Norway airs marathon ‘Slow TV’ history lecture

Norway airs marathon 'Slow TV' history lecture
Professor Frank Aarebrot - Photo: Nordiske Mediadager
Norway's national television channel on Friday launched its latest "Slow TV" extravaganza, broadcasting a marathon 200-minute lecture on Norwegian history to mark the bicentenary of the country's constitution.
The lecture was delivered by Frank Aarebrot, a jocular and fast-talking politics professor from the University of Bergen. 
"I am not sure if it should be called an academic marathon or a sprint," Aarebrot said before the lecture. "It will probably be a challenge to keep to the time." 
Aarebrot took the Norwegian people decade-by-decade through the story of the country from 1814 until the present day. 
Prime Minister Erna Solberg, a former student of Aarebrot's joked on Twitter that she doubted he could squeeze the material into the time. 
"In my time, there were 10 lectures of 2×45 min, and he only reached the mid 1850s," she wrote on Twitter.
Norway's experimentation with Slow TV began in 2009 with centenary of the Bergen railway line. 
Rather than commission a conventional feature programme on the line, NRK instead decided to stick a camera on a train and broadcast the entire seven-hour trip from Oslo to Bergen, interweaving the odd bit of archive footage to liven up the programme. 
Remarkably, it was a roaring success, with 1.2 million viewers, nearly a quarter of the population of Norway, tuning in for at least part of the trip.
Since then, the network has broadcast a cruise journey, a fire being slowly built and burned, and most recently, the knitting of a jumper, starting with the original sheep. 
"It's literally reality TV: something authentic that's shown in real time without being edited down," said Rune Møklebust, head of programs at NRK and the idea's main developer, told AFP.

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