By Free Ball
Come on now. Who was crazy enough to sacrifice live snooker – and what snooker – to watch “40 Golden Years” on BBC Two on Second Sunday evening? Yes, no doubt it’s a beautifully put together piece, reflecting on moments both joyous and torturous at the Crucible Theatre, but come on! Live second round matches, or a documentary that will be repeated. Live second round matches, or a documentary that will be repeated…
As football pundits love to pluralise, you’ve got your BBC Two’s repeats(s), your more likely than not showings(s) on BBC 4(s), and of course your, at the very least, 30 days(s) on BBC Player… (s). I realise someone must make the schedule decision. If they had a crystal ball, they would have showed it on the first Saturday night of the tournament, as all was over prematurely. The BBC are of course snookered if you can forgive me that one. They feel they must show the programme during The Championship, at a prime time, for all to see.
But the core audience, Beeb! We want to see it first; without the scruples. This is our show. Not for some two bit, “Oh, I think I might watch the final of the snooker, dear”, no good, part timer! No! If they had any nous, they would have put it on any evening during the week after it’s all over. The time when all snooker fans are climbing the walls after experiencing The Crucible marathon, pulling themselves together forlornly as there is no snooker on terrestrial TV for at least a couple of months.
It better be worth it after that.
Meanwhile, Jason Mohammad continues to irritate in the studio. I feel his passion for our sport is fickle. Reminding Ken “Dockerty” (get it right people, it’s not difficult!) about events from the first session of the Robertson/Fu clash, Ken had to twice remind him that he was in the comm-box for it. There was a good point made during the match by Nigella Ebdon about how Robbo sights the ball, and why that may be affecting certain shots. Jason made a longwinded attempt to repeat this theory to Ken just before the start of the next frame. Ken gave up after muttering, “Yes… he said that.” Or words to that effect. On Saturday afternoon, as BBC One coverage switched to the Red Button, there he was telling us to switch to BBC Two for the remainder of football’s Final Score. The Charlatan.
Ebdon has been pretty good as a commentator this year, but he was beginning to find it hard to hold back his bias towards his fellow, plant based diet cueist. I thoroughly believe “The Thunder” is a less meaty player (sorry), since converting to a vegan diet. The same may be said for Anthony McGill. At least Nigella holds back on all out partisanship in the comm-box. This is not the case with Alan McManus – “Aw, Ants!!”
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.