close icon

What is this 230 Miles of Love?

230 Miles of Love is a sketch show all about the M6 motorway that you can download and enjoy for free. You could say that it's like The Fast Show, but actually fast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The jokes in the sketches are way funnier than that one.

Why is it so special?

Well, not only is it about the M6 but it also exists on the M6 as well, this is because 230 Miles of Love is the world's first satcom. What's a satcom? It's a GPS-assisted comedy. So, you download 230 Miles of Love onto your satnav, GPS mobile phone or PDA and the sketches automatically play when you reach the relevant place on the M6.

You can also listen to it just like a podcast on your computer (it would be especially good enjoyed on Google Earth) or on an MP3 player, but if you're doing this you'll have to imagine you're on the M6. Try eating travel sweets, beeping occasionally and sitting still until your arse goes numb.

Who did this?

It was devised, written and created by Andrew Shanahan with the massive assistance of these heroes. It was all done in about a week as a proof of concept and for something to do.

How do you make the sketches appear, is it done by magic?

Not magic, no. If you want a full technical explanation or want to know how to make your own satcom then go to the how is this done page. Essentially, it's done by exploiting a type of POI (Point Of Interest) file that satnavs can use called Rich POI. If you're already yawning then I suggest you don't read the technical explanation and we'll just agree that it's done by magic but white, benevolent magic only and not the nasty, deathy kind.

Why write a show about the M6?

Good question. The simple answer is to try and increase the sum total of beauty and happiness in the world, especially for the 200,000 people who use the M6 every day. We're also trying to raise money for charity. Why not listen to it and see if it succeeds in the whole beauty and happiness thing and if it does make a donation to our charity. If it doesn't, you can still donate to charity but just do it while you're gnashing your teeth.

I have more questions! Some of them are angry, technical ones!

Super. Some of them might be answered on our questions page if they're not email 230milesoflove AT googlemail DOT COM and we'll try and help.

close icon

Listen and Download

Enjoying 230 Miles of Love couldn't be simpler, they're even non-sweary family-friendly(ish) versions.

1) If you're going to be travelling on the M6 in a northbound direction (i.e. from South to North - Junction 1 towards Junction 44 - upwards - hot to cold) then click here: 230 Miles of Love - Northbound
Look for the Download As... box in the top right hand corner of the page and choose your format. Then follow the instructions that appear.

2) If you're going to be travelling on the M6 in a southbound direction (i.e. from North to South - Junction 44 towards Junction 1 - downwards - cold to hot) the click here: 230 Miles of Love - Southbound
Look for the Download As... box in the top right hand corner of the page and choose your format. Then follow the instructions that appear.

PLEASE NOTE

You must bear in mind all safety warnings from your manufacturer's instructions about safely using any devices whilst driving, taking regular breaks and eating enough fibre.

If you have any problems with downloading the show then email 230milesoflove AT gmail DOTCOM and we'll muse upon your issues.

While you're waiting for the show to download why not donate to our charity?

close icon

Questions, questions, questions, questions

But isn't this background a picture of the M1? Why would you have a picture of the M1 when your show is about the M6? That doesn't make sense. It's senseless. You're silly.

Heh. Yes, you're absolutely right it is the M1 and what's worse - I don't even know which bit it is. For shame. By the way, you might like to know that the nice people at SABRE share your interest in motorways and I'm sure they'd be happy if you went and said hi.

What satnavs does this work for?

Currently, you can make it work on Garmins and TomToms (although you can't autoplay them on a TomTom, so you'll have to press play yourself, boo). In time we'll have more information about how to get it to work on all sorts of devices, so check back here or ask at the forums over at Geovative and someone will come to your assistance. Incidentally, if anyone feels like writing a TomTom crack to allow mp3s to be associated with POIs then I'm not physically or legally capable of stopping you. Ahem. Equally, if you've figured out how to make the show work on any new devices then let us know at 230milesoflove AT googlemail DOTCOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

So does the stupid satnav voice perform the sketch then?

No, a whole range of other stupid voices perform the sketches. 230 Miles of Love sketches sounds just like they would on a radio. Why not listen to them and hear for yourself?.

Why is it called 230 Miles of Love?

The M6 is 230 miles long and it's full of love. You might not have noticed all of the love before, but if you look again you'll definitely see it.

How much is all of this going to cost me and what's the scam?

It costs nothing, it's entirely free for you to download and enjoy, although if you want to donate to our charity then please do so. Just go to the download page and pick how you want to listen to the show and within moments you can be experiencing it in all of its glory. There is no scam. You're perfectly safe. Breathe.

I played the show and one of the sketches was in the wrong place.

Funny story. I love driving and I love roads but I don't drive on motorways. Don't ask me why not, it's probably some deep-seated psychological thing and if I dwell on it too much I'll probably flip out and grow a goatee or something. Anyway, the point is that I've not been able to position these sketches by visiting the places myself. I've positioned them by painstakingly crawling through on Google Earth and basically using guess-work so please let me know if they need moving. If you're complaining that there were no crows in sight when the Motorway Crows sketch played then you probably have a goatee.

This looks like fun, how can I join in?

Well you can go and make your own satcom and tell us about it or you can get involved with us. There's two main things we're looking for:
- Companies who want to promote themselves. Email us. We have all the traffic (feel free to make your own M6/web traffic gag here: ____________) you could ever want and by supporting us you're finally making good on your mission statement to be involved with new media!
- People. Email us and tell us how you can help. There's lots of stuff to be done and stuff can only get done by people. Or robots. Or trained monkeys.
230milesoflove At gmail DOTCOM and mark your email "I love helping!"

Does your question remain unanswered? Email us at 230milesoflove AT gmail DOT COM and we'll try and help

close icon

How was 230 Miles of Love made?

There were basically four stages to making 230 Miles of Love. Stages which you could easily replicate to create your own world-beating satcom.

1) First off I had the idea and wrote the sketches. All that was needed for this was my brain and Final Draft, although you could equally just use a crayon and some dry bark. And your brain.

2) The sketches were then performed by the very talented people mentioned here. We recorded the whole thing in a day at Futureworks and edited it in two days. This gave us our MP3s (but if you wanted to you could create audio files at home using a mic, your mates and your PC)

3) The audio files were then incorporated into a tour that I built using the Geovative website. You can use the site for free but it's a lot easier if you sign up for the Premium version and if you use that link then they've promised to send me gold, which would be nice. There's loads of support but if you get stuck Scott and Lane who run the site are v. good. If you get really stuck email 230milesoflove AT gmail DOTCOM and I'll try and help.

4) Finally, this site was built using the brain of the immaculately talented Tom Reeve, CoffeeCup's free trial, Filezilla and some industrial-grade swearing.

Let us know if you make your own site and we'll link to it, or at the very least shout hooray on your behalf.

close icon

Who Made 230 Miles of Love?

Andrew Shanahan came up with the idea, wrote it, did some acting and made it appear in the real world (Moving Audio).
Emma Shanahan sang the theme tune and acted.
Lou Conran acted (MySpace, Ha Ha! Oink.).
Chris Rea acted.
John Warburton acted.
John Thorp acted.
Mel Moon acted (MySpace).
Praise be to Manchester's comedy scene for containing such helpful and talented people.

Thom Powell was the studio engineer and sound mixer (Thom Powell).
Yolander Yeo did some beautiful design work.
Tom Reeve built the website.

Thanks to the Highways Agency for the picture, the help and for giving governmental bureaucracy a good name, all hail HAIL! (Highways Agency).
Chris Marshall very kindly answered some of my na´ve questions. (CBRD)
Tom Allbeson gave incredibly useful opinions, coined the term SETI-com and lent his mighty brain to the cause.
David Isaac edited the sketches and gave very useful writing advice.
Philippa Usher from the Beeb helped out above and beyond the call of duty.

close icon

Support The Motivation Charitable Trust

If you have enjoyed 230 Miles of Love and would like to make a donation to Motivation please visit our Just Giving page. Frankly, even if you hated the show you should still go and give some cash.

Mobility is an essential human right that enables people to achieve inclusion in all aspects of life. To be able to travel from one place to another is an opportunity that many of us take for granted. Yet an estimated 20 million people worldwide are in need of a wheelchair. Without this essential mobility aid disabled people are often excluded; unable to access education or employment, or to participate in their communities.

Motivation is an international organisation which works with disabled people to help them achieve inclusion in society. Motivation designs low cost appropriate wheelchairs and trains organisations and individuals how to deliver and use this equipment effectively.

Motivation works with local partner organisations to set up wheelchair service workshops. It provides the partner with training in how to design, manufacture and assemble appropriate wheelchairs. Motivation provides staff with training in how to prescribe, assemble and fit the wheelchair and trains the user how to get the most from their new product.

If you would like to learn more about Motivation's work visit their website.