Thursday, April 30, 2009

Great Snooker Championship... but will someone please tell Willie to shut up!

The Snooker World Championships from Sheffield's Crucible Theatre has this year, once more excited me and surpassed all my expectations!

BBC Sport has once again produced a great spectacle... which I have thoroughly enjoyed... with a couple of exceptions.

I've been watching televised Snooker since the early 70's. Like many of you, I'm sure, I have some wonderful memories and great affection for this tournament. For me, April has always been about the FA Cup Semi's, the Boat Race, the Grand National... and last but by no means least, the World Snooker Championship!

I remember many wonderful moments over the years... of this great staple of BBC sport. In particular, I remember moments like the time we all stayed up till the early hours to watch the amazing 1984 'Black Final', won by Dennis Taylor against Steve 'The Nugget' Davis. Another memorable moment for me was the first televised 147 maximum break by Chris Thorburn, which I watched live as it happened. The only thing better would have been, if I'd actually been there!

This 2009 World Championship, to-date, has been exceptionally good and of a very high standard by any yardstick. Already it has broken the all time record of 'centuries' scored, and we still have the Semi's and the Final to come!

Yesterday's encounter between Higgins and Selby was awesome. In the much used cliche... it's a pity there had to be a loser. What an exciting match that was. Unfortunately for me, (and here comes my first excpetion I mentioned earlier) the match was marred and my enjoyment was spoilt by Willie Thorne!

Willie Thorne's 'machine-gun' like 'motor mouth' commentary, with continual inanities... speaking through important shots, was exasperating... and not for the first time!

The BBC coverage of the Snooker World Championships... for me... has always been greatly enhanced by the great commentators, and in the past great presenters too!

I love the characters, the old timers such as my favourite, John Virgo, who can be hilariously funny, very poignant (showing great humanity at times) or just well balanced. He and the likes of Dennis Taylor (another favourite), Clive Everton, (the serious master) and Terry Griffiths, are terrific... with their balanced and intelligent... AND timely commentary. None of whom ever talk through important shots... or 'motor mouth' their way through any pauses. They just give us an informed view of what we are seeing but at the right pace. So... here's a plea to the BBC producers and all of Willie Thorne's colleagues... will someone please tell him... to SHUT THE F--- UP!!

I mentioned two exceptions. I'm afraid the other problem I have with this year's coverage is... the lack of an authoritative presenter for the show.

Ray Stubbs is just... well, banal... and the squeaky teen lookalike Rishi Persad (bless), is so unsuitable to present this programme... it's beyond words! He knows it himself. He clearly feels out of place and uncomfortable in the role he's been asked to play!

Oh for the days of the likes of David Vine (RIP)... there was a authoritative, personable and well versed presenter!

Anyhow... I suppose we have to grin and bear some things... though last night, watchng the Higgins v Selby match... I did come very close to throwing something at the television... driven to near insanity by the idiotic, bald-headed coot, Thorne!

On a more positive note, I cannot write a blog post about this year's Snooker, without mentioning the delectable Michaela Tabb!

What a delight she is. I've thoroughly enjoyed all the matches she has refeered, not just for the added 'fragrance' she brings to these matches, (even her voice is sexy), but in the way she has conducted them, with great authority and humour.. excellent!

It was no surprise therefore, when I read with great satisfaction, that she has been given the task of refeering the World Snooker Championship Final this year... the first time ever, that a woman will have done so! Well done Michaela... I can't wait to watch it!!

Today though, I'm looking forward to the Semi Finals... bald headed coots notwithstanding!

Based on the performances we've already seen from the participants during the past days we should be in for a couple of great matches from four very 'in form' players. May the best men win!

BBC Coverage

You can follow all the latest information and coverage of the World Snooker Championship at The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield on the BBC SPORT > Snooker website.


roughseasinthemed said...

Ah, I remember the days when I used to go to the Crucible. What tales I could tell about bald, smoking, beer drinking, lascivious older men..... :D

Cybernest said...

You mean... you had the misfortune of meeting Willie Thorne! Oh dear... you poor girl... but go on... dooo tell!! :@:@