The BBC’s daily tennis highlights package Wimbledon 2Day has come in for plenty of stick from viewers and critics these past few days. The revamped format sees Clare Balding take over from John Inverdale with a new location, live studio audience and ‘entertainment’ spin which includes plenty of viewer participation and tweets from famous tennis fans.
But the makeover hasn’t exactly been popular, with 95% of RadioTimes.com readers voting in favour of a return for Today at Wimbledon – the traditional nightly round-up which Inverdale fronted until last year.
Along with your votes, you’ve left hundreds of comments on our site laying out the major changes and minor tweaks you want to see in order to improve Wimbledon 2Day. So – in the hope that the BBC is listening – we’ve rounded them up…
1. Give us more tennis!
Sue Anderson: “Those of us who work want a decent highlights programme and would like to see some actual TENNIS.”
Karen Mills: “I would like to see some serious analysis of the day’s play and not the trivia that is so evident. Fake setting with people just hanging around. What relevance is that to the commentary?”
Julie Dovey: “I like Clare and think she does a good job and is right to front a tennis round up, I’ve enjoyed the guests like Martina Navratilova BUT there is not enough tennis. I want to be able to see/hear what’s going on and catch-up with games I’ve missed earlier in the day. Keep Clare and guests but please show us the tennis!”
2. John Inverdale vs Clare Balding
Donna Louise Sanders: “Even though I generally like Clare Balding I am missing John Inverdale too. It was like sitting down with an old friend with him in charge.”
Stuart Keegan: “I have nothing against Claire Balding, an excellent all round sports presenter. It’s just that John Inverdale was so much better, naturally witty and seemingly effortless.”
Sarah Craggs: “More than happy for Clare Balding to stay on though. Much more preferbale than ‘The John Inverdale Show'”
Michael Wira: “Clare Balding is just not suited to a role which Inverdale was virtually made for. Please, BBC, admit the new format just is not working and bring him back.”
3. Ditch the studio audience
Judith Cooper: “Clare and the retired tennis pros are fine but get rid of the audience – just why are they there? And the set is dire…”
Jay Pickzee Smith: “Agree hugely with the comments about the inane grinning people standing round. Why interview people holding cards of the seeds? I don’t care who they are. I want to watch tennis and have it cleverly and thoughtfully analysed. So annoyed.”
Emskaya Ynwa: “Just because Top Gear was a successful chat-with-live-audience-that-used-to-be-about-car-reviews doesn’t mean that all review programmes are going to work in the same format.”
4. Bring back the old set
Elaine Harper-Jones: “Move it back to the main area (The Gatsby club looks so tacky). Please get rid of the audience and the wobbly camera shots. It’s like TGIFriday meets tennis and it just doesn’t work.”
Rosaline Williams: “The design of the set is atrocious. There is a beautiful panorama outside and all they can think of is something that looks like Noddy in Toytown…. I suggest the Beb take a look at how it’s done by ITV4 for Roland Garros. Beautiful balcony, gorgeous view of the concourse and some courts and all the lovely trees.”
Colin Lancaster: “I would give them more comfy seating instead of a tall table with stools and they need to sort them out with small mics instead of making them all hold those big hand mics.”
5. Start at a later time
Jane McBain: “Please, BBC, some quality in depth analysis and tennis is what we want, after all the live tennis has finished for the day. 9.30 to 10.30 is ideal time to settle down and enjoy. The schedule timing is completely crazy.”
Maureen Julian: “What’s the point of having “highlights” on at 8.30 when there is still tennis being played. True fans, like me, used to stay up to watch it when it was on at about 11 pm. If tennis is being played, then I will want to watch it live. But, at the end of the day, especially if I’ve been at work, I want a full update of everything that has happened, plus the order of play for the next day, The BBC can’t give you this if some of the matches are still in progress.”