Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Rockall, Malin, Hebrides... zzzz

Shipping forecast for forty winks: the man who gave the Radio 4 weather report for those at sea acknowledges he sent people to sleep

The man who provided the voice of the shipping forecast for 40 years has admitted his dulcet tones sent many listeners to sleep.

Peter Jefferson, who also worked as a continuity announcer, read the bulletin - essential listening for those at sea - on BBC Radio 4 until September 2009.

He told the Radio Times: "People from all over the UK and beyond have written to me saying they felt I was reading it just to them. Many is the time that someone has said to me without quite realising what they're saying: I know your voice. You've been sending me off to sleep for years."

Jefferson said the early-hours broadcast of the forecast has "a soothing effect after a long day".

He said: "Just when sleep beckons but the mind won't quite let you slip into its silken craw, the sound of another human voice, familiar yet not intrusive, reciting this mantra can be quite relaxing."

Jefferson accidentally swore on air while working as a continuity announcer on Radio 4 in 2009, after thinking he had switched off his microphone.

BBC bosses said his departure has nothing to do with the "little slip" and is to make way for "newcomers".

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