News that the BBC has succumbed to the tireless critics of its Wimbledon highlights coverage in ‘Wimbledon 2Day’ brings to an abrupt end the delight of those who had been tuning in nightly to watch through their fingers BBC Sports’ own version of Acorn Antiques.
In its second week of the tournament, the BBC announced today that the rent-a-crowd throng of of guests at the sadly unsnazzy ‘Gatsby Club’ had been expelled. Host Clare Balding will also be moving away from her wipe-clean white counters and suspiciously green plants to a studio above Centre Court.
Clare Balding's highlights programme has come in for untold criticism from tennis viewers
A BBC spokeswoman said: "Of course we listen to audience feedback and that helps to shape the changes we make."
No news yet on whether the guests will continue to perch on bar stools or will, in fact be seated at conventional pundit level, for example, around a desk, in a programme in no way related to the one it replaced, Today at Wimbledon.
6 more things we’re still looking forward to seeing in tonight’s revamp…
- Counting the amount of chat-time, and seeing if it’s been reduced even further after the BBC bowed to public tennis outrage and last week added more minutes of actual tennis to the show. Clare Balding could possibly be appearing to say hello and wave goodbye.
- Seeing how many weird camera angles they can sneak in from the corners of the studio - and to see if they can accidentally catch any of the guests smiling? Last week’s crowd had the ambience of a disapproved-of wedding, and that was before they were shuffled out of shot.
- To stool or not to stool….? These poor guests initially had to stand up to speak before they were put out of their misery and plonked on some stools before the week was out. But they’re still a bit high.
- Whether anyone will have the balls to refer to last week’s shambles and the fact it has been unceremoniously overhauled.
- Seeing if they’re still ‘engaging the audience’ and including #anyonefortennis - inviting ordinary viewers to send in HILARIOUS footage of themselves playing tennis, and then unfortunately discovering the only funny one involves that of former Wimbledon champ Pat Cash being belted by his grand daughter
- Seeing if they can match the inane beard-chat of last week. Serena’s earrings, Andy Murray’s wedding ring in his laces, come on peeps, the week is young…
'Wimbledon 2Day' continues tonight at 8.30pm on BBC2.