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Alan Davies' Armchair World Cup

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Simon Crosse | 13:00 UK time, Friday, 11 June 2010


I was impressed that Alan Davies changed into his retro, every-colour-of-the-rainbow David Seaman England jersey just as he walked into the studio. This wasn't wasted as Armchair World Cup is being broadcast from the same studio as Danny Baker and is available to watch live on the Red Button on digital television and online.

Speaking of Red Button, Mark Watson is currently tearing up the Red Button (that may have been the first time anyone has written that line) with his 'How To Watch Football' videos. He came on to plug these, but in the end hardly mentioned them. I will mention them for two reasons. First of all they are really good, and, second, they were filmed in my house.

Armchair World Cup 300

Ian Stone and Tayo are going out-and-about this week to watch South Africa's opening match with actual South Africans. Highlights of their afternoon will go out in this Sunday's show at 1100. We will also be asking real South Africans who they will support once their side is mathematically eliminated after two games.

Last week, in our warm-up programme, Tayo wore a lovely hat and punched the air whenever a listener texted in a horrifically contrived footballer-as-food pun. I would try and list some examples but I can really only remember Leighton Beans and Landon Doner Kebab Van. I have spent the rest of the week trying to forget the others and happily have been successful.

Our first Armchair World Cup was a bit like an England friendly. We still won, but it was difficult to get in the flow before the real action gets going in South Africa... This Sunday we will have no problems filling time talking about England's shock 3-0 defeat to the USA.

Simon Crosse is Director of Programmes at USP Content, makers of Armchair World Cup


  • Comment number 1.

    I am sure that Alan Davies is a nice bloke but what does he have to do with football? Is this just ANOTHER celeb boarding the World Cup bandwagon????? The bandwagon must be full up by now.

  • Comment number 2.

    Call me cynical but wouldn't it be better that the BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation covered football at the FOOTBALL world cup? And IF it needs to bring a fan perspective how about fans in ENGLAND? Oh, and what are real South Africans? Are there different types of South Africans? Are there fake ones?

    And why do the BBC need to employ a commerical (money making enterprise) USP Content to deliver this programme? Are there no talented and able producers and journalists in the UK? Or could it be that they are already on the World Cup bandwagon?

    It is going to be VERY embarrasing when the Coalition make the BBC release details of their expenditure and the true scale of the World Cup largesse is laid bare.

  • Comment number 3.

    What are Nicky Campbell , Colin Patterson and Danny Baker doing in S Africa ?

    Complete waste of money !!

  • Comment number 4.

    I think BBC is a disgrace to the world cup. I am die hard south Korean fan who was anticipating a quality analyzed highlights about the best game yet in the world cup, and all i got was a struggling england and a decant show from messi. if you are going to show the highlights of the world cup you will have to show the games including south Korea. and Robert green had a absolute shocker, the first and most important rule of goalkeeping is to get you body behind the ball and you slow down the replay you can see he is redirecting the game towards the goal

  • Comment number 5.

    zeldalicious, Have you listened to the programmes? Davies seems like he knows his stuff to me! Coincidentally, Simon Crosse was a guest on last week's Radio Acacdemy podcast (you'll also hear Brett Spencer, 5 live's Interactive Editor). During the podcast Simon says that he chose Alan Davies for the job because he'd shown himself to be properly obsessed with the game during a Fighting Talk appearance.

    And, ryanw, independent production companies make programmes for all the radio networks - from Gardeners Question Time to Fighting Talk. On radio I understand there's currently a voluntary 10% quota. The independent sector is campaigning for a larger slice. An interesting article from The Guardian on this topic from a couple of months ago.

    Steve Bowbrick, blogs editor

  • Comment number 6.

    Steve, have you read the posts? Some weeks ago you will recall you asked for submissions on how to make the blogs more visable. Foolishly, both Carrie and I thought you were actualy asking for ideas which we volunteered. It appears though you were joking, or have clean forgot and not replied or considered them.

    As for Fighting Talk et. al. being produced by independent companies (which I knew) that was not the point I was making. My point was how is it possible for these programmes to be produced more cost effectively then by the BBC itself.

    I fear we wont hear again from you for a few months, but in case we're lucky, I know Carrie and I would appreciate some feedback -- or if hell did happen to freeze over -- action on our suggestions.

    Many thanks

  • Comment number 7.

    So England will win the World Cup with a pair of strikers that cannot break down two defenders- one who has not played in a year, the other who was released by Watford?

  • Comment number 8.

    Message 5 - Mr Bowbrick, if Mr Alan Davies who is a comedian/actor not a sports commentator, wishes to report from the world cup then I suggest that he gets hired by a TV company that has to pay its way through advertising and/or voluntary subscription rather than by a regressive compulsory tax.

  • Comment number 9.

    Message 3 - "What are Nicky Campbell , Colin Patterson and Danny Baker doing in S Africa ?"

    Living it up at the license fee payers expense whether they watch the BBC or not!

  • Comment number 10.

    Stirling and ryanw, just for clarity, should you have the wrong impression, it's worth pointing out that no one from the Armchair World Cup team is in South Africa and that even the South Africans interviewed were in London.

    And ryanw, I must apologie for not acknowledging your feedback on finding the blogs. It's all been fed into the process, though and will - in the fullness of BBC time I'm sure - be recognised in changes to the way we present things.

    In fact, changes to the Radio 4 web site - which are imminent - will probably give you a taste of the changes that may come here later. We're adding a page to group together all of the network's social network and blogging activity and also improving navigation so let me know what you think of those changes once live.

    Steve Bowbrick, blogs editor

  • Comment number 11.

    Thank you for your reply Steve. Will look forward to seeing the changes. I hope they don't further dumb down the access and depth and breadth of discussion.

    Are you adding a message board at the same time?

  • Comment number 12.

    @ comment 2 , 'Call me cynical but wouldn't it be better that the BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation covered football at the FOOTBALL world cup?

    I assume this is because there is no BBC 'Radio England' as there is Scotland, Wales, Ulster, Nan Gaidheal, Foyle and Cymru - from an English perspective not very effective use of the licence fee per head of population either. The 'West Lothian' question as applied to the BBC don't you think?

  • Comment number 13.

    Half a reply is better than none but it has taken a while to get it!

    Some of the World Cup coverage is truly rubbish. It has been said before so I won't go on. As for the cost to the licence payer to allow some of these airheads broadcasting time well, it makes my blood boil. Half of it is very unfunny, and the content repetitive - just how many times can you revamp the same story for goodness sake?

  • Comment number 14.

    I enjoyed the compilation of Gabby Logan's "you know"s. Wonder how that was received elsewhere on the BBC?

  • Comment number 15.

    I caught the programme quite by accident, lunchtime_legend, and laughed out loud at the Logan compilation skit - hilarious!

  • Comment number 16.

    carrie, Half rubbish? Does that mean half of it's all right? Result! :-)

    Steve Bowbrick, blogs editor

  • Comment number 17.

    "Some of the World Cup coverage is truly rubbish." Message 13.

    I am sorry but I don't think the vast expenditure, which I am sure ryanw will wheedle out of someone at some point, has been worth it. Dotun in Ghana is a good example. Could you hear anything he or the crowd said, for at least the half an hour I listened hoping that minute was the last of the broadcast. Or Nicky singing so many off key songs, oh please. Much of the radio broadcasting (not match commentaries) has been entirely superfluous.

    Thank goodness for cricket!

  • Comment number 18.

    Carrie, just wait for 5Live to win an award for their coverage. That'll be next.

    Big problems on the horizon though. Football has been the saviour of the station. TalkSport's growing portfolio from next session is going to put real pressure on the station.

    As for BBC expenditure all we need to a relaxing of the FoI legislation and the BBC will be hung by its own petard. That time is coming. I have written to the Minister and I am sure it won't be far off. Transparency and accountability is sweeping the public service but one body seems immune. For the moment.

  • Comment number 19.

    ryanw, your crusade will succeed.

    I missed the Steve reply to me above, as it is so unexpected when he posts.

    I would love to know a breakdown of the World Cup costs, let alone the salaries paid to some of these "presenters", or whatever.

  • Comment number 20.

    I assume that Alan Davies will no longer be presenting the Armchair World Cup program now that England have been dumped out, the reason being: 'It's nothing to do with you!'


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