Author Topic: Cast lists are becoming ever less reliable  (Read 327 times)

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Offline Matamore!

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Cast lists are becoming ever less reliable
« on: June 27, 2015, 09:58:29 PM »
Again and again in recent weeks I\'ve refrained from ranting about this, because I\'m forever complaining about the iPlayer and the iPlayer website for one thing or another (and indeed, there has been another thing I have also been refraining from ranting about for weeks now), but it has passed the point where I can go on pretending to ignore it.

Cast lists on iPlayer programme pages have always tended to be hard to find, incomplete, and unreliable, but they are getting even worse. I\'ve mentioned a couple of examples (or at least one) in the course of going on about something else, but here is a simple and uncluttered example of what I mean:

BBC Radio 4 - The News Quiz, Series 87, Episode 7

Quote

Panellist   Jeremy Hardy
Panellist   Miles Jupp
Panellist   Susan Calman
Panellist   Sara Pascoe


Wrong, wrong, wrong! As the same page has already correctly stated (in a different part of the window), it\'s:

Quote
[...] regular panellist Jeremy Hardy and guests Andy Hamilton, Phill Jupitus and Francis Wheen.


Why on earth can\'t the BBC get such a simple and basic thing right? If it was only one or two examples, I wouldn\'t make a fuss; and if the BBC had a responsive and simple error-reporting system, I would consider it my public duty to politely point out their mistakes so that they can be corrected; but the error-reporting system is cumbersome and useless (if you can even remember how to find it), and the number of errors is overwhelming.

Offline Matamore!

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Re: Cast lists are becoming ever less reliable
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2015, 09:14:24 AM »
I later mentioned another example:

Anton Lesser and Roger Allam alert

I suggested the rather weak excuse that it might be hard work to compile cast lists for a series as a whole rather than individual episodes. But that doesn\'t explain this example:

BBC Radio 4 - Gloomsbury, Series 3, Women in Love and Men in Disgrace:

There is no cast list for the series as a whole. The cast list for this episode lists the 4 characters who appear in every episode, but also lists 2 who appear in many episodes but don\'t appear in this one. It also fails to list 4 characters who do appear, for the first time, in this episode. They\'re played by regular cast members, so it\'s easy enough to guess who they are. But even the announcement at the end of the episode can\'t be relied on: it correctly credits John Sessions for 2 parts, but fails to mention that he also plays DH Lollipop, who is prominent in this episode. At least that omission is repaired in the web page cast list for the episode. But that list also wrongly credits 2 parts to Roger Lloyd Pack, who died in January 2014. I was confused by this attribution before, when I thought that a voice I expected to be Nigel Planer didn\'t sound like him. The cast list was no help in sorting that one out! The degree of confusion is now quite incredible. How on Earth is anybody supposed to know who is playing what part?

Online Janaru

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Re: Cast lists are becoming ever less reliable
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2015, 10:06:53 AM »
Back when I posted a lot of program information on the board I noticed that there is very little uniformity in cast lists and show descriptions, not only from station to station, but from page to page within a station site.

As a person who used to do this sort of thing for a living, generally speaking, there would be an approved template that would apply for any one particular company\'s work we would do. We called it the \"bible\" for that company\'s ads.

When Auntie began making the websites more uniform looking across all stations, this should have been done as well. This would make plugging in the information for any particular program easy and avoid a lot of these problems. At the very least make them a much rarer occurrence.

Seems to me, and has done for quite awhile, that there is no \"one\" person in charge of this sort of thing. It\'s seems patched together from older formats.

It really wouldn\'t be that hard or take all that much time to do this. I used to do it all the time. But you do need someone with an eye for detail and crazy \"follow through\" tendencies.

If they could ever get the process set up properly, the correct information for a program would accompany the program file before it were even filled in. And when filling it in on the program page.... the correct information would be there.

You notice a LOT of this kind of stuff when you\'re working across many different station websites and program pages. You start to see a sort of pattern.
Note to self:  Use your powers for good, not for evil.....

Offline Matamore!

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Re: Cast lists are becoming ever less reliable
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2015, 02:14:38 PM »
Janaru Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It really wouldn\'t be that hard or take all that
> much time to do this. I used to do it all the
> time. But you do need someone with an eye for
> detail and crazy \"follow through\" tendencies.

Dear BBC,
Gizza job! I can do that.
(So long as it doesn\'t involve actually talking to anybody.)