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Olympic hopefuls in special programme for 100 Days to Go

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Roger Mosey | 08:35 UK time, Tuesday, 17 April 2012

We know that audiences aren't particularly bothered about Olympic countdown moments like "One Year To Go" or "100 Days To Go": the research tells us people are keener on news stories and the sport build-up events.

And I confess I'm personally not that keen on preview programmes, because at worst they can be a load of hot air that tells us little that's fresh.

All of which is a rather unpromising opening to a piece recommending that you watch a special programme about the London Olympics being transmitted this Wednesday - when it's 100 Days To Go.

I should explain that this is a show that is part of the agreement between the International Olympic Committee and rightsholding broadcasters across the world: there is an official programme ahead of each Winter and Summer Games.

We, and some others, have not traditionally placed them in prominent parts of the schedule - which is one reason why this time round the IOC commissioned the BBC to make the official preview in the hope that it would be a more compelling piece of broadcasting.

We were delighted to be asked, and that 30 minute show is now being transmitted across the globe.

It was, however, something of an outside view of London designed for audiences from Peru to Papua New Guinea. So here in the UK we've adapted and extended the programme to give it more of a British focus and to capture some of the Team GB hopefuls who will be aiming for success this summer.

As you may guess, this is not a programme about the cost of the Games - we've covered that countless times in our news reporting.

Nor is it about the potential risks around transport, security or organisation - because there'll be plenty of time for those in the weeks to come. But what it does have is a stellar cast, and some beautifully-filmed images of the London that the world will see in 100 days' time.

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Our presenter and narrator is Michael Johnson. The interviewees include Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, Paula Radcliffe, Michael Phelps, David Beckham, Tom Daley and many more. The Olympic world is represented by the IOC president Jacques Rogge and the Locog chairman Seb Coe. And based on an early version I saw at the end of last week, I'd say it's an entertaining watch. The highlight for me was a powerful contribution from Kath Grainger, whose rowing success has so far been entirely in winning silver medals - and for whom gold in her home country would mean so much.

She's probably the best example of the years of effort that go into the performances that we'll see on our TV screens between July 27 and August 12, with the stark revelation about whether the dedication has paid off - or not.

So I hope you'll find time to watch "2012 Olympics - One Hundred Days To Go" on BBC One this Wednesday. It's at 10.45pm in England and Wales, or 11.15pm in Scotland and Northern Ireland - with catch-up on the BBC iPlayer.

And if previews are not for you - at least the action is now only a hundred days away...


  • Comment number 1.

    I'm please I read this blog because as something of an London 2012 superfan I had half thought I might give it a miss as I suspect there won't be too much I don't already know - I won't now. Talking more generally the right kind of preview programme can really add something. I would suggest the more obsure the sport the more benefit we can get! It's probably a bit ambitious but how about a half hour preview for each of the Olympic sports - I'd like to be up to speed when I settle down for the Weightlifting in the summer!

  • Comment number 2.

    There is nothing better than a preview to make everyone excited about the Olympics.

    This blog is just one of many that are involved:

  • Comment number 3.

    Is the Opening Ceremony really not going to start until 9PM as Danny Boyle said in the film? Seems a bit late to me if it won't finish until midnight or even later if it overruns. Am sure you would prefer it earlier Roger as I'm sure would Transport For London.

  • Comment number 4.

    I love previews so will definately be watching it.

    British Olympic Dreams has been the perfect example of a good preview show so may I take this oppertunity to praise the team behind that and I look forward to Wednesday's special.

  • Comment number 5.

    @Tiger Rose in #3: yes, the Opening Ceremony will start at 9pm. I'd be surprised if it ended before midnight, but we do get the point that some of the big set pieces will look better when it's dark. An 8pm start would have meant up to 90 minutes in daylight...

  • Comment number 6.

    Especially looking forward to this preview as I continue to train London Ambassadors at Stratford International. Let's see and hear Team GB's permission to shine, radiate confidence in themselves, their sport, team and country. This is our once in a lifetime opportunity to raise our cultural reserve bar and captivate global audiences ...


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