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Packed programme at one year to go

Roger Mosey | 10:13 UK time, Monday, 25 July 2011

I was told the other day that for any host city the final year up to the Games flies by. I can believe that based on how quickly time seems to have zoomed by already - since July 2009 when I started blogging here, and since July 2005 when London's bid wowed the IOC in Singapore.

On Wednesday most of the nation has spotted it's one year to go to the Opening Ceremony; and in the way that we can now see the Olympic buildings almost complete and experience the test events, the BBC's plans are firming up too. We've got a much clearer idea of what you'll be seeing and hearing from us in the next 12 months.

The biggest volume, of course, will be in Sport and News - with this week's "Olympics 2012: One Year To Go" an example of the collaboration between those two BBC divisions.

Wednesday will see coverage across tv, radio and online; and we're global, national and local too. So you can watch the Trafalgar Square ceremonies live internationally on BBC World News as well as hear more on your BBC local radio station. It's online too.

London 2012 countdown clock in Trafalgar Square

The pace of events for London 2012 is picking up with one year to go

The planning for the 17 days of Olympic sporting action and for the build-up to it is intense; but as this blog has shown, it's not just News and Sport who are creating the 2012 experience. I've previously talked mainly about what we like to call "genres" - music or factual or whatever. But here's what it's starting to look like for our main channels.

On television - BBC One will be the home of the Olympic Games and the biggest events of the year, but it's also commissioning some interesting-looking sport documentaries; a flagship drama; and you'll see the 2012 story woven through a number of its popular shows.

BBC Two will be the platform for the best moments of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival - such as the Sam Mendes Shakespeare films - alongside more sporty Olympic offerings like its planned history series.

BBC Three is the television home for the Hackney music event, and will be playing a major role in our live coverage. They have documentary and entertainment ideas in mind too.

BBC Four has given the world "Twenty Twelve", currently getting a run on BBC Two and commissioned for a second series. It will also carry some of the cultural offerings.

On radio - Radio 1 is committed to its largest ever live event as part of the London 2012 Festival.

Radio 2 is keen on the Torch relay, and we're expecting them to be around Olympic and music venues next summer.

Radio 3 will be broadcasting a truly special Proms season in 2012 after its Music Nation weekend in March.

Radio 4 has a landmark sport series in the pipeline and more of the cultural offerings of the year alongside its daily news programmes' scrutiny of events.

And Radio 5 Live will be at the heart of everything 2012, including being the official radio station for both the Olympics and Paralympics.

There's a lot more still to be slotted in, and that's without mentioning our nations and regions or World Service or World Olympic Dreams or online or red button and the digital avalanche coming your way. All of it will be fleshed out in the coming months.

My resolution for One Year To Go is to stop saying that we're trying not to launch things too early - because now, with that celebrated clock ticking away, it really is time to start building the excitement.


  • Comment number 1.

    Is it true that a select group of journalists will get to swim a length of the Olympic pool on Wednesday July 27th? Is anyone from BBC Sport going to do it?

  • Comment number 2.

    Kirsty - I understand there is a media swim planned, yes. Not expecting this to be a main part of our coverage...

  • Comment number 3.

    Has any decision been taken over who will be providing commentary for the Opening & Closing Ceremonies - a sports commentator (e.g. of the Davies, Coleman build) or a news commentator (e.g. Edwards).

    Additionally, will the BBC be listening to feedback on what fans want from the Ceremonies commentator?

  • Comment number 4.

    Unless the BBC win of course!

    Good to see the games getting their rightful place on BBC1 - though I'd hope ratings more than match Beijing, though whether the Opening Ceremony could top the Royal Wedding I don't know. The internet plan is nice and ambitious, though BT and other ISPs still lagging behind which means people in rural areas like myself aren't up to speed enough to always receive adequate streams.

    Interactive still needs to be sorted, especially on Freeview, so coverage at least matches Beijing. I would hope to the BBC are not afraid to have the games on both BBC1 and BBC2 when necessary.

  • Comment number 5.

    Clearly Wednesday is a day to listen to CDs in the car and get some DVDs in for the evening. Not everyone is interested in this over-hyped tub thumping.

    I expect it's far to much top expect a balanced and proportionate level of coverage...

  • Comment number 6.

    Interactive still needs to be sorted, especially on Freeview, so coverage at least matches Beijing. I would hope to the BBC are not afraid to have the games on both BBC1 and BBC2 when necessary.

    Yes, would I be better upgrading to freesat? There is so limited interactive covereage with Freeview, however I do not wish to subscribe to pay TV.

  • Comment number 7.

    @4 sorry did not give you credit, as you have asked the same question I wanted.

  • Comment number 8.

    The mascots still freak me out. I clicked through on the link with the small picture of one of the mascots eyes behind a child... why can't we just have a lion instead of some 'all seeing eye'? I don't for one minute pander to conspiracy theorist nutters but they are disturbing creations all the same.

  • Comment number 9.


    Any chance you can fix the Feeds into the 'Latest from' on the Olympics page for

    London 2012 Blog
    London 2012
    Inside the Games

    As they are all dated 10:17/18 on the 15th July 2011!

    As to #3 and the commentator - Roger - please tell whoever it is that less is more and we don't need to have constant wittering on. Indeed can you confirm that there will be a commentary free feed on channel 301 (and that it remains free as this has not always happens e.g. Melbourne Commonwealth Games)

    #4 The BBC should also be able to use Channel 81 the Parliament Channel too as Parliament will be in recess. They did this (? got permission from Parliamant) during Beijng and would be ridiculous if 81 could not be used for the 'home# games.

    Finally some programmes about the actual organisation of the games would be interesting to many people. Some people have absolutly no idea of the complexity of what is going on.

  • Comment number 10.


    Unless I misunderstood what you mean but my understanding is BBC lost their right to be the Olympic Broadcaster. Channel 4 will instead be broadcasting the games. The Beeb will be confined to highlights like the rest of the lot.

    I wonder, how many adverts will C4 be allowed to throw in every now and again e.g b4 Bolt wins the 100m final.....again?

  • Comment number 11.

    @10 You are confusing the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games; the BBC lost the Paralympic rights to C4 - it retains the Olympic rights.

  • Comment number 12.

    On interactive - yes, we're aiming to use the BBC Parliament space as we did in Beijing. There will also be significantly more main channel coverage (and in peak, of course) than in 2008, and we'll be giving more details in the coming months.

    On commentary - points noted! There should be at least three viewer options for ceremonies - maybe more.

  • Comment number 13.

    Mr Mosey

    Does the British Media (including the BBC to a certain extent) believe that British people are so lazy, smug and self-satisfied that nothing short of running a never-ending series of articles denigrating the games, trashing the costs, smearing the delivery team and generally destroying the self-esteem of those backing the project is the only way to get the project delivered on time and on budget?

    To those of us neither in the media nor in the delivery team, it has been clear for 5 years that this operation is a global best practice benchmark.

    Something therefore to encourage rather than trash. To celebrate landmarks, rather than acknowledge them in a curmudgeonly fashion. To trumpet to the world in an understated manner, rather than suddenly go gung ho OTT. And to use to further British business and British sport through building success from success, rather than thinking that everyone knows everything about London so no benefits will accrue from the Business Community coming here in 2012.

    It does seem now that the commentaries are becoming more positive. But it sticks in the craw that journalists from newspapers which ran trash op-ed after trash op-ed will be seeing events live, whereas those like myself and no doubt thousands of others, who have consistently supported the project from its inception in 2000, will be watching things, most likely, on the TV.

    Do you think that there should be some behaviour-based ticketing system for the media and, if not, why not????

  • Comment number 14.

    rjaggar - very well put.
    I have commented in the past, and written several letters, on the BBC's sneering and denegrating attitude towards anything which could be deemed a British success or which could make British people proud of their country. The opacity of the BBC ensure that the reasons for this sinister attitude remain cloaked in secrecy, but I look forward to the day when the whole, rotten structure of our 'national' broadcaster is dismantled.
    My second point is the excruciatingly bad sports coverage provided by the BBC. Luckily, one-by-one, the BBC is losing the rights to broadcast major sporting events - unfortunately, they still seem to curry favour with the IOC.
    So we can all look forward to the most magnificent British sporting event since 1966 accompanied by the witless chatter of Hazel Irvine and the ignorant musings of John Inverdale.

  • Comment number 15.

    I agree that recent BBC sporting coverage, notably Wimbledon, has been poor. However, to suggest that the BBC does not celebrate success in the sporting arena is complete nonsense. Indeed, there have been complaints BECAUSE the BBC has spoken so much about British participants and winners at events like the Olympics. BBC1 viewers have moaned about schedules being affected by Andy Murray's matches at Wimbledon.
    The BBC was also among the major cheerleaders for the Olympic bid, and also England's unsuccessful World Cup bid. If you want to find an Olympic naysayer, look no further than Mick Dennis.

  • Comment number 16.

    Re: ceremonies. I've made my views clear on Huw Edwards before - he ruined both Beijing and Delhi as he makes the most basic of errors - he doesn't let the pictures tell the story.

    The commentary team should be sport led - Hazel Irvine was excellent in Vancouver and has always had great input during the athletes parade. Outside of that the commentators really should do little more than introduce each sequence, especially as for London in theory most viewers should be aware of any cultural or historical significance pieces may be trying to illustrate.

    One thing I was wondering about though were the BBC guests for the event as obviously you'd suspect our top Olympians may be otherwise engaged that night, either as part of the torch relay or carrying in the Olympic flag - although I guess you could have Steve Redgrave in at 7pm when it won't be until 11pm at least until he lights the flame - but then difficult to ask him to speculate over who might be lighting it!

  • Comment number 17.

    On positive/negative coverage: we get accused of both. And actually the BBC is (rightly) a broad church - so in the last 12 hours we had Will Self articulating the anti-Olympics case pretty vociferously on Newsnight and then this morning we've had a lot of coverage from Olympic Park that has been about the great pictures of venues and interviews with the participants.

    Brekkie - you hit on the point about Beijing in particular that it was an unusual event because of the country it was being held in and most people's unfamiliarity with Chinese history. Hence more analysis than usual at certain points. So the style for London will be definitely be different, even if the personnel aren't.

  • Comment number 18.

    Presumably, with all of the methods of delivery, coverage will be extensive but, could your producers please try and remember that athletics includes track and FIELD events. Too often we are forced to sit through all thirty laps of a track race plus replays then, if we are lucky we will be shown the winning throw in the javelin or the shot. Yes, we do want to see the superstars in the 'Blue Ribband' events but, we also want to see the other people that have spent years honing their skills in a field event. Too they are all but ignored. I like millions of others will be relying on the BBC for all of my Olympic coverage. Don't let me down.

  • Comment number 19.

    I hope you're thinking about the presentation aspects already, and fingers crossed that you can come up with a theme tune as iconic as Barcelona for 1992. It should be easier for you to come up with something that sounds memorable and good to British ears as that tune did without having to try to shoe-horn in allusions to some other culture like you did with the "Monkey and Pigsy" malarky for Beijing. It can't be coincidence that the only tune that lasts in the memory from the last twenty years is the Stone Roses one for the Commonwealth Games in Manchester; perhaps that might be some sort of indication of a potential approach to consider.

  • Comment number 20.

    Interesting looking sports documentaries? can you clarify what these will be
    I remember Euro 96 had football, fotebal, voetbal or something which was superb.
    an Olympic history with great action would be right up my sports geek tree

  • Comment number 21.

    Alsie in #20: sorry I have to be a bit oblique at the moment, but the details will be announced nearer the time by the channels and here.

    Chris in #19: yes, the search for iconic music will soon be underway...

    Keith in #18: good point, and noted.

  • Comment number 22.

    Roger - kudos to you for continuing to reply to our comments; some other bloggers could do well to learn from your example.

    In #17, you responded to Brekkie, "... you hit on the point about Beijing in particular that it was an unusual event because of the country it was being held in and most people's unfamiliarity with Chinese history. Hence more analysis than usual at certain points. So the style for London will be definitely be different, even if the personnel aren't."

    One could say the same about Greek civilisation and history; very few people knew all the details behind it and Barry Davies let the pictures and his excellent descriptions do the talking in 2004. No one is suggesting that expert 'extra analysis' shouldn't be used, just simply that the lead commentator should be a commentator, not a news journalist; someone who understands the virtue of letting the pictures do the talking rather than talking over the pictures all the time. Do we take that "the personnel aren't" means that a News journalist/presenter will be used again, and that decision has been taken despite clear feelings by views to the contrary?

  • Comment number 23.

    Mixed views on today's coverage - kind of felt a bit flat to me, and as I've said all along the wrong personnel involved - I don't get ditching the passion Claire Balding has for the games (very evident this afternoon) in favour of a part time newsreader. And lets face it, the Trafalger Square event wasn't much to shout about - though Boris is hilarious, and I agree with all these venues seemingly ready it seems cruel to make us wait.

    Also am I the only one not a fan of the Aquatics Centre (though with a crowd tonight that did kind of give me goosebumps). I just think for a ridiculous £240m (the Velodrome was just £93m - and I'm no money moaner when it comes to the Olympics, but no way the pool should cost half the amount of the stadium!) it looks kind of cheap - and certainly could do with a lick of paint!

    And if the sitelines are OK at the back, why were the BBC not allowed to give us a glimpse - even if you can see the pool, would you see the diving board?

  • Comment number 24.

    Brekkie/Jordan: I always enjoy our dialogue. I think the wider point here is that in 2012 we'll be using the pool of talent from across the BBC on sport, news, music and all the rest of the big events. We'd see it as being about "BBC presenters" rather than which department they come from, though obviously we massively value the expertise of individuals.

    For the record, I thought Jake, Sophie and Mishal were terrific on the special programme - as was Clare on the world swimming.

    Brekkie - the swimming pool isn't complete yet in terms of its gamestime look and feel. Agree about the goosebumps, though.

  • Comment number 25.

    May I beg that, amongst all the hype, the BBC would bear in mind that in a recent poll, apparently only 4 out of ten of people were interested in the Olympics. The other 6 were either not interested or not very interested. I am one of those who are bored rigid by the whole thing and shall be going away and switching off next year. Meanwhile, those 6/10 of us must endure constant adverts, pictures of people in vests and shorts, the appalling "mascot"- HAH -and logo for the next year. Please have a care for the rest of your licence paying viewers.

  • Comment number 26.

    Lolly - absolutely understood, though on the figures you cite it's still at least 20 million people who ARE interested in the Olympics already. And we know that between 75% and 80% of the population watched Beijing and Athens. So we will pace ourselves, but many licence-fee payers do want Olympic coverage.

  • Comment number 27.

    Olympophile gives no examples of the sneering and denigration of which he accuses the BBC yet his own post is no more than sneering and denigration in itself. He accuses the BBC of opacity yet is unable to even to begin to explain what he means by that. The rest of the post suggests he knows nothing about sports broadcasting, the sports rights market or the IOC. Its this kind of bilious contribution which I suspect deters BBC executives from blogging more often.


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