Watching the show now feels like we’re watching something quite unusual. It’s multiplatform. And like the homepage promotion which took me there, it’s something to be applauded.

Posted in: Audio & Music