Editor’s Comment: Turning a 360 on the BBC establishment

Editors Comment - Roger Hawes - The Bucks Herald

Editors Comment - Roger Hawes - The Bucks Herald


There may well have been more than 300 complaints to the BBC about the commentary for the snowboarding at the Sochi winter Olympics but I can assure you I was not amongst them.

In fact I was joining in the party as GB’s Jenny Jones took us to our first ever Olympic medal on snow.

I cannot believe that so many people bothered to complain.

If you saw the events last weekend you will realise this was an historic moment to be celebrated.

Yes, some of the comments from the fresh faced pundits, Aimee Fuller, Ed Leigh and Tim Warwood, all experts in their field, may have been a little childish and risque at times but in the context of what was going on it was brilliantly refreshing.

In fact the trio sounded a bit like a bunch of Radio 1 DJs talking over each other, competing to fill the airwaves with enthusiastic cries of delight, singing and irritating use of words like , ‘awesome, go big and massive’.

Those fans of Radio 2, 3 and 4 will know what I mean here.

In essence this captivating bit of TV sport was great fun and not only my first time of watching but the first time snowboarding has been included in the Winter Olympics.

The establishment at the Beeb and some of its audience may well baulk at the exuberant approach to the commentary but for me it made those magic moments even more memorable.

Snowboarding is not for the faint hearted and I am told is frowned upon at many posh ski resorts.

But with attractive bronze medal winner Jenny Jones, at the age of 33, all over the papers this week perhaps the traditionalists will sit up and take note.

The future’s bright.

As an armchair sports fan I found the event a joy to watch.

Fast, dangerous, spectacular, and with cameras capturing every second, it made for good TV.

Add to the mix youthful camaraderie, energy, the smiles, hugs and kisses (not so much from the men) and you realise they were having a ball.

But don’t forget these champions of the slopes are gladiators in their own right, competing across the globe all year round.

These are world class athletes.

The BBC summed up its response to the critics. A spokesperson said (in a very posh voice, I am guessing): “This was a truly historic occasion for Team GB and the commentary team were understandably very excited.”

Well, guys, you have my vote and let’s hope you stick around to bring us many more backside 180s, 360s or whatever, in the future.

But please don’t cry on air.




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