Programme of the week: BBC 5Live’s coverage of England
3 months ago, 14 Sep 15:49
Johnny’s much coveted Programme of the Week accolade is awarded this time to the midweek radio coverage of the latest England game. That’ll be 5live’s three and a half hour marathon, then…
What’s The History?
BBC radio has been broadcasting commentaries on England games since before the war. It’s now impossible to think that an England game wouldn’t be covered by BBC radio. For those of us who grew up listening to Peter Jones and Bryon Butler covering England’s many, many international flops and occasional triumphs, the current coverage is part of a wonderful long tradition which has lasted our whole lives.
Don’t underestimate the importance of this. In a world where almost everything seems shallow, temporary and disposable, longevity and tradition has even more heft. It is so good to know that when an England game comes around the 5live team are there to tell us about it and to give us an accurate and often unflinchingly honest view of it. They have our trust and they always repay us for that faith. Tonight was no exception.
This Week’s Programme
Presenter: Kelly Cates
Commentators: John Murray. Ian Dennis.
Pundit: Chris Waddle.
These first two England games post-World Cup have been an echo of the great vibes and huge fun that the 5live team had in Russia in the summer. Those of us who prefer the pictures on radio know that 5live are always going to give us a top quality show, so when 7pm ticked around on Tuesday for the game against Switzerland, I settled in for the duration until 10.30pm. Yes, it was a three-and-a-half hour show!
Having covered the game against Spain on Saturday, a game which had some meaning, being the first in the Nations League, Tuesday’s was a tougher prospect because it was a mere friendly. In these circumstances it must be hard to give the game any significance or jeopardy and I found myself wondering if, when Kelly opened the microphone at 7pm, the 210 minutes that stretched ahead must have felt quite an intimidating prospect. It’s a lot of air time to fill. I need not have worried.
The show opens with a commentary clip from the Spain’s winning goal on Saturday. Kelly says tonight is a chance for England’s fringe players. There’s talk about how England have never lost four games consecutively. So right from the get-go, they had set up both the significance of the match in the wider England picture and the potential jeopardy tonight.
Kelly introduces ‘Football Correspondent’ John Murray. I do wonder what all these titles mean and who comes up with them, as John is primarily a commentator. Anyway, it matters not. He runs us through the team sheets just five minutes in so we know who will be doing battle.
Chris Waddle is introduced for the first chat about the team. An England regular in the co-comm trousers, Chris’s work often puts me in mind of how he played football; seems a bit weary, then suddenly bursts into life and is brilliant. In his ...
Category: sports football