11. public eye
16. one/1 million pounds
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Answering machine: You have reached the East Street Surgery answering service. Doctors Marsh, Green and Clifford are not available for consultation at this time. If you urgently need to see a doctor, dial Reading 622909 for doctors Smith and Parker  or go to 217 George Street. If you wish to leave a message at this surgery, please speak after the tone.
Reporter: It’s been three hours since the first casualties were brought out and we have been informed that there are many more victims still inside the compound. Looking through the chain-link fence, I can see  the head of one body lying on the ground only a hundred yards or so from where I’m standing. Even the grass at my feet was badly scorched by the blast. All the bodies so far have been taken to a nearby town for identification. So far, no effort has been made to cap the leaking column but we’ve been informed that a team of German scientists are on their…
Dad: When are you going to get your hair cut? It’s not long till school starts again. I thought you were going to do it yesterday.
Son: Er, well, I’ll have to go tomorrow or the next day. I couldn’t go yesterday; it was closed.
Dad: I thought it was always shut on Wednesday afternoons.
Son: No, it’s shut all day Tuesday.
Dad: Well, look, you’ll have to go today or tomorrow because Friday’s a public holiday and everything will be closed then. 
Son: Not everything, Dad. The pubs will be open.
Hello… yes… er, it’s my car… Er, no, I can’t get it to start… No, I’ve tried that already… Yes, it’s a 1963 Hillman Avenger… Er, where?… It’s parked right opposite the chemist… No, not the one on Baker Street, the one on the high street, you know, beside the Green Lion pub. 
Excuse me, madam. I wonder if you could spare me a few minutes. I see you’ve bought an automatic washing powder for use in a standard front-loading washing machine. You see, I work for the British Energy Conservation Council and we’re currently carrying out a survey to determine how much energy is required for an average family’s washing needs.  I must assure you that if you do agree to participate in our questionnaire right now, it will not be necessary for one of our representatives to visit your home. Now, if I could just have your name and address and possibly your telephone number…
Well, I was working at the desk that day and well, it had been quite a busy morning and it must have been about 11 o’clock when two officers brought a suspect into the station.  They’d received a 999 call from a woman living in Maple Road and as soon as I saw him, I just burst out laughing because I suppose it’s not often that the head of Much Hadham CID gets pulled in on his day off.
Lucy: And that was a very impressive performance but you’ve beeninvolved in a bit of controversy recently.
Sebastian: You mean in ‘The Silent Revolutionary’?
Lucy: Well,… yes, one critic described it as the most utterly unpleasant ninety minutes he’d ever endured.
Sebastian: Well, it always was the intention of Tim Broke, the director, to be shocking but perhaps he did misjudge the audience’s reaction to some of the things that we do on stage.
Lucy: But I gather you’ve been playing to nearly empty houses recently.
Sebastian: Well, hum…
Speaker: The building just coming up on our right is the Saint Christopher memorial hospital. Founded in the late 1930s, it is considered to be one of the finest examples of this style of architecture. It is particularly noted for the unusual layout of its ornamental gardens, which are at their best in the late spring. The building has been hailed as a masterpiece, although I personally have reservations because it lacks the colour and flamboyance of many of the… 
Narrator: There is no escaping the fact that the media has become one of the most powerful influences in our lives. TV, radio and newspapers are the three main forms of media  that we have daily contact with. Because of their importance it is inevitable that controversy will often go hand in hand with such a powerful force.
The media is not always used wisely or responsibly and is often a source of gossip, scandal or propaganda. Politicians use it in their political campaigns in order to gain support.  Entertainers and celebrities use it to promote themselves and keep themselves in the public eye.  This is of course to their advantage but on the other hand they are also open to the disadvantages of publicity. Private lives are brought out into the open and the word private no longer suits the situation. Celebrities find themselves being followed and photographed at all times of day or night and in the most personal situations. A survey has been carried out asking people what they thought of this invasion of privacy and a massive 85% thought that celebrities were asking for it, 11% believed they were still entitled to their privacy and 4% had no opinion either way.  The survey also asked which form of media people felt they were most influenced by. Over two thirds of the people asked said TV , rather than radio or newspapers.
This then leads us to the question of how reliable the information that we get from TV is. The belief that if we can see through images what is happening we cannot be tricked or lied to, is a fallacy. Carefully chosen or edited images can deceive us more than words.  It is in fact the images that are not shown which often speak the truth. Some channels have even been accused of showing scenes that were not actually from the place being reported about. This kind of false information turns fact into fiction  but how is the viewer meant to distinguish between the two? That is the problem. Radio and newspapers, on the other hand rely on words to get their story across and if they intentionally lie they run the risk of being taken to court later. This of course happens regularly, particularly when a celebrity is involved. One rock singer was recently awarded one million pounds when a tabloid paper said he was a homosexual.  Sometimes the papers are lucky and get away with making a public apology  and withdrawing what they have previously said about somebody. A distinction has to be made between newspapers though as they do tend to fall into two groups; the tabloids and the so called “quality newspapers”.  The question is though, can we really trust anybody to tell us the facts objectively?
Well, it really was a pity you couldn’t be there. Brian and Julia looked so wonderful and everything went off perfectly. The vicar gave a beautiful address and the reception was gorgeous. Everyone commented on the bridesmaids’ dresses. They wore pale yellow just like you wanted, oh, and I almost forgot, Brian mentioned you in his speech. He said Julia’s got everything a wife could offer, but he still likes your cooking best. I think he meant it, too. Of course, Dad was there with… er… but I don’t suppose you want to hear about that. 
Brian’s not going to have an easy time of it. After all, Julia’s not going to coddle him like that mother of his does. And it’s a good thing too if you ask me. It’s about time he learnt to be useful around the house. Seventy years of feminism doesn’t seem to have done much for our family either. Still, when we get married a few little things are going to change. There’ll be no more nights out with the lads  – not when I’m in charge – and I’ll tell you another thing, if I were Julia, I’d be keeping a good eye on one of those bridesmaids, too.
So you must have known Brian for quite some time now. Has he always been this handsome?… No, don’t tell me, I can imagine.  Well, anyway, I met him a couple of years ago when they moved our unit up to head office and he was already working there as entertainment officer. You know, all the big firms have them these days. He organises surprise parties and hires entertainers and kissagrams and then comes round the office collecting money for them afterwards, but I suppose you know all this already.
Did you take all these pictures yourself? You are clever. And look there’s one of me. I don’t remember you taking that one. Oh, and here’s one of everybody outside the church. Your Auntie Julia would probably like a copy of that one and so would your granny ; mind you, it’s a pity it’s got your granddad in with that Marjorie. Oh, could you be a darling and get some copies done? We could send them for Christmas. They always send you something nice.
It was really one of the best weddings I’ve ever been to. The service was short; the bride arrived on time; the groom was sober; the food was excellent; the speakers were funny – not like my wedding at all. They really must have put so much thought into it, and so much preparation. Which must show that they’re serious about each other because so many young people aren’t these days. The only sad thing is that they live so far away. I mean if you hadn’t given me the Friday off, I simply wouldn’t have been able to get there on time. 
Anne: I’m fed up with staying in nearly every night. Since John and I broke up life has been really boring.  How about you two, how’s your love life these days? Mark you’re grinning, you must be happy.
Mark: Well actually yes I’ve just met someone really nice. She started working in the office a fortnight ago and we liked each other straight away.
Dave: Well, well. That’s why you’re never home these days when I phone you.  Are you actually going out with her then?
Mark: Yes I am.
Anne: So how many times have you been out?
Mark: Erm, quite a few.
Dave: Why are you so embarrassed?
Mark: Well actually, we’ve been out nearly every evening since that first day.
Dave/Anne: Every evening!
Mark: Anyway, enough of my personal life. What about you Dave? How’s Sue? 
Dave: Oh she’s fine. We’re trying to decide where to go on holiday this summer. 
Anne: Maybe on honeymoon?
Dave: No way! I’m far too young to think about wedding bells yet.
Mark: But you’ve been together for years.
Dave: I know. I’m not saying we won’t get married but not yet.
Anne: Well I’ m going on a girls’ night out this Saturday. We thought we’d go to that new disco in town.
Mark: I’ve been there, it’s okay but very crowded and smoky and I had to leave early because the smoke was making my asthma bad.  I could hardly breathe and felt terrible the next day.
Dave: You should really try alternative medicine for that Mark. Homeopathy really helped my cousin with his asthma.
Anne: Talking of cousins Mark, is your handsome cousin still young, free and single?
Mark: Yes he is actually, but I thought you were still suffering from a broken heart.
Anne: Well, the best cure for a broken heart is a new romance! 
Mark: I’ll see if I can arrange for him to be at the Christmas party and then you can casually chat him up. 
Anne: Oh, thanks, Mark.