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Monday, September 29, 2003

Tube buskers on TV

Watched the TV programme Busking Underground at the weekend on video. (Originally broadcast last Thursday on ITV) Must say I wasn't overly impressed with it and thought it was quite dull really. It was about the trial of the official London Underground buskers and how they were initially chosen. Very quietly spoken voiceover and most of the buskers being interviewed were very compliant and ..... dull.

Did recognise a girl playing a recorder who turns out to be called Netty. Also a punk looking violinist who's called Dimitri.

Dimitri punk busker at Piccadilly circus


I was amazed that even the ones at busy stations like Piccadilly Circus only earned about �10 an hour. I'm not really sure how much I thought they'd earn, but I thought it would be more than that.

The guy that did really well was playing a didgeridoo and he got about �50 in a two hour session and had "crowds" of people round him.

As I walked past the spot at Piccadilly Circus this morning (as I do everyday) I was struggling to remember when I had seen more that two or three people actually standing still and watching the buskers themselves.

Most interested to learn that the company that organises the auditions Automatic is owned by comedian, writer and wife of Billy Connolly, Pamela Stephenson. So that's what she gets up to in her spare time.

I actually felt sorry for poor old Carling too. They sponsor the whole busking thing and even though the programme was on ITV they were referred to as a "drinks company" and any shot with their name on it had the logo blurred out.

For more on buskers check out goingunderground.net's busking page.


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