BBC Trivialised Its Boat Race Coverage

Presenter Helen Skelton did not have an easy job handling comedian Seann Walsh, whose rude comments on air upset many viewers and created many angry Tweets.
Presenter Helen Skelton did not have an easy job handling comedian Seann Walsh, whose rude comments on air upset many viewers and created many angry Tweets.

28 March 2016

Rowing historian Clive Radley writes:

Why did the BBC trivialise parts of its Boat Race coverage this year?

For millions of TV viewers, the Women’s and Men’s Boat Races are serious sporting events for which the athletes are spending an enormous amount of time training.

The commentators are mainly ex-rowers, who use their experience to explain what is happening at the races.

However, why did the BBC find it necessary to inject a ‘comedy element’ with comedian Seann Walsh, who by his own admission knew nothing about rowing and the Boat Races?

Rugby and soccer coverage are treated differently with only experts commentating.

Come on, BBC – the Boat Race coverage should be dealt with in a professional manner.

5 comments

  1. Spot on , Clive Radley.
    We know the Beeb are going through a tough time but, management, don’t compound the problem by allowing such puerile tosh to be broadcast during a serious sporting event. It wasn’t funny and demeaned all concerned.

  2. Not to mention the dreadful staircase parade put on to “introduce” the women’s crews, while later the men got freeze-frame video and a cheerful introduction for each from the club President. Did anyone tell the BBC that the women’s race is a serious 21st century athletic contest, not a debutante ball?

  3. I agree, the segments were toe curlingly embarassing. Having forced my family to watch the coverage my brother looked up from his newspaper and said “who is that clown?” I think he was refering to Walsh not Skelton.

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