Roger Mosey

To tie or knot? (0)

A dress code is not the first thing you associate with sport: the action's more important than the frippery. But it can actually be a bit of a minefield.

I was recently at a Premier League club lunch - which said on the ticket "no jeans or trainers" - and the club chairman had to go personally to rescue a VIP who'd been refused entry because he was wearing, err, jeans and trainers.

And as we've seen in recent days with Ian Wright's criticism of the BBC's alleged "jacket and tie" format, the question of what our presentation teams wear on air can be controversial too.

It isn't at the top of viewers' complaints list, but there's a steady stream of comment through the year about presenters' attire. Royal Ascot is always a polarising experience because of the need for our team to wear hats - and the men's toppers are generally less controversial than the women's more free-form creations.

But for men in general the debate often boils down to "tie or no tie?" - with some viewers arguing that suits and ties are the expected turn-out for major sporting occasions.

BBC commentators and presenters, 1966 World Cup

I confess my personal view on this is on the liberal side. I like presenters to feel comfortable in what they're wearing; and for landmarks like the Beijing Olympics, where our team will be on-air for long periods in a city with high heat and humidity; it would be unreasonable of us to expect them to look like they're dressed for an English country wedding.

But we do sometimes get letters and e-mails during the Six Nations, for instance, about the rugby team, who are fans of open-necked shirts, and comparing them unfavourably with other sports where the panel wear ties for the big events.

So we'd be interested in your views. Shall we ship out the ties to Vienna for Euro 2008? Or are t-shirts OK for the Olympics? But Ascot is the one occasion where we can't promise to relax the dress-code for fear of being directed, sharpish, towards the exit...

Roger Mosey is Director of BBC Sport. Our FAQs should answer any questions you have. If they don't, you can contact us. Here are BBC Sport's TV & radio and web/red button schedules.


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