11 April 2020
By Tim Koch
Tim Koch on why it was almost worth having the Boat Race cancelled.
The current world-wide lockdown has put a lot of people out of work and Boat Race Commentators are no exception. On 27 March, the day that the Battle of the Blues should have taken place on the Thames, Andrew Cotter, the BBC’s voice of the Boat Race for the last 10 years, was at home in Cheshire and was, his own words, ‘bored’. He decided that his commentating skills should not go to waste, and he put the resulting video on his Twitter account, @MrAndrewCotter. The Daily Telegraph put it thus:
With an alarmingly empty ‘to do’ list, Cotter – the BBC’s much-lauded all-rounder, whose glorious Troon lilt has become a familiar backdrop to, among others, the Six Nations, the Open, Wimbledon and the Olympics – exercised his talents in his own backyard…
Two weeks later, Cotter’s video has had 8.9 million views, 303.7K ‘likes’, 81.3K retweets and 8K comments. Apart from its amusement value, it also shows what a tremendous skill good commentating is. See for yourself.
Excellent ! British wit at its best and illustrates, if illustration is needed, the professional commentators ability to make even the most prosaic of occasions interesting.
The Big Train comedy show provided a similar example of the commentators skill with their
‘World Staring Competition’ sketch, Barry Davies, another Boat Race stalwart, this time providing the voice over.