Is there a gold medal for pundits?

  canarieslover 15:53 05 Aug 2012

My wife is getting a little bit fed up with pundits and commentators getting more air time than competitors during the games. The BBC Red Button with it's boasted coverage relies on computer for coverage of many events and being somewhat of a technophobe she will not even try to watch on the computer screen. She complains that she doesn't pay her TV licence to watch on computer. Neither of us remember when so much air time was taken up by pundits and commentators in previous games. Is this because the Beeb seem to think that is what we really want rather than watch other events in the slack time?

  morddwyd 16:14 05 Aug 2012

Haven't watched any myself, but I have no doubt it's a manifestation of the BBC's well known obsession with talking heads, rather than sporting action.

They simply can't forget that they started off as a radio station, and still think that people tune in to listen rather than watch!

  Quickbeam 08:20 06 Aug 2012

I'm with everything as fm has put it. It's just fine with me how it's being done.

  Forum Editor 08:49 06 Aug 2012

The BBC coverage has been excellent, but one thing has irritated me beyond measure.

It's the way some of the presenters feel compelled to tell each gold medallist, in an over-excited fashion 'You're an Olympic champion!' followed sometimes by 'the greatest (insert name of sport) of all time!'. Then follows a series of inane questions and requests, such as 'tell us what was going through your mind as you crossed the line' or 'How much did it mean to you to hear the crowd cheering you on?'.

It drives me mad. I know it's difficult to come up with anything meaningful on such occasions, but surely the BBC researchers could have produced a series of 'sensible questions for presenters' in the run-up to the games.

Clare Balding and Gary Lineker are accomplished professionals, and highlight how inept some of the others really are.

  canarieslover 09:32 06 Aug 2012

Like many other people I was really interested in the 100 metres final but I still agree with my wife that 9.63 secs of running doesn't really need an hours air time. Great to see Bolt win but watching the race several times and then an interview with the winner would have been plenty enough for me.

  Quickbeam 09:43 06 Aug 2012

A lot of my interest has been via Radio 5Live while I've been doing other things, and then I've used a smart phone to watch the actual events in some cases when not at home.

The advantage of radio is that it is a medium that gives you all the information yet allows you to be doing other things at the same time. TV requires your attention to the exclusion of all else and they have to appear to be drawing you to the screen at all times.

And another advantage of smart phone viewing is the time delay, you can use it to your advantage to tune in to catch an interesting visual event several seconds after the radio has already reported it!

  Pine Man 11:01 06 Aug 2012

Up until the Olympics I was a bit dubious about Clare Balding as a presenter but she has been absolutely superb throughout. In fact I would probably rate her as the number one presenter of the games.

  NewestRoyWidd1 17:07 06 Aug 2012

Pine Man;I fully agree with you about Clare Balding.I too had my doubts about her presenting skills,but she's been superb.

Why oh why do the BBC use Eddie Butler as a commentator?Unless they're giving him something to do until he starts his(to me at least)boring coverage of the Six Nations.All in all though the BBC coverage of the Olympics has been excellent,and having John McEnroe in the late night studio as a guest has been a stroke of genius.

  QuizMan 17:09 06 Aug 2012

Eurosport is the way to go

  Forum Editor 18:17 06 Aug 2012

Clare Balding has done a wonderful radio 4 series called 'Ramblings' in which she went on country walks with famous people, and talked to them as they went. It was a gem.

She was voted 'Sports Presenter of the Year' by the Royal Television Society in 2004, has twice been racing journalist of the year as well as racing broadcaster of the year. In 2009, she was praised for "perfect presentation" by the judges of the Broadcast Awards who named the Grand National 2008 as their sports programme of the year.

I'm sure we'll see more of her in the future.

  Forum Editor 18:22 06 Aug 2012


I couldn't agree more about John McEnroe. His addition to the BBC Olympics team was a master-stroke on someone's part.

He's been with the BBC Wimbledon team for a while now, and I hope that continues.

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