The God Slot
Where TV is forced by law to put its hands together and pray.


(permanent link) added: 2012-10-09 06:53:27 sponsor: AgProv (last reply: 2013-04-17 05:06:53)

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That proportion of a TV Station's output which must be given over to religious programming, generally on the Holy Day. British TV is bound by government legislation to give over a certain percentage of its output to religious broadcasting. While it can make up part of this mandatory output with documentaries about religion, it is explicitly bound to broadcast at least one Christian religious service on a Sunday. There must also be a full service of religion on the High Holy Days, ie Easter and Christmas must include at least one full religious service broadcast to the nation on Easter Sunday and Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. Usually the state Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church take turns at the big "Cup Final" events such as Easter and Christmas. In recent years, the Chief Rabbi has been allowed to make a national sermon on TV at the time of the Jewish New Year. Things are more relaxed on radio, where the state BBC radio service is legally obliged to broadcast a Thought For The Day mini-sermon on Radios Two and Four every morning. The major Christian denominations, as well as agreeable people like Rabbi Lionel Blue, are regulars here: the Buddhists have also been allowed to do Thought For The Day, as have the H Indus. As yet, there has been no official BBC acknowledgement of Islam on radio or TV.

Confusingly to the American mind, the sort of religious service that involves an impassioned televangelist of the Oral Roberts/Pat Robertson/ Jimmy Swaggert variety demanding all your money - well, this is strictly prohibited on British terrestrial TV. American televangelism is also thought of as being a vulgar travesty. Garner Ted Armstrong, way back in the 1960's, got round this Satanic restriction by paying the pirate radio stations to broadcast his sermons and pleas for cash from outside British jurisdiction. The Irish state broadcaster RTE offers even more time to religion, but for obvious reasons this is almost exclusively Roman Catholic. RTE broadcasts the Catholic Angelus Bell at six every day. This has led unkind listeners, unaware of the convention, to make bad jokes about the Irish time signal. (the time signal in Britain beeps six or seven times at six o'clock. The Angelus rings a bell at least eighteen times. As - quite deliberately - RTE can be received loud and clear over most of Great Britain, the two have often been confused.)

Live Action TV:
  • Harry Secombe on Sunday evening hymns and reflections show, Highway.
  • His predecessor on the show, the saintly Jess Yates.
  • The eccentric and much loved Rabbi Lionel Blue, kosher chef, religious thinker, and one of maybe half a dozen British Jews the average bloke could name, if asked.
  • Rabbi Julia Neuberger, who like the gay Rabbi Blue has an impediment preventing her from becoming Chief Rabbi any time soon.
  • ex choirboy and Sunday morning radio God-slot person Aled Jones.
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