The Director General of the BBC has been forced to admit that the map used in the channel’s weather forecasts frequently contain names of towns that don’t exist. The practice came to light after Conservative MP Toby Booth asked a question at PMQs in which he referenced recent levels of rainfall in the Hampshire village of ‘Lower Spangle’.
In statement released today, BBC boss Tony Hall confirmed that the town of Lower Spangle was ‘completely made up’. He went on to confirm that an internal BBC investigation has revealed that the practice of including fictitious place names on the weather map has been going on for ‘several years’. Other examples of false place names which have been recently uncovered include ‘Balderdash’, ‘Codswallop-on-the-Wold’, ‘Spunkerton’ and ‘Aberdeen’.
‘We have to do something to brighten up our day, its dull spending your entire working life just talking about the bloody weather’, said an anonymous BBC meteorologist today. Another veteran weather presenter claimed that the practice has been going on ‘for years’. ‘In the early days there was a lovely Wodehousian feel to the names we used, like ‘Dumplings-on-the-Marsh’ and ‘Chuckle-Farthing’, but with the younger presenters coming on board it’s got a bit vulgar. I like a laugh as much as the next man but when you hear Darren Bett talking about rainfall and saying, ‘there could be a good 6 inches in Cockertwat tomorrow’, then you know it’s been taken too far’.