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SBD Global/August 6, 2012/Olympics
BBC's Clare Balding Impresses With Olympic Coverage
Published August 6, 2012
CELEBRATIONS ENSUE: The DAILY MAIL wrote that as Great Britain has been hauling in the Olympic medals, BBC's "usually reserved, measured team of pundits were going loopy in their studio inside the Olympic Stadium in Stratford." Denise Lewis could be seen "jumping and dancing hysterically," while fellow Brit and former 110m hurdler Colin Jackson was "cleverly overwhelmed." The usually "cool, calm and collected Michael Johnson" -- legendary American four-time Olympic Gold Medallist -- could be heard repeatedly shouting "Go get 'em baby!" as Mo closed in on history (DAILY MAIL, 8/5).
BBC'S WOMEN SHINE: In London, Euan Ferguson wrote it has been "a fine week" for the BBC's team of female commentators. Balding and Hazel Irvine are predictably "astute, fast, phenomenally interested and thus help us become the same, and feel the need to talk only when they need to talk; and when they do, they say something interesting, something obliquely insightful and marvelously free of laziness or stereotypical prejudice, which leaves some of the men." Lineker said, "An excruciatingly exact sport, which is why the Chinese are probably so good at it." Ferguson continued: "He's trying. I'm sure he is, but still sounds a little...1980s." Balding's highlight this week I think was her bonding with Bert, "the exuberant father" of Chad le Clos, who had just beaten Michael Phelps, and who screamed delight at his "beautiful, beautiful boy...never been so happy in my whole life...every time I see him I just...oh f***!" He paused for a half-breath second and anxiously inquired: "Is this live? A beaming and very human Balding simply replied: "Yes, but you're all right, you're all right." There is "strength in depth for the women." Shirley Robertson has somehow managed to "bring life, knowledge and windblown fun to the most exhilarating yet spectator-unfriendly sport on earth." Gabby Logan, the unofficial Bond girl, even looked like a Bond girl on Wednesday night, hair coiffed high," but it is her "knowledge and humour and personable nature" that makes this highlights program "a must." She "infuses the programme with friendship, mainly directed at us" (GUARDIAN, 8/4).
RADIO COVERAGE: Also in London, Miranda Sawyer wrote a kind of "celebratory madness" has taken over 5 Live, which is enjoying itself so much that it may start cheering the cleaners." It is the "hilarity of the whole occasion: Colin Murray at the dressage, speaking in a whisper in case he interrupts a horse pirouette." Alan Green, "Mr. Football, getting OTT about rowing." On the BBC Radio's "5 Live" sports show, "even the boring bits are funny," including men's hockey. "Great stick work," was the deadpan comment, before the presenters switched seamlessly to what color shorts everyone was wearing. On Radio 4, The Now Show reacted live to the Olympics late on Monday night. They were "making jokes about the Olympics Opening Ceremony when we'd all moved on to Wiggo getting drunk after his Gold." And on Radio 2, Zoë Ball and Richard Bacon have been "enjoying themselves to the max with their 10-til-midnight weeknight Olympics show, Go for Gold." This is a "terrifically enjoyable programme, light-hearted, upbeat, with both Ball and Bacon capturing the nation's giddy, on-the-edge-of-tears mood" (GUARDIAN, 8/4).