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Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby Raziel

badtemperedcyril wrote:
SnookerFan wrote:But they already use Reanne.

Did she actually commentate? I can only recall her in the studio.


I can only remember her doing one stint in actual commentary, in which she did not come across as being very confident. She sounded quite nervous.

But she did do several punditry studio appearances, which were kind of OK.

A chap in my club, who knows one of the lower ranked professionals, told me that he heard she was having elocution lessions. That seems to make sense, because she does have a strong accent.

EDIT: I have just remembered. I'm think Rob Walker was in the box with her when she did her solitary commentary stint.

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby LDS

Prop wrote:
badtemperedcyril wrote:In fairness to Yates, his knowledge of his subject is second to none. Maybe if he could plug himself into one of those voice enhancing devices then he might become almost tolerable.


Thing is, when he’s not in comms (on a podcast for example) he doesn’t try so hard to create those ridiculous puns, or use such hammy overemphasis. He’s quite tolerable. I used to really hate listening to him, but for whatever reason I don’t find him that nauseating these days. Stockholm Syndrome maybe <laugh>


If I'm confusing him with Studd I apologise, but I think it was Yates they chose to represent British commentary during the recent US Pool Open where Judd had a little run.

And his commentary really was so jarring compared to the American guys. The Americans all sounded like normal commentators, chattering away in their easy listening style & then Yates would drop in randomly with some asinine weirdness like "His nickname isn't The Gardener, but it should be with pots like that!" and the rest of comms goes silent for 5 seconds while they try and think of a human response. Most of the time they don't bother and just change the subject, and you can often hear the "What?" in their voices as they try to progress the comms further.

I mean, it's just, you know, like a computer AI randomly drawing from a pool of pre-prepared one-liners that don't necessarily exactly fit the flow of the conversation. Like as if you were playing a snooker video game.

What do they call it when a CGI face tries to interact with a real human face in films? The Uncanny Valley? But with Yates it's an uncanny valley of dialogue?

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby Iranu

Raziel wrote:A chap in my club, who knows one of the lower ranked professionals, told me that he heard she was having elocution lessions. That seems to make sense, because she does have a strong accent.

I hope that’s not true. It just perpetuates the idea that Brummie and Black Country accents mean you’re stupid. It’s sad.

Alan McManus has a very strong accent too, I doubt he’s had elocution lessons.

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby Prop

LDS wrote:
Prop wrote:
badtemperedcyril wrote:In fairness to Yates, his knowledge of his subject is second to none. Maybe if he could plug himself into one of those voice enhancing devices then he might become almost tolerable.


Thing is, when he’s not in comms (on a podcast for example) he doesn’t try so hard to create those ridiculous puns, or use such hammy overemphasis. He’s quite tolerable. I used to really hate listening to him, but for whatever reason I don’t find him that nauseating these days. Stockholm Syndrome maybe <laugh>


If I'm confusing him with Studd I apologise, but I think it was Yates they chose to represent British commentary during the recent US Pool Open where Judd had a little run.

And his commentary really was so jarring compared to the American guys. The Americans all sounded like normal commentators, chattering away in their easy listening style & then Yates would drop in randomly with some asinine weirdness like "His nickname isn't The Gardener, but it should be with pots like that!" and the rest of comms goes silent for 5 seconds while they try and think of a human response. Most of the time they don't bother and just change the subject, and you can often hear the "What?" in their voices as they try to progress the comms further.

I mean, it's just, you know, like a computer AI randomly drawing from a pool of pre-prepared one-liners that don't necessarily exactly fit the flow of the conversation. Like as if you were playing a snooker video game.

What do they call it when a CGI face tries to interact with a real human face in films? The Uncanny Valley? But with Yates it's an uncanny valley of dialogue?


Yep, that’s Yates! <laugh> He’s hard work, to say the least.

My bugbear with commentary is when it detracts from the actual game in front of us. Yates does unfortunately have that effect, especially when he delivers those one-liners. It all feels pre-rehearsed, and fake, not to mention extremely annoying.

Studd takes this to another level. There’s no dramatic style or crap puns. His method is simply to ramble on about old matches, results, rankings, pretty much anything but the match we’re watching. It’s so lazy. He just goes on, and on, in that drab broadcaster monotone, and ends up (as Iranu has pointed out) having to interrupt himself when something truly significant happens in the match.

So yeah, Yates is bad, Studd shouldn’t have the job.

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby Raziel

SnookerFan wrote:
Raziel wrote:Well, John Virgo and Dennis Taylor are both white males. So, according to CRT (Critical Race Theory) they are both THE DEVIL.

So, for the diversity quotas, they will definitely be replaced by at least one woman (Reanne Evans).

But now they are in trouble, because I don't know of any other female/black/african/indian/muslim etc potential replacements.

Maybe they will train up Rory McLeod or one of the Indian ex-professionals.

God forbid that they replace John or Dennis with another EVIL WHITE MALE.


So you think that they're being fired for being caucasian and male, and being replaced Reanne Evans who already does commentary and punditry? Makes sense....

It could just be that neither of them know anything about the modern game, as stated.


I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you mean when you say that neither of them know anything about the modern game.

What exactly (and I mean EXACTLY) is it that they don't know?

And whatever it is that they don't know, does it even matter? Seeing as most people who watch BBC snooker are 'casual' viewers, who hardly know one end of a cue from the other.

After all, it's just about ENTERTAINMENT in the end, isn't it?. :-)

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby lhpirnie

Iranu wrote:
Raziel wrote:A chap in my club, who knows one of the lower ranked professionals, told me that he heard she was having elocution lessions. That seems to make sense, because she does have a strong accent.

I hope that’s not true. It just perpetuates the idea that Brummie and Black Country accents mean you’re stupid. It’s sad.

Alan McManus has a very strong accent too, I doubt he’s had elocution lessons.

Actually, I think Alan McManus has been given media training. His accent has changed since he started doing media work, and he speaks quite deliberately. Basically, it's part of the punditry profession to have some guidance, along with the make-up.

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby lhpirnie

Raziel wrote:
SnookerFan wrote:
Raziel wrote:Well, John Virgo and Dennis Taylor are both white males. So, according to CRT (Critical Race Theory) they are both THE DEVIL.

So, for the diversity quotas, they will definitely be replaced by at least one woman (Reanne Evans).

But now they are in trouble, because I don't know of any other female/black/african/indian/muslim etc potential replacements.

Maybe they will train up Rory McLeod or one of the Indian ex-professionals.

God forbid that they replace John or Dennis with another EVIL WHITE MALE.


So you think that they're being fired for being caucasian and male, and being replaced Reanne Evans who already does commentary and punditry? Makes sense....

It could just be that neither of them know anything about the modern game, as stated.


I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you mean when you say that neither of them know anything about the modern game.

What exactly (and I mean EXACTLY) is it that they don't know?

And whatever it is that they don't know, does it even matter? Seeing as most people who watch BBC snooker are 'casual' viewers, who hardly know one end of a cue from the other.

After all, it's just about ENTERTAINMENT in the end, isn't it?. :-)

Perhaps it doesn't matter very much to the casual viewers, who are waiting for the catch-phrases and clichés.


But in terms of knowledge of modern snooker, the older commentators do let themselves down. Technical coaching has moved on considerably since they were playing. Things like alignment, foot positioning, pre-shot routines, sighting,.... OK, most commentators wouldn't talk about any of that, but they probably should be aware enough to understand how a player is set up, why he missed, etc.

Quite a lot of the shots that are played now are different from the way they used to be. Everyone talks about splitting the reds off the blue, but it's a lot more than that. Many shots simply weren't possible in the 1980's because of the conditions, mainly the cloth. Also vice-versa. Basically the tables play very differently and this has a big impact. The standard of long potting now means that some safety shots just aren't any good. Even the break-off shot is now being questioned. So when John Virgo says he 'knows all the shots' I think that's debatable - he certainly hasn't been there and played them.

But I agree that's quite niche. The biggest problem is that they just don't know players outside the elite. I've been going to the World Championship qualifiers for several years and there is nobody from the BBC there. I'd expect a little knowledge and research about who we are watching. No wonder people say 'there are no characters' if they aren't known even to the commentators, who continually talk about Alex Higgins, Cliff Thorburn and Eddie Charlton.

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby McManusFan

LDS wrote:
Prop wrote:
badtemperedcyril wrote:In fairness to Yates, his knowledge of his subject is second to none. Maybe if he could plug himself into one of those voice enhancing devices then he might become almost tolerable.


Thing is, when he’s not in comms (on a podcast for example) he doesn’t try so hard to create those ridiculous puns, or use such hammy overemphasis. He’s quite tolerable. I used to really hate listening to him, but for whatever reason I don’t find him that nauseating these days. Stockholm Syndrome maybe <laugh>


If I'm confusing him with Studd I apologise, but I think it was Yates they chose to represent British commentary during the recent US Pool Open where Judd had a little run.

And his commentary really was so jarring compared to the American guys. The Americans all sounded like normal commentators, chattering away in their easy listening style & then Yates would drop in randomly with some asinine weirdness like "His nickname isn't The Gardener, but it should be with pots like that!" and the rest of comms goes silent for 5 seconds while they try and think of a human response. Most of the time they don't bother and just change the subject, and you can often hear the "What?" in their voices as they try to progress the comms further.

I mean, it's just, you know, like a computer AI randomly drawing from a pool of pre-prepared one-liners that don't necessarily exactly fit the flow of the conversation. Like as if you were playing a snooker video game.

What do they call it when a CGI face tries to interact with a real human face in films? The Uncanny Valley? But with Yates it's an uncanny valley of dialogue?


Yates' interaction with the pool commentators was priceless!

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby mick745

Raziel wrote:
SnookerFan wrote:
Raziel wrote:Well, John Virgo and Dennis Taylor are both white males. So, according to CRT (Critical Race Theory) they are both THE DEVIL.

So, for the diversity quotas, they will definitely be replaced by at least one woman (Reanne Evans).

But now they are in trouble, because I don't know of any other female/black/african/indian/muslim etc potential replacements.

Maybe they will train up Rory McLeod or one of the Indian ex-professionals.

God forbid that they replace John or Dennis with another EVIL WHITE MALE.


So you think that they're being fired for being caucasian and male, and being replaced Reanne Evans who already does commentary and punditry? Makes sense....

It could just be that neither of them know anything about the modern game, as stated.


I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you mean when you say that neither of them know anything about the modern game.

What exactly (and I mean EXACTLY) is it that they don't know?

And whatever it is that they don't know, does it even matter? Seeing as most people who watch BBC snooker are 'casual' viewers, who hardly know one end of a cue from the other.

After all, it's just about ENTERTAINMENT in the end, isn't it?. :-)


It is precisely the casual viewer who would want to know a bit of background to the players they are watching, especially the lesser known players in the early rounds. How old are they, where are they from, how long they been on tour, what was their amateur career like, how did they qualify and who did they beat in qualifying, have they ever played or beaten their opponent before etc?

All basic stuff really.

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby cupotee

taylor was at old trafford wednesday night and was sat right next to sir alex , i think its only a good positive thing that he'll be leaving his snooker broadcasting position and it probably should have happened quite a long time ago to be fair.

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby Prop

I’ve been watching Dennis on Richard Osman’s House of Games on iPlayer (thanks for the heads-up, SF). He seemed even more out of touch with the world as a whole in that situation than he does in snooker commentary, which is his comfort spot.

Watching that, it’s easy to imagine how it might be difficult working with him, even putting him in a position where he’s doing what he does best. He really does seem stuck in another time.

I do like Dennis. He has done a great job over the years, but more and more I find myself asking the question of whether he’s capable of bringing as much to the game as he used to. To quote Twitter bore Snookerbacker, “He’s like that comfy old pair of socks you refuse to throw away”.

I think I’ll miss him more than Judd Trump will miss him - and no doubt Judd’s call for a shakeup of snooker was a direct criticism of the likes of DT and a decisive nail in the coffin - but this had to happen eventually. Dennis couldn’t go on forever, especially if he wasn’t willing or capable of staying in touch with the modern game.

I do genuinely believe Virgo still has plenty to offer the game. I know that sounds like I’m contradicting myself, because Virgo said himself in no uncertain terms that he doesn’t keep up with the modern game or new players, and has no intention of doing so. But he has that magical quality of creating a buzz, injecting drama into moments where plenty of his fellow commentators don’t, or can’t. He makes snooker a passionate experience for the audience, and the fans at home, rather than simply annotating a match in front of him. At least he has that over Dennis.

But is that enough, in light of the fact that he won’t ever have any significant knowledge of young players, overseas players, or the intricacies of tour survival way down the rankings? The BBC at least, think not.

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby lhpirnie

mick745 wrote:It is precisely the casual viewer who would want to know a bit of background to the players they are watching, especially the lesser known players in the early rounds. How old are they, where are they from, how long they been on tour, what was their amateur career like, how did they qualify and who did they beat in qualifying, have they ever played or beaten their opponent before etc?

All basic stuff really.

Actually that stuff is easy to google or find on cuetracker. What I expect from commentators is knowledge like where he plays, who is his coach, who his practice partners are, what are his strengths and weaknesses as a player. I'd hope that the commentators have some idea of how good a player is in practice, so they can assure us that someone playing below par (e.g. a Crucible debut) is actually a better player than he appears. This they can find out by chatting to other players.


I don't get the impression that some of the commentators take the trouble to do that.

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby SnookerFan

Iranu wrote:
SnookerFan wrote:But they already use Reanne.

And as a pundit, not a commentator.



badtemperedcyril wrote:
SnookerFan wrote:But they already use Reanne.

Did she actually commentate? I can only recall her in the studio.



She definitely has commentated on the BBC.

More so on Eurosport, but the BBC have used her on the odd occasion.

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby SnookerFan

Iranu wrote:
Raziel wrote:A chap in my club, who knows one of the lower ranked professionals, told me that he heard she was having elocution lessions. That seems to make sense, because she does have a strong accent.

I hope that’s not true. It just perpetuates the idea that Brummie and Black Country accents mean you’re stupid. It’s sad.

Alan McManus has a very strong accent too, I doubt he’s had elocution lessons.


Yeah. Agreed.

I mean, I know commentators use their voice professionally and need to be clear. But they don't tell Taylor and Doherty to sound less Irish, do they?

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby SnookerFan

Prop wrote:I’ve been watching Dennis on Richard Osman’s House of Games on iPlayer (thanks for the heads-up, SF). He seemed even more out of touch with the world as a whole in that situation than he does in snooker commentary, which is his comfort spot.

Watching that, it’s easy to imagine how it might be difficult working with him, even putting him in a position where he’s doing what he does best. He really does seem stuck in another time.

I do like Dennis. He has done a great job over the years, but more and more I find myself asking the question of whether he’s capable of bringing as much to the game as he used to. To quote Twitter bore Snookerbacker, “He’s like that comfy old pair of socks you refuse to throw away”.

I think I’ll miss him more than Judd Trump will miss him - and no doubt Judd’s call for a shakeup of snooker was a direct criticism of the likes of DT and a decisive nail in the coffin - but this had to happen eventually. Dennis couldn’t go on forever, especially if he wasn’t willing or capable of staying in touch with the modern game.

I do genuinely believe Virgo still has plenty to offer the game. I know that sounds like I’m contradicting myself, because Virgo said himself in no uncertain terms that he doesn’t keep up with the modern game or new players, and has no intention of doing so. But he has that magical quality of creating a buzz, injecting drama into moments where plenty of his fellow commentators don’t, or can’t. He makes snooker a passionate experience for the audience, and the fans at home, rather than simply annotating a match in front of him. At least he has that over Dennis.

But is that enough, in light of the fact that he won’t ever have any significant knowledge of young players, overseas players, or the intricacies of tour survival way down the rankings? The BBC at least, think not.


The best parts were his attempting to flirt with the much younger female guests. rofl

I too like Dennis, and think he can be funny in exhibitions and stuff. His 1985 recreation in 2010 with Steve on the BBC was actually funny.

Even on ROHOG he seemed out of place, and all he had to do is sit there and talk.

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby Iranu

SnookerFan wrote:
Iranu wrote:
SnookerFan wrote:But they already use Reanne.

And as a pundit, not a commentator.



badtemperedcyril wrote:
SnookerFan wrote:But they already use Reanne.

Did she actually commentate? I can only recall her in the studio.



She definitely has commentated on the BBC.

More so on Eurosport, but the BBC have used her on the odd occasion.

Huh? I don’t think she’s commentated on the Beeb.

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby Iranu

lhpirnie wrote:Actually that stuff is easy to google or find on cuetracker. What I expect from commentators is knowledge like where he plays, who is his coach, who his practice partners are, what are his strengths and weaknesses as a player. I'd hope that the commentators have some idea of how good a player is in practice, so they can assure us that someone playing below par (e.g. a Crucible debut) is actually a better player than he appears. This they can find out by chatting to other players.


I don't get the impression that some of the commentators take the trouble to do that.

I get what you’re saying. But I think we need to understand that the BBC cater to casuals. So I don’t think their commentators should subconsciously be saying “Google it yourself.”

Casual viewers aren’t going to understand or give a rubbish about stance, practice partners, where they play, their coach etc.

What they’ll care about is, what’s this player’s background, how’s his recent form been and shall I root for him? Yeah this could be found on Cuetracker but surely commentators should be acting as an audible Cuetracker above all else?

Someone like McManus does provide the extra technique information and it’s great for us diehards. But casuals aren’t going to care about the intricacies of a technique that they don’t have the knowledge to understand anyway.

More important is the tour context of the players they’re watching, and this is a far bigger gap in Virgo and Taylor’s knowledge.

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby SnookerFan

Iranu wrote:
SnookerFan wrote:
Iranu wrote:
SnookerFan wrote:But they already use Reanne.

And as a pundit, not a commentator.



badtemperedcyril wrote:
SnookerFan wrote:But they already use Reanne.

Did she actually commentate? I can only recall her in the studio.



She definitely has commentated on the BBC.

More so on Eurosport, but the BBC have used her on the odd occasion.

Huh? I don’t think she’s commentated on the Beeb.


She's definitely done it on the BBC. But as a trial run. Done the odd frame here and there. It's not surprising that you missed it.

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby chengdufan

I don't have much skin in this game as I've seldom heard English comms in the last 20 years. I do remember thinking Dennis was a bit past it in the late 90s.

As others have pointed out, age should not be the consideration, but basic research of the players you're commentating on should be. If someone tunes in and sees there's some snooker on and it looks interesting, they'd like to know about who is playing. This is especially true of younger fans who may be just starting their journey into a love of snooker. If the commentator has no knowledge of the players, it hardly sparks up your own interest in them.

I like the idea of one former player commentating alongside the professional commentator. The pro will have done lots of research and the player doesn't have to have done as his/her knowledge comes inately from being in and around the scene. This means they'll be at all the venues, watching qualifiers, talking to current players and even practicing with them.

I do like the Chinese style. You can watch whichever match you like. There are 4/5 commentators each of whom chooses a match to cover. Usually, 3/4 choose the same, most likely to be popular match while the other 1/2 will choose the second match. So the viewer can choose any stream without a commentator, or their favourite commentator on the match that person has chosen. Viewers can post comments and questions on the screen during the match to have live interaction with each other and the commentator.

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby Raziel

I have been playing snooker for 40+ years at probably an above average level. I once won a pro-am in Plymouth, beating Neil Foulds in the quarter final. I never won any other pro-ams, but I was definitely a half-decent player. And it still makes me smile when John Virgo says 'Where's the cue ball going?' :-)

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby Juddernaut88

Raziel wrote:I have been playing snooker for 40+ years at probably an above average level. I once won a pro-am in Plymouth, beating Neil Foulds in the quarter final. I never won any other pro-ams, but I was definitely a half-decent player. And it still makes me smile when John Virgo says 'Where's the cue ball going?' :-)


Can you coach me please?

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby The_Abbott

Taylor and Virgo to get the final session confirmed then so they can have an emotional goodbye

"gonna miss this place JV, been coming here every year since 1970. And I still remember Patsy Fagan"
"Wheres the DDK going Dennis?"

Re: Virgo and Taylor last World Champs?

Postby SnookerFan

The_Abbott wrote:Taylor and Virgo to get the final session confirmed then so they can have an emotional goodbye

"gonna miss this place JV, been coming here every year since 1970. And I still remember Patsy Fagan"
"Wheres the DDK going Dennis?"


Yeah, that's gonna be marmite isn't it? They'll be getting towards a tense finish, and them two bellends will be whinging on and chatting about 1985.