Well, we served the BBC an ace. It might have been the slowest ace in history as it took a week to knock out our opponent, but never mind, victory is ours. The loathed Wimbledon 2Day, BBC2’s shambolic highlights programme, has in the words of the BBC, “evolved.”
In this case “evolved” means “changed beyond all recognition into something the viewers wanted in the first place”. All it’s taken is a week of blanket protest from viewers and critics – I even went on Radio 4’s Today Programme to voice my outrage – and a poll on the Radio Times website where the new format was condemned by 95 per cent of voters.
So all is now right with the world. Gone is the weird provincial nightclub/funeral parlour set, host Claire Balding and her guests are sitting comfortably in proper chairs behind a big desk, there are no badly-filmed snippets of viewers’ kids playing tennis and, best of all, the bystanders/audience/whatever have vanished.
We will no longer have to watch people (who were they?) nudging each other, grinning, whispering and pointing as they spotted themselves on the monitor, or shuffling into shot thinking we wouldn’t notice. (We did, we really did).
Still, credit where credit is due, I can understand that the BBC wishes to save face and at the start of last night’s show from a studio overlooking the All England Club (at last, we feel we’re at a tennis match rather than waiting for Boy George to do a DJ set) Balding insisted the move was to bring viewers closer to the action. OK, that’s fine.
Apart from the hideous title, but let’s hope that’s changed next year, the BBC2’s highlights programme has become a highlights programme again, with good, meaty clips and plenty of comment from the experts. It’s game, set and match to the viewers.