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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Slow TV

 

Hoping to take "slow TV" to a new level, Norway's public broadcaster will air 12 hours of knitting from Friday night, complete with needle tips and a how-to on knitting a cover for a Harley Davidson motorbike.

Broadcaster NRK, a veteran in quirky programming, will also feature an attempt to break a world sheep-shearing record currently held by an Australian shearing group.

"We'll dive deep into the world of knitting, then from midnight, we'll turn down the pace, if that's even possible," Rune Moeklebust, a producer for public television NRK, said.

"We'll watch the arm of a sweater get longer and longer; it will be fascinating ... but pretty strange TV."

In 2011, NRK broadcast 134 hours non-stop of a cruise ship going up the Norwegian coast to the Arctic, bagging the world record for the longest continuous TV program. Millions tuned in.

In February, it aired a 12-hour show on firewood, featuring discussions about stacking and chopping and a debate on whether the bark should face up or down. At one point, one-in-five Norwegians watched the show.

"You can argue that the national knitting night is the feminine response to the firewood show," Sidsel Mundal, a spokeswoman for NRK, said.

In the first part of the show, various guests will share tips on anything related to knitting and producers will also bring in one of NRK's foreign correspondents, who takes his knitting on road trips and sometimes teaches locals.

Then from midnight, a team of eight will attempt to break the world record for shearing a sheep and making a sweater from its wool.

The current record for the "back to back challenge" - from the back of a sheep to the back of a person - stands at four hours and 51 minutes, held by the Merriwa Jumbucks from New South Wales.

"The sheep is now resting and grazing on an island near Bergen, getting ready for the challenge," Ms Mundal said.

Slow TV has been so popular, the channel will broadcast globally for the first time, making the show available at www.nrk.no/knitting with English commentary. It is also inviting fans to share their work on its Facebook and Instagram sites.

The next slow TV broadcast is on the drawing board and Mr Moeklebust has ideas. "I'm fascinated by doing the clock minute by minute," he said. "There must be a way of doing that."

Reminds me of Saudi Television with its repeat runs of Walt Disney's Bambi interspersed with endless 'news' items of Crown Prince Abdul So-and-So departing the Kingdom for the fleshpots of the world and Crown Prince Salman Such-and-Such returning to the Kingdom from the fleshpots of the world.