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2 items from 2012

From the Observer archive, 16 December 1979: Dashing downhill

15 December 2012 4:03 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Television critic Clive James dons his tracksuit to see Sebastian Coe crowned BBC sports personality of the year

As if in answer to a madman's prayer, Ski Sunday (BBC1) was back, fronted as ever by the indispensable David Vine. "Look at that!" cried David. "Oogh! Aagh! Ease coming down the ill!" The hill he was coming down was at Val d'Isère. The event being the downhill, the emphasis was on speed, courage and danger. David verbally evoked these concepts for the benefit of those of us who were unable to deduce them from the visual information amassed on the screen. "Augh! You wouldn't! Ease going into the bend... Ease gone!" Gallantly providing David with the appropriate provocation to eloquence, a condom-clad competitor got his skis crossed at 100mph and rammed the snow with his helmet.

The women go slower than the men but not much. One feels protective when they crash, »

- Clive James

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Euro 2012: Dismal coverage means BBC is slipping below ITV's standards | Scott Murray

11 June 2012 4:34 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

'For ITV to blow this now it would have to slip back into its old habit of accidentally cutting away from goals'

It's 42 years now since ITV put together its groundbreaking punditry panel of Malcolm Allison, Pat Crerand, Derek Dougan and Arsenal Bloke, and famously blew the BBC out of the water at the World Cup. Until now, Mexico 70 remained the only major international football tournament at which ITV had got the better of its old enemy. But now we rub our eyes in wonder, blinking in disbelief at uncharted terrain. For it appears that it is, after all that time, finally putting one over on jiggered old Auntie again.

From the outset it should be noted that Adrian Chiles and pals haven't had a particularly high bar to clear. Back in 1970, the BBC lineup boasted heavyweight presenters in David Coleman and Frank Bough; a commentary team of Coleman, Barry Davies, »

- Scott Murray

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