More on Gogglebox

I only watched Gogglebox to support Woody and his mother.

woody and zoe first pic gogglebox

I drew furiously while watching it. It was very interesting. This, incidentally, was a picture of Woody and his mother watching “the Favourite”, certainly not a film I would have liked to have watched with my mother. But Woody was there with a quick “Oy oy!” He knows how to place these one liners.

Today, the media has been whipped up about what happened to Eamonn Holmes and rightly so.

I feel deeply for Eamonn Holmes partly because I was also the victim of some nasty editing on TV. In my case, this took place in Russia and what I had said was dubbed over with words that I never used at any point in my interview. The solution when I complained was to remove the entire episode from the live feed. Of course, I expected a better response from Gogglebox and I am pleased it has now been sorted out.

The Daily Mirror adds a very interesting line:

When one fan begged him not to take any notice of the trolls, Eamonn hit back: “Thank you SL …. but a lie unchallenged becomes the truth.”

Believe me, I can understand how wounded and upset Mr Holmes must have been. At the bottom of this page is a link to my story as reported by the BBC.

This is what the Mail on line have written this evening:

Celebrity Gogglebox have issued an apology to Eamonn Holmes after he slammed them for their editing of him during Friday’s show.

Eamonn took to Twitter calling out the show’s ‘idiotic and cruel choice’ to air a clip of him joking after a harrowing moment from the BBC series Ambulance, instead of a filmed clip of him discussing his father’s death.

Producers issued a grovelling apology on Saturday to the This Morning host, 60, in which they promised to edit future repeats of the episode.

In a statement shared on Gogglebox’s Twitter, they wrote: ‘We have apologised to Eamonn over what happened in this week’s episode. We understand and respect Eamonn’s feelings on such a deeply personal story

‘We have taken the decision to edit the episode for future repeats and All4. We look forward to working with Eamonn and Ruth for the rest of the series.’

Eamonn took to his own Twitter to re-share the statement and added his own comment.

Reply: Eamonn took to his own Twitter to re-share the statement and added his own comment

He wrote: ‘For those who judged me wrongly. I think it’s important you read this. It was a bad edit and we move on with what should be a fun experience on what is almost always a very entertaining programme. Thank you @C4Gogglebox.’

He then shared the statement to his Instagram, but this time wrote: ‘After last night’s clumsy edit which led to a huge amount of distress and outrage to viewers ,myself and my family…. Thank you, We move on and look forward to making fun TV.’

Viewers were quick to react to the show’s apology and editing plan, with some praising the plan, while some still felt disappointed by their actions.

‘This is my favourite show and I feel let down by this! I’m pleased you have corrected your mistake’ tweeted one follower.

While another remarked: ‘Hope the damage & hurt you caused to @EamonnHolmes can be undone with this. I fear not. I’m so disappointed in my favourite show.’

'Clumsy edit': He then shared the statement to his Instagram, but this time wrote: 'After last night's clumsy edit which led to a huge amount of distress and outrage to viewers ,myself and my family.... Thank you, We move on and look forward to making fun TV'

A third Twitter user simply put: ‘Very very decent of you.’

‘I’m sure Eamonn and Ruth are big enough people to accept your apology and move forward, though I, for one, would understand if they chose to take no further part in the series. Your actions to edit future transmissions of this episode are correct. Just my opinion’ wrote a fourth.

‘Thank you. I messaged you earlier to do this. It was totally unacceptable to show what you did but I hope Mr Holmes can accept your apology’ commented a fifth person.

With another agreeing: ‘This is good see! I thought is was appalling the way they edited the episode! Hopefully they are more careful in the future!!!’

It comes after Celebrity Gogglebox was removed from the catch up service All4 in light of Eamonn’s outburst.

In the scene that Eamonn criticised, the celebrities were moved by a touching story where a child phoned 999 to report that her father was having a heart attack

Bizarrely, Eamonn was shown telling a story about how he drove his wife to the hospital when his son Jack was born. It was a good story and he explained that even while his wife was having contractions, she had to give him directions. The problem was that it appeared insensitive to be telling such a story in response to the very touching scene where a child gave his father life-saving first aid.

The stream of twitter criticism was intense:

One wrote: ‘@EamonnHolmes comparing taking Ruth to hospital to have a baby – with a 10 year old lad doing chest compressions on his dad that’s just had a heart attack – is beyond belief!’

Another shared: ‘Did Eamonn Holmes just compare driving his wife to hospital to a 10 year old child giving chest compressions to his dying dad on #CelebrityGogglebox? Unreal…’

I am reminded of the story told about the Cure D’ars and the girl who spread gossip. It is impossible to fully repair the damage done. It does not even have to have been done deliberately. The fact that it was done is enough. In the story of the Cure d’Ars, the girl is asked to pluck a chicken as she walks along the road and when she gets to the church, the cure tells her to go back and pick up all the lost feathers. “That would be impossible”, she replies and he agrees. That is the problem with gossip. that is why it is so important to get things right. The Mail finishes its story by printing these two telling tweets from Eamonn Holmes.

However, the presenter did not ignore the trolls and instead hit back with: ‘Please read my posts. I’m then expecting an apology or an understanding from you ….. or are you not man enough ?’

In another tweet he penned: ‘I’m devastated that the Boy, the Ambulance Service and my whole family have been hurt by this …. sometimes I despair at decision making in TV.’

My story can be found here:

https://monitoring.bbc.co.uk/product/c200wjny

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censorship and dubbing comic strip

masha and the bear

tim interviewed about MASHA and the BEAR

tim on dubbing in HTV Irada Zeynalova

 

I can think of only one successful example where dubbing completely different text over a tv dialogue was both efficacious and right.

magic roundabout facts by tim

 

an update on dubbing in Russia

HTB update, background and summary

censorship and dubbing comic strip.jpg

Here are links to previous blogs about this issue:

https://animate-tim.com/2019/04/18/htv-in-russia/

https://animate-tim.com/2019/04/20/more-on-the-ethics-of-dubbing/

https://animate-tim.com/2019/04/19/masha-and-the-bear/

 

Lost in translation

Lost in translation

Stories in the Context section are not fakes. We publish them in order to provide greater insight for our readers about the techniques, methods and practices used by the Russian government in its information war. They appear on our site with the permission of their original publisher and reflect the views of the authors and not necessarily the position of StopFake’s editorial board.

By EU vs Disinfo

Imagine that you are a politician or an expert commentator, and a Russian state-controlled TV channel calls you and asks for an interview.

You are aware that some Russian media outlets spread disinformation; nevertheless, you agree to the request, thinking that you simply need to formulate your answers very carefully.

When the interview is broadcast, you appear on the TV screen saying something quite different from what you said when the interview was recorded.

How did that happen?

“Complete misrepresentation!”

The trick is simple: If you don’t speak Russian, and the interview needs to be dubbed, you lose control over your own comments and leave it to the discretion of the TV channel to decide how your words are rendered.

As reported by Stephen Ennis for BBC Monitoring, this kind of manipulative mistranslation was apparently used to change statements by two British pundits in March and in June this year. Both had agreed to be interviewed by the same current affairs programme, Itogi Nedeli (Results of the Week), which is broadcast by NTV – a nationwide Russian network, owned by the state-controlled energy giant Gazprom.

Tim Wilson, a British politician, cartoonist and former member of UKIP, made his own parallel recording of the interview he gave to NTV. The BBC compared Mr Wilson’s recording to what was aired and concluded that when Mr Wilson in the Russian rendering says that Theresa May has her “neck on the block” and that David Cameron has calmly left to watch “the country fall apart,” it bears no semblance to the English original.

Similarly, when the BBC confronted John Curtice, a Professor of Politics at Strathclyde University, with what he had appeared to say about Boris Johnson on NTV, his reaction was: “Complete misrepresentation!”

The BBC reports that NTV has now removed and re-edited the items in question, following complaints from the two British commentators. According to Professor Curtice, NTV also offered him an apology, whereas Mr Wilson says he has not received an apology, in spite of complaining to the network. NTV has not replied to requests for comments.

State-streamlined translations

Russia’s political leadership in the Kremlin issues weekly guidelines, instructing the dominating media outlets in which topics and messages should be transmitted; and apparently, all parts of the output – even translations – can become subject to this state streamlining.

In 2016, the state TV channel Rossiya 24 interviewed a number of people in Paris who did not recognise their own words when France’s Canal Plus confronted them with they had appeared in the Russian dubbing.

In 2018, NTV was accused of manipulating interviews with Danish politicians. The story was covered by Denmark’s Radio24Syv and backfired on NTV as well as on Russian diplomats who tried to defend Gazprom’s TV network.

Inosmi – a state-controlled portal which offers Russian readers first-hand insights into international media in the form of translations – also uses manipulations to control the perception of its publications.

Finally, returning to the situation outlined above: Should you, after all, decide to accept the request for an interview with a Russian state-controlled outlet, our advice is: Learn to speak Russian – or at least do what Mr Wilson did and produce your own recording of the interview; it could come in handy.

By EU vs Disinfo

More on the ethics of Dubbing

tim on dubbing in HTV Irada Zeynalova

 

On the plus side, there is clarity and employment to be gained from dubbing foreign language films and reports. A familiar voice is often more immediate than hearing someone speaking another language. Also, the whole dubbing industry provides work for needy actors as well as translators: it is an industry in itself. The simultaneous translation services provided in conferences and routinely at the top levels in diplomacy and in the UN and EU foster some of the best practice and ensure that what is said by someone in one language is understood as far as possible in the way that it was intended.

The Italian film industry has a long record of dubbing films and later TV shows for broadcast on local stations throughout the country. In the 1960s and early 70s, the multi-lingual film sets of Visconti, Bertolucci, Pasolini and Zefirelli made good use of the traditions of dubbing, and effortlessly rendered Burt lancaster and Dirk Bogarde into Italian. Indeed, I remember seeing “jesus of Nazareth” on a church door in Naples in Italian. Laurence Olivier sounded particularly smooth. Many of the tricks these directors used are still the basis of directing animated dialogue, hitting the beats of the original text rather than trying to slavishly copy the sounds and shapes of the true mouth movements. In the end, it is an illusion that the audience gladly accepts. Of course, those of us growing up with Heidi and White Horses in the early 1960s will remember some very oddly detached dialogue dominating the schedules every weekday just before the evening news. And then there is “the Magic Roundabout”…

“The magic Roundabout” is remarkable for its cavalier approach to dubbing. It was creative with its story-telling, often moving wildly away from the original and ensuring that the humour of the french visuals was matched to a thoroughly British soundtrack. While this might have worked for Serge Danot, it owed alot to the skills of Eric Thompson (Emma’s father) and, indeed, the series that began on French ORTF in 1964 was originally rejected by the BBC as too “difficult to dub into English”. The Thompson ruse owed alot to the fact that Ivor Wood, who went on to make the Herbs, Wombles and Paddington worked with his french wife Josiane on the original series together with Danot. The english version, therefore, sprang from the artistic forces that created the series in the first place. Almost certainly, by the 1970’s, I think some of the french plots must have been constructed with an eye on the likely British narrative. 441 original episodes were aired with Thompson’s anarchic text by 1977 and a further 51 were dug up in the early 90s and narrated by Nigel Planer.

It is more worrying when the freedom of “the Magic Roundabout” is introduced into factual programmes and basic reporting. It allows, of course, for a foreign TV station to air a text that might be better-phrased than the original, and might preserve what was intended by the original speaker, but equally, there are three more disturbing options: firstly,  it is an opportunity to drop an editorial gloss surreptitiously into a programme; secondly, there is a chance to distort the sense of what was originally said, and thirdly, there is an option for the producer to introduce an entirely new idea. This seems broadly deceptive and it is far removed from the whimsy and good nature of “the Magic Roundabout.”

In many countries where news’ reports are dubbed, it is possible to hear the original words behind the added vocal. This seems very sensible and offers a bilingual viewer the chance to compare. It is transparent. The same is true about subtitles. Of course, there are instances when legal rules or security dictate that the words used “are spoken by an actor”. But again, one would trust the actor would pace the new text to match the original. In my experience of being interviewed and recorded for Russian TV on Irada Zaynolova’s news’ programme particularly, two features stick out: the first is an insistent orchestral beat that, together with a slightly manic presentation by Zaynarova herself, suggests a continual state of anxiety. Accordingly, I have been very measured and calm in what I have done for her. The second is that the dubbed voice is so loud, it is impossible to detect anything of the original.

magic roundabout facts by tim.jpg

 

 

HTV in Russia- standards of reporting

This is the second interview as it appeared on HTB (NTV)

There is a problem here – specifically that the words I am supposedly saying, dubbed by a Russian actor, are not in the original interview.  The previous interview that I did before Christmas about a children’s tv series called “Masha and the bear” was equally questionable- but when I asked to see the original footage, I was told this was not possible, and I was assured that the words dubbed were an accurate representation of what I said. In the case of this interview about Brexit, however, the entire interview was also filmed (though not by me) on a mobile phone so it is possible to compare what I actually said with what the tv station felt was convenient for them to broadcast.

There were by their own admission other complaints about the dubbing. I was invited to meet Ms Zeynalova and members of the senior management of the station last week. In the event, I went up to the studio, went through a barrage of (last-minute and quite excessive) security to have tea in a staff canteen with an editor, a charming lad called Andrey who promised to arrange a further interview to correct the station’s errors. So far, nothing has happened. There has been no written apology, and no explanation on air and of course the proffered meeting with senior execs has still not taken place. I wonder whether this sort of thing (what might be called “deceptive dubbing”) is therefore accepted as standard practice. It beggars belief.

I will add to this and post further images and details over the next few days.

irada-and-dupulicity-story.jpg

This is a translation of what NTV claims I said, “She even put her neck on the line by saying that she would if the plan was supported, even this didn’t help. Look at it from a different angle. She planned to be another prime minister from the ruling party, after Cameron who did nothing and just went to watch from the side as the county crumbles”

This is actually what I believe I was saying to coincide with the visuals (I take this from the recording made on a phone at the same time and now posted elsewhere on the internet): “She said she was going to resign if she gets the deal through. It’s an extraordinary thing to do to say if I’m successful, I will resign. And if that’s the deal she’s got to do, well, I understand it’s been successful and people are already lining up to compete for the next job of leader of the conservative party, therefore leader of the country and prime minister. It may have had a negative effect because the labour party detests the thought that there could be an even stronger leave voter in place to lead the country after Mrs May goes.”

Here is the original footage: