Oh Wimbledon 2Day! What are you trying to be? I suspect Top Gear with strawberries and cream. BBC2’s nightly highlights package is a mess, a giddy mix of inane Tweets, snippets of matches (let’s not forget actual tennis is being played, something, presumably we all want to see which is why we’ve tuned in) and a bit of chat. All marshalled by a panicky-looking Clare Balding.
The set looks like a cross between a nightclub and an exhibition stand at the Ideal Home Show – what appears to be fake grass, a sofa (why?) and one of those teeny-tiny skinny tables around which Clare stands with her guests. How uncomfortable they all look. Meanwhile they are gawped at from behind something that looks like a bar from which no alcohol is served by a group of grinning people we know nothing about. Who are they?
Wimbledon 2Day – and what a terrible, terrible title – is exhausting. All of that swooping camera work (from the left! From the right! From directly above!), with a bit of a match here, and a bit of a match there, then some expert commentary from the admittedly smashing John McEnroe (who seems understandably nonplussed by his surroundings) and the excellent Lindsay Davenport.
Doubtless this is someone’s idea of how to make Wimbledon less stuffy and more relevant and happening. But it’s a dreadful mistake, particularly when you think of the viewers like me who despise sport generally but will eagerly dip into a bit of Wimbledon because it always seems so genteel and civilised.
Happily, there’s still plenty of time to put it right. So go on BBC2, get everyone a chair, roll up the pretend grass, shut the fake bar and let’s all act like adults again.
Alison Graham is TV editor of Radio Times