Watching the Euro final coverage the other day, I was struck by the segment featuring the BBC presenters’ and pundits’ favourite memories of the tournament. As it went on (and on), I found myself asking, how many? Because there seemed to be no end of them: presenter after presenter, pundit after pundit. You’ve got Lineker in the studio with no less than three former footballing colleagues to say the same-old same-old before and after every game (Alans Hansen and Shearer, along with the perpetually bewildered Martin O’Neill. Then there was the TV commentary team, consisting of Mottie and Jonathan Pearce, Steve Wilson, Guy Mowbray; along with their summarisers, Lawro and the like. Which is before you get to the pointless Ray Stubbs and Marcel Desailly on the touchline, Garth Crooks grabbing post-match interviews, and the various members of staff interviewing fans in bars and the Fan Zone(s). Oh, and Adrian Chiles, desperate for any job that will get him away from home, doing filmed reports, on, er, not very much.
What is going on? Here is a list: Gary Lineker, Adrian Chiles, Ray Stubbs, Jake Humphrey, John Motson, Jonathan Pearce, Steve Wilson, Guy Mowbray, Alan Hansen, Alan Shearer, Lee Dixon, Gavin Peacock, Gordon Strachan (token Scot), Marcel Desailly (token Francophone), Mark Bright, Jacqui Oatley (token woman?), Garth Crooks, Damian Johnson, Mark Pougatch, Mark Saggers, Mike Ingham, Alan Green, Simon Brotherton, John Murray, Conor McNamara, Ian Brown, Ian Dennis, Steve McLaren, Graham Taylor, Chris Waddle, Stan Collymore, Pat Nevin, Jan Molby, Mike Sewell…
And that list is incomplete, because Lawro isn’t on it, nor is Clem, who travelled the UK looking for pockets of Euro expats to interview before games. All this, and more (like four special editions of Fighting Talk on 5Live) for a tournament in which no home nation was represented. And Lineker and co: why did they have to be sitting in a studio in Vienna? Why not sit in a studio in London? They weren’t at any of the games, were they? What’s the point? James Hunt and Murray Walker used to do commentaries on Formula 1 races from a studio in London, watching the race on TV.
Overstaffed? Add up the total number of games (shown by the BBC), divide by total number of staff. This is probably what the BBC consider to be “belt tightening.” Imagine if England had been there!
Do it, too, for the forthcoming Olympics. 437 staff for 2750 hours of coverage. That’s just over 6 hours per person over the three (?) weeks of the Games. Add up the hotel bills and the expenses claims!
Watch out, folks, for the RAFT of news stories, human interest stories, any old story, coming out of China (all of a sudden) for the next few months (and then quickly drying up). News values? Can you spell f-r-e-e-h-o-l-i-d-a-y?
Adrian Chiles, who will do anything to get away from home at the moment, will host the breakfast slot. Adrian and wife Jane Garvey (one of the best presenters on Radio) recently split up. Adrian currently works on The One Show with the rather attractive (and 17 years younger than Jane) Christine Bleakley. Chiles presents The One Show, Match of the Day 2, Working Lunch, The Apprentice: Your’re Fired, and now the Beijing Breakfast Show. Leave some work for someone else, Adrian!