For example, due to the split between studios at the BBC, we got new commentators trialed, rather than the same old people all the time. (Part of that was due to Virgo being stuck in Spain though, rather than anything.) But I must say, I enjoyed Dave Farrar's laid back commentary style. Also, thought Rob Walker did well. Even Joe Perry wasn't that bad. I mean, they might not have been snooker historians or stat experts, but who on the BBC could you say that about anyway? Rob Walker, not being the biggest expert, asked questions of people like Joe Perry and engaged him in conversation about what was happening. People like John Parrott, for example, pretend to know what they're talking about when they clearly don't. "Oh, the last qualifier in the final was Dott." I'd rather a commentator, if they don't know something, they defer to somebody who might, rather than pretend they do know and make a fool of themselves. Something the BBC is notorious for.
I have admitted in previous posts that I have slightly warmed to Virgo in the last few years. The year he was missing for the UK, the punditry felt a bit dry without his exaggerating how exciting everything is. This tournament though, I didn't feel he was missed at all. The additions to the commentary team felt better.
Seema, I think has grown into her role. And I'm not saying that in "Oh, she's so pretty" sort of a way. I legitimately felt she had more chemistry with people like Davis and Ken Doherty in the studio. I prefer her hosting to her roving reporter role she's been used for before. I actually prefer her fronting the show to Jason nowadays. Radzi I'm not sure on yet. He seems nice enough, and seems genuinely interested in the snooker stuff happening around him. But he could do with toning it back a bit. At one point, on being shown that a shot would be missed if it was played a certain way, he literally went; "OH WOW!" in a loud voice. It wasn't that interesting Radzi, you aren't on Blue Peter any more. Saying that, I did think he had a good rapport with Alan McManus. I wouldn't mind keeping Radzi on for a while. He may well grow into it too.
Also, for whatever reason, the BBC seemed to have more coverage in the evenings than usual. Maybe due to the fact it was played in August and not April/May. Maybe they just wanted to show live sport at the moment. One time though, they even postponed Eggheads to stay with live snooker. Almost unheard of.
Hazel was missed, somewhat. But overall the BBC felt like they were covering a proper sporting event for the most part. Not divving about like they usually do.
Eurosport had similar improvements. As they weren't allowed to go on the practice tables, they lost their annoying; "Ohh look, I missed a shot. Ha Ha Ha Ha" stuff that they always do. That's gotten stale now. It might've been a bit funny the first couple of times they did it. But it's reached a point where I'd prefer not to see Colin Murray or Andy Goldstein act like Jimmy White missing a shot is the funniest thing that ever happened. (Goldstein is particularly annoying with this.) I preferred it was better with just Colin and Jimmy stood by that window and *gasp* talking about snooker. Sometimes simplicity is best. Was Rachel Casey there? I didn't watch much Eurosport. But they did miss somebody to rove around the arena and chat to players a bit. But that was the only downside to the forced changes for me.
*Hot take alert* I didn't even miss Ronnie as a pundit. I'm not sure he's as good a pundit as everybody says he is. Seems to flit between stating the obvious and massive hyperbole. But I know I'll be on my own on that.
How did everybody else find the coverage this year? Just me who liked it more?
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