LONDON: A weather forecast for sailors around British waters, which became an iconic radio broadcast that inspired poets and singers with its exotic names, celebrated its 150th anniversary on Thursday.

The Shipping Forecast was first transmitted by telegraph and then by the BBC starting in the 1920s when it became a daily fixture for listeners.

Sea areas with names such as “Viking”, “Dogger”, and “Fastnet” have helped create a cult following for the broadcast even though modern seamen now rely on far more sophisticated forecasting technology.–AFP


The bulletin, which is issued four times a day, also inspired songs by Blur, Radiohead and the Prodigy and has been read out by famous figures including comedian Stephen Fry and playwright Alan Bennett.

Poet Carol Ann Duffy wrote a poem about it entitled “Prayer”.

The Shipping Forecast has also inspired a 2016 book of the same name, celebrating the broadcast for inspiring imaginations worldwide.