Features

It’s There! Swear’s the Commentator Going?

By Free Ball

Willie Thorne (ML)

WT also had an effing nightmare at the recent World Seniors Championship. Photo credit: Monique Limbos

Where’s he going? Nowhere apparently. The first session of this year’s World Championship was not so much naughty snooker, more naughty commentary. What was surprising, to most watching, was that the culprit was back in the box during the afternoon. The stalwart Leicester City supporter is not the first to be caught out with the on/off microphone button.

Last year, a Manchester United fan was caught off guard, publicly showing his disappointment at possibly not only missing the afternoon’s racing, but Match of the Day too, due to an epic match. A few years back, another veteran of the mic simply got his gnashers in a twist while discussing a player’s prowess at cut backs.

It’s great to see the BBC having a mini studio in action for the evening’s Red Button helping. So far, it has been Jason Mohammad plus one, hiding in plain sight in the practice room. If there is a victor in the evening’s play, they will come in for a chat in the darkened surroundings. Hopefully, this natural habitat of a snooker player will assist in relaxing them into opening up more during the interview.

I was slightly concerned for Jason and Gary Wilson’s welfare on Sunday morning though. As the presenter said goodnight on Saturday evening, Wallsend’s own was seen knocking a few balls about in the background. When I turned on the coverage the next morning at 10am, they were both still there , Gary, for one, wearing the same clothes!

Ronnie O’Sullivan after beating Wilson, of all people did an impression of Peter Ebdon!? His old sparring partner though must have got wind of this, as roughly an hour later on the other table, The Force showed us how it should be done. After an amazing comeback from four snookers required in the final frame of the session, Peter offered up a Morgan of Come On’s. I’ve decided a collection of Come On’s shall be known as a Morgan. Snooker fans from the 1990’s should understand why.

Ebdon also gave us an O’Sullivan of facial expressions during his first session against Stuart Bingham. I have also decided that a collection of facial expressions shall be known as an O’Sullivan. Bingham meanwhile, continues to mutter to himself when things go wrong. Personally, I’d find a darkened room, and swear like a trooper. No, hang on…

Free Ball returns for a third year with his annual musings on the World Snooker Championship. Who is he? Who knows! Keep an eye out for the next offering soon. 

Creator of SnookerHQ and a journalism graduate, David has been actively reporting on snooker since 2011. He has been published in national publications and has appeared on BBC World News and on talkSPORT radio as an analyst.