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Slow TV is a sleeper hit in Norway

SNAIL-PACED ENTERTAINMENT: Slow TV is attracting record audiences with programmes that are, literally, reality TV - hours of unedited footage of cruise liners touring fjords (above), train trips or crackling log fires.


    Dec 02, 2013

    Slow TV is a sleeper hit in Norway


    SAY goodbye to breathless intrigue and dramatic twists: Slow TV is attracting record audiences in Norway, with hours - even days - devoted to knitting, fishing and panoramic landscapes.

    Public broadcaster NRK has replaced some of its usual primetime drama and entertainment with long, lingering images of cruise liners touring fjords and hours of crackling log fires.

    With up to 134 hours of uninterrupted footage, this snail-paced entertainment has become something of a Norwegian speciality.

    "It's literally reality TV: Something authentic that's shown in real time without being edited down," said Mr Rune Moeklebust, head of programmes at NRK.

    The concept was pioneered in 2009, coinciding with the centenary of the Bergen railway line. The route passes through breathtaking scenery, connecting Norway's second city with the capital Oslo.

    The train trip - all seven hours and 16 minutes of it - was filmed with onboard cameras and archive footage was added to fill in some of the duller moments as the train passed through long, dark tunnels.

    About 1.2 million viewers, nearly a quarter of the population of Norway, tuned into NRK2 for at least part of the trip.

    Mesmerising voyages are not the only "slow" treats being offered to Norway's TV audiences. NRK airs shows on salmon fishing, knitting, the intricacies of making the perfect log fire and many other themes.