Monday, December 17, 2007

Liverpool Nativity: Overnight news

There is some early coverage of the Liverpool Nativity. The Liverpool Echo has an article and pictures:

City in spotlight as thousands turn out for Liverpool Nativity
Dec 17 2007 by Catherine Jones, Liverpool Echo
THOUSANDS gathered to watch the Liverpool Nativity acted out on the streets of the city.

People braved freezing temperatures to cheer, boo, sing and clap along in the BBC’s live televised event.

Crowds started arriving at William Brown Street two hours before the start of last night’s event which was beamed nationwide to TV viewers on BBC3 . . .

. . . .The hour-long production opened with the iconic image of a star shining high in the sky above Liverpool and culminated with the nativity scene brought to life to the sound of some of the city’s greatest music.

It included songs by The Beatles, Teardrop Explodes, Dead or Alive, The La’s and The Zutons.

The Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev James Jones, described it as a “brilliant” live experience.

He said: “It had poignancy and the joy of the Christmas story. There were so many resonances there.”

The Liverpool Nativity sprang out of a meeting between writer Mark Davies Markham and the Bishop at Liverpool cathedral.

Mr Markham said: “I owe the story to Bishop James. All I did was fill in the dots.” . . .
The same paper declares today that the City's star is rising with further positive comments about the production. And then there is a third article:

Thousands brave freezing weather for Liverpool Nativity

The second page of this is a short review of the piece by Phil Key, which also appears in the Liverpool Daily Post. The article also notes that there will be a repeat on 23 December on BBC3.

The Guardian notes that it was a ratings success:
BBC3's ambitious attempt to re-create a modern day nativity on the streets of Liverpool was rewarded with more than 700,000 viewers last night.

Liverpool Nativity, which starred Jennifer Ellison, won its slot with an average of 710,000 viewers and a multichannel share of 3.2% between 8pm and 9pm, according to unofficial overnights.

The BBC3 drama peaked with 770,000 viewers in the quarter hour from 8.15pm
This might sound low to those unfamiliar with the British scene, but this is very good for non-networked TV. BBC3 is one of the BBC's channels only available via satellite, cable or freeview.

Update (10.34): There is also a BBC Video News item with some interviews and rehearsal footage. I should also have linked to BBC3's page on the Liverpool Nativity which features rehearsal photographs and a trailer. BBC Liverpool have pictures from the event.

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