The Shipping Forecast

The Shipping Forecast

A Miscellany


The rhythmic lullaby of ‘North Utsire, South Utsire’ has been lulling the nation’s insomniacs to sleep for over 90 years. It has inspired songs, poetry and imaginations across the globe – as well as providing a very real service for the nation’s seafarers who might fall prey to storms and gales. It has inspired everyone from Seamus Heaney to Radiohead, and from Radio 4 announcers to the writers of Keeping Up Appearances. In 1995, a plan to move the late-night broadcast by just 12 minutes caused a national outcry and was ultimately scrapped.

Published with Radio 4 and the Met Office, The Shipping Forecast is the official miscellany for seafarers and armchair travellers alike. It features fascinating facts alongside lyrics from Seamus Heaney, Carol Ann Duffy, Radiohead and more. From the places themselves – how they got their names, what’s happened there through the ages – to the poems and parodies that it’s inspired, this is a beautifully evocative tribute to one of Britain's – and Radio 4's – best-loved broadcasts.

About the author

Nic Compton

Nic Compton is a writer, photographer and sailor who has spent his life around boats. Having worked as a journeyman shipwright, journalist and editor of Classic Boat, he now has 15 books about ships and seafaring to his name. He currently lives by the River Dart in Devon, from where he sails a Romilly 22 called Ramona. He still listens to the Shpping Forecast before he ventures out onto the sea.
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