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Sport and celebrity

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Rajan Datar | 09:59 UK time, Friday, 2 July 2010

Suppose you don't like sport and you are fed up to the back teeth with all the World Cup coverage on the BBC. Then along comes another of the sporting "crown jewels", Wimbledon, which gets its own daily programme during the tournament on the World Service. You might not be too elated, I suspect.

And indeed that's the tone of some of the correspondence we've been getting in the last week on Over To You.

Double fault?

One listener, MJ Rosenberg from La Croix Valmer France, has a more pointed gripe. Why devote so much time to just one of the tennis majors, he asks, when there are arguably more important championships in the US, France and Australia for instance?

Well, the editor of sport on the World Service, Pam Poole, makes few apologies in this weekend's programme. Her view is that Wimbledon is a major news event, and people don't complain when other subjects like business or politics sometimes hog the agenda. Whether you agree or not let us know your view on this.

And we'd really like to know how you feel about the whole season of programmes devoted to Africa and coinciding with coverage of the World Cup.

Celebrity culture

Meanwhile on the anniversary of Michael Jackson's death, his brother Jermaine delivered a broadside against the media's targeting of his famous family on the Interview programme with Ed Butler. He complained about absurd and negative coverage aimed at creating attention, and this raised our interest in why the world is seemingly obsessed with the minutiae of celebrities' lives.

To that end we I talked to Lee Barron who teaches a university course in celebrity culture, and you can hear his analysis on the programme this weekend. I have always been amused by the way "broadsheet" newspapers and serious broadcasters can seemingly get away with covering the same stories without sullying their integrity or being criticised for being intrusive, on the pretext that they can't afford not to cover what everyone else is talking about - or because they are covering the fuss caused by the original targeting of a certain celebrity.

Now then...sport AND celebrity. For some of you, that must add up to the ultimate nightmare!

Rajan Datar is the Presenter, Over To You

Over To You is your chance to have your say about the BBC World Service and its programmes. It airs at 00:40, 03:40 and 12:40 every Sunday (GMT).


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