Features and Interviews

It’s There! Licence to Fill

Over the course of the World Championship I’ve challenged one snooker aficionado to highlight the best quirky, outlandish, unusual, laughable and questionable observations of each day.

As if to further enhance his (or her!) alter ego as snooker’s sleeper, this spy has elected to go through the tournament in disguise.

Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was one of the guests.

Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was one of the guests.

Read below for the latest offering, but who is behind the Free Ball?

Licence to Fill
By Free Ball

Alright, I want everyone to be honest with their inner selves here. Who has walked out of the room when “A Frame With…” comes on at the mid-session interval? The BBC has surpassed itself with this one. It’s more awful than Angle’s tartan troosers.

At the risk of self-implosion, I have put myself through all of them over the last fortnight. Even the “episodes” I missed when I actually went out to work (yes, I still manage to get a bit done), I couldn’t help watching when they popped up as a filler on the Red Button. I now know for sure, I am a truly sick and twisted individual.

The banality in most questions and answers. The condescension of putting balls over pockets. The squirming of guests as they miss balls over pockets. Yes, there were a couple of interesting guests – Phil Neville could actually play – but most were as lost with the concept as I was.

Nick Hewer, current Countdown presenter, had the reasonable enough opening question of “Are you a snooker fan?”. His simple response – “No”.

Perhaps the BBC’s idea behind having something so futile is to offer the viewers a chance to stretch their legs, to unwind briefly from the intensity of play. Surely this is catered for already, as the players predominantly leave the arena these days between frames. It may even be possible to make lunch on occasion if the likes of Neil Robertson has a comfort break.

But honestly, what is the point?! Yes, it’s daytime TV; but it’s daytime TV taken over by the World Snooker Championship. It’s only a fifteen minute break between mini sessions. And now we all run the risk of a mass implosion over the final weekend, as this TV crime crawls into the evening sessions. Is it really that hard for the Beeb to fill such a short space of time with an insightful discussion on the event unravelling around them?

Is it?

Keep an eye out for the next dose of ‘It’s There!’ by Free Ball throughout the 2015 World Championship.

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