Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire … Bridport

THE shipping forecast celebrates its centenary this year, and Charlie Connelly, author of the best-selling book, Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round the Shipping Forecast, performs his hilarious and fascinating history of this important maritime service at Bridport Arts Centre on Saturday 22nd June.

The shipping forecast started out as (and remains) an essential service for mariners, but has acquired a unique place in our culture and hearts, and Connelly brings this peculiarly British phenomenon vividly to life.

How did a weather forecast for ships capture the hearts of a nation, from salty old sea dog to insomniac landlubber? How is it possible for ‘rain later’ to be ‘good’? And where the hell is North Utsire?

Delving into the history of the forecast and the extraordinary people who made it, Charlie Connelly explains what those curious phrases really mean, celebrates its wide cultural impact, shares riproaring adventures from his own extraordinary journey through the 31 sea areas – the times he was accused by the media of trying to annex Rockall from the British government and sang sea shanties with Tom Hardy in a Manx hotel bar while Scary Spice pulled the pints – and presents his case for the shipping forecast being our finest achievement.

Inspired by his bestselling book, which has sold more than a quarter of a million copies worldwide, this pacy, moving and hilarious show takes you all the way from Viking to South-East Iceland to ensure the shipping forecast will never sound the same again.