On the 16th October 2014 we conducted audience research on the streets of Chester to find more information on the characteristics of the type of person who would watch Brian Cox’s Human Universe.
8 questions were devised and then asked to the general public, the following are the questions which were created;
Q1) Do you mind me asking what you do? Education? Job?
Q2) Do you like Brian Cox as a TV presenter?
Q3) Have you been watching his new TV show ‘Human Universe’ on BBC2?
Q4) What appeals to you about him?
Q5) Would you say you like similar shows to these?
Q6) What other interests do you have aside from those kind of shows? (Sci-Fi etc.)
Q7) Would you watch ‘Human Universe if Brian Cox wasn’t presenting those shows?
Q8) Do you connect with the technological and religious themes of shows like this?
We asked these questions to people who only answered ‘Yes’ to Q3, if they answered negatively we ceased the interview. (Exception was ‘Musician #1 whose answers were good enough to be included due to his insight)
Below are all of the answers that we collected:
Q4) Very calm, intriguing
Q1) Yes, University
Q4) Knowledgeable and easy to listen to
Q5) Yes, likes documentaries
Q1) Out of work
Q3) His voice is easy to listen to
Q4) Yes, like documentaries
Q) Technology yes, religion no
Q4) His appearance
Q5) Yes, like documentaries
Q4) Interviewee was from Manchester, as does Brian Cox- share a connection.
Q5) Yes, David Attenborough
Q6) TV, Music, X Factor
Old Musician #1
Q2) Yes, he’s quite good
Q3) No, on at an awkward time but would do if given the chance.
Q5) Yes- similar shows, finds them interesting.
Q7) Yes, if the presenter was respectable.
Old Musician #2
Q1) In his 80’s and a musician.
Q3) Yes, interviewee spoke of a book he was reading called ‘Sapiens: A brief history of human kind’ by Yuval Noah Harari which related to themes outlined in Human Universe and Cox retold the correlation in an illogical way; putting the birth of humanity next to the space age.
Q4) Brian Cox is straightforward, expresses complex ideas in language which is easy to understand. But sometimes he makes words up.
Q6) Interests include music, science books, reading, jigsaws and walking
Q8) Doesn’t connect with technology, ‘’Technology enables communication, if only they could communicate something’, anti-social society.
Is religious and Catholic- sees religion to have changed a lot. Living in a ‘post-Christian’ era.
From carrying out this audience research, important knowledge from a key demographic which wasn’t truly represented has been found and understood more. The demographic in question is older citizens and getting two gentleman’s views who were both in their 80’s gives us a much more rounded view when narrowing down who exactly is DOREEN in the closing stages of this assignment.
Brief points to take away from this; and things which are general themes include all the people who were asked whether they like shows similar to Human Universe answered ‘yes’, meaning that viewers of Human Universe are fans of documentaries and factual programmes. Brian Cox as a presenter received a lot of praise to- from his on-screen persona and demeanor, to more aesthetic things like his looks, which suggests he is a key reason why people watch the show due to his appeal.