Page last updated at 17:20 GMT, Friday, 27 November 2009

Close-Up: The Shipping Forecast

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In a new series, BBC News focuses on aspects of life in countries and cities around the world. What may seem ordinary and familiar to the people who live there, can be surprising to those who don't.

The Shipping Forecast has been running on BBC Radio since the 1920s - and while its purpose is to tell mariners the sea conditions, the forecast also has an enduring appeal to land-locked listeners.

Nick Higham finds out why the Shipping Forecast is such an important part of the British consciousness - helped by Met Office forecaster Steve Randall, Devon fisherman Geoff Ingram and Radio 4 announcer Carolyn Brown.

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