Monday, 23 April 2012

The Battle: The Voice UK Vs. The X Factor - subtitle nightmares...

On Saturday night I settled down with my family to watch the first round of "battles" on The Voice. The aim of the game, as such, was to eliminate one contestenant from each duet so that each judge ends up with only 5 acts to take through to the live shows. 

I do hate to admit that I actually quite like watching these singing programmes - even though I'm not entirely sure my judgement process is up to scratch - I even watch the X Factor (terrible I know), although last series I did think the programmes had gone even further down-hill than I thought possible... 

Everyone's heard the fuss made over the subtitles on the X factor live shows, how awful they are and how ITV need to make some serious effort to make their shows more accessible for us deafies. But seriously people, I think I may have just found a contender for the worst subtitles ever... - just to say, the BBC news doesn't count, they have what I like to call a "chronic accessibility issue"!

What makes it worse for me is that these rounds of The Voice aren't even recorded live! and if this is the state of the subtitles now God help us all next week - eventually I just turned them off they were so lousy. 
I don't understand why a show that is pre-recorded can't also have pre-recorded subtitles! I mean that's not such a big ask is it? Many BBC 1 programmes do: Merlin, Dr Who, Holby City, Eastenders etc... Some of them even have sign language! (albeit at 3am in the morning...) 

On Saturday night I thought it was just because the music was killing the subtitles - I'm not expecting them to subtitle the songs! But on Sunday night when I watched the show with subtitles from the very first minute I could see this wasn't the problem... Even before the music the subtitles were a good 20-30 seconds behind and in some places I'm told they were even missing bits out... Just not good enough really!! 

Come on BBC 1! With the exception of Children in Need and The Apprentice Final I've always sung your praises where subtitles were concerned... Please don't go all ITV on me now! 

I've decided I'll write to the BBC, and post the letter on here when I'm done, because I think they need to understand that access to popular TV is a right not a "Oh well maybe we could just wing it as we go along..." and I think I'll point them in the direction of this blog post as well... 

I'm posting a video of the beginning of Sunday's show at the bottom of this post - if it works! That way everyone can see what I mean... If you agree with me and want to add your name to the bottom of the letter leave me a comment or send me a message. 


  1. Please include my name on this. CBBC is just as bad on some programmes and it drives my son nuts!!
    Lisa Heenan