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No rows, just planning for Opening Ceremony

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Roger Mosey | 13:50 UK time, Wednesday, 25 July 2012

There's been a minor flurry in the past 24 hours about commentary for the Opening Ceremony based on a misleading story in a newspaper.

So here for the record is the true position.

We've been working with the Olympic organisers at Locog for literally years on the ceremony planning.

It's emphatically their ceremony and Danny Boyle's creative vision, with the main television coverage from a global feed and not filmed by the BBC.

But we've wanted to support them to the best of our ability - hence the special films we've made and a range of logistical help behind the scenes.

On commentary we initially felt it would be influenced by two factors. First, there's a particularly strong soundtrack in the stadium.

And also Locog originally planned to talk more about the big themes of the ceremony ahead of time than has actually been the case.

So what we've been doing in recent weeks is meeting with Danny Boyle to talk through how this will work in practice.

Huw Edwards, the team and I have a great relationship with Danny; and he's told us that in planning the ceremony he's sometimes thought about what Huw might say at what point.

Understanding this is key to making the ceremony work for television viewers - and though the ceremony is Locog's and the commentary is ours, it's massively better if we get into the director's mind and see what he's trying to achieve.

We can also work out where the gaps are where comment is appropriate, and where the music should not be interrupted.

So disappointingly for anyone looking for rows, there haven't been any: just sensible planning and working together for the benefit of our respective audiences.


  • Comment number 1.

    just seen amexican wave with 100 fans;no commentary for 1/2 hour now but got a notice on screen saying game delayed;is this a ploy to sell more hamburgers;people have got work in the morning or Lord Coe would'nt know what what an ordinary bloke has to do now to make ends meet

  • Comment number 2.

    As long as the commentary is kept to the absolute minimum to explain what is going on people will be happy. We don't need to be told who every celeb or politician is in the crowd but we do need to be told roughly what is going on and what things mean (if it not already obvious so no need to say 'The Olympic Flag is being raised' when we can all see that the flag is bieng raised!)

    Hopefully Huw has attended the rehearsals so can know when it is approriate to speak and when it is time to shut up.

    According to my Radio Times he is being 'assisted' by Hazel Irvine and Trevor Nelson. That is TWO assistants too many! In my view Hazel ruined the Vancouver Opening Ceremony.

    Remember less is more!

    And it is a shame that there isn't a commentary free feed readily accessible for people like me who really don't want any commentary at all. I only have aces to freeview and it appears that the 301 channel will be Audio Described but there is no commentary free feed.

  • Comment number 3.

    if this game does'nt go off soon they'll be hearing the hampden roar in a not to friendly manner

  • Comment number 4.

    magnificent-I take it you arent watching hamden football;but I was just told the hampden made a right cock-up;flying the south korea instead of the north korea flag

  • Comment number 5.

    No am not watching the football but what has that got to do with the topic of THIS blog which is about the opening ceremony?

  • Comment number 6.

    I've always been a big fan of Hazel Irvine-I didn't see the opening ceremony at Vancouver, but I did see the closing ceremony-disappointingly Hazel's commentary was poor. She insisting on talking whenever anything was happening on screen- the common journalist mistake of assuming that the journalist is more important than the event being covered. Nevertheless Roger's blog may give cause for cautious optimism. If Huw and his editor have at last understood that less is more it may be possible to enjoy the ceremony as much as those of years past.

  • Comment number 7.

    Roger I've just seen your other blog re the freeview issues but to be honest you should have know this a lot sooner.

    A commentary free feed on virgin or SKY is absolutly no use to me as I'm freeview

    BUT i see from the RT that teh cermony will be repated at 6.30 on BBC3 on Saturday Morning. How about using that showing to show the commentary free option?

    And no a website broadcast is no use either as I will be at a wedding on Friday and won't be able to record it.

    #6 thats what she did for the opening too. talked when there was no need to !

  • Comment number 8.

    I've seen a technical dress rehearsal of the opening ceremony and it is a magnificent spectacle, carefully crafted for TV, which largely speaks for itself. I really hope the BBC gives it space to breathe, particularly at the key moment at its heart which is very skillfully engineered by Danny Boyle through music and action. Magnificentpolarbear is right in reminding us that often less is more, and this will certainly be one of those occasions.

  • Comment number 9.

    (If "All posts are reactively-moderated." why does it say "Your comment is awaiting moderation."?)

  • Comment number 10.

    I'm really looking forward to the opening ceremony - reports of the rehearsals make it sound fantastic.

    Roger - Could you take a moment to veiw David Bond's latest blog and the responses to his reporting of The Games. Please will BBC Sport and BBC News get behind The Games and report the great good news story that exists, and stop this kind of senasationalist negative reporting; its out of touch with the public and threatens to ruin The BBC's coverage of The Games.

  • Comment number 11.

    Indeed, I'm getting ahead of myself - but will the Opening Ceremony of the 'greatest show on earth' be made available on DVD after the Games?

  • Comment number 12.

    #11 yes OBS are filiming it with that very aim. I bought the Beijing one (shame they didn't release one of Vancouver) and best of all it was commentary free - just the ceremony and the sights and sounds from the stadium.

  • Comment number 13.

    Been doing my best all week to avoid spoilers only to have the BBC just flash up images of the opening without warning. I don't really get why the OBS felt the need to release it considering the #savethesurprise campaign has worked pretty damn well, but heck, it looks great.

  • Comment number 14.

    Just been watching the panel of "experts" on BBC making comments on Gareth Bale opting out of Team GB claiming injury then going to score for Spurs in the pre-season game. A certain Allan Hanson seems to forget doing EXACTLY the same thing when Alex Ferguson was caretaker manager of Scotland, claiming injury and running off to go back to pre season training with Liverpool instead of representing his country. Give it a rest Hanson all true Scotland fans always knew you were always club before country man, when any true Scot would have given anything just to pull on that jersey just once and have died happy just being given the privilege to do so. Bloody hypocrite.

  • Comment number 15.

    I'd have more confidence in what the BBC is "trying to do" if they were able to sense just how patronising it is to talk of what Danny Boyle is "trying to do".

  • Comment number 16.

    I don't know if this is the right place to "air" it, but I have a problem. I can usually listen to BBC Radio4 on line or via TuneIn Radio on my iPhone. Now I keep getting a message some of the time saying "due to rights issues this part of the programme is not available". Please, why is this and when can we expect to have our normaaly-excellent service restored?

  • Comment number 17.

    #16 @dencroft: if you're abroad, we're not able to broadcast programmes from Olympic venues internationally because our rights are for the UK only.

  • Comment number 18.

    Thank you for your reply. I am not surprised. I am in Republic of Ireland. But why is this affecting programmes such as the "News at One" or "Today"?

  • Comment number 19.

    I remember the day before the opening ceremony of the FIFA world cup in South Africa - fortunately no rows there either and the event went off better than expected - much to the surprise of many naysayers... I imagine London 2012 will be no different and hope to witness a spectacular opening ceremony and games! Good luck!

  • Comment number 20.

    @Dencroft in #18: "Today" this morning was presented from the Olympic Park. Geo-blocking also applies to other sports events such as football, rugby and tennis --- but Radio 4 programmes don't normally come from there...

  • Comment number 21.

    I'm curious: if the United Nations recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (see, why doesn't the BBC as well in the list of countries for the Olympics?

  • Comment number 22.

    Amazing that someone managed to post the union flag upside down in the centre of the arena where Hugh Edwards just walked past. Hopefully someone will have a word with the plonker before 9pm.

  • Comment number 23.

    Glued to the screen waiting for the opening ceremony and really looking forward to Danny Boyle. Think these games are going to be the best ever for the UK!


  • Comment number 24.

    Oh, fancy French being the primary language of the GB olympics

  • Comment number 25.

    Huw Edwards is fine but the other two commentators are so inane, they are adding nothing and if all they are there for is to waffle, pull them off now please.

  • Comment number 26.

    Watching the opening ceremony and am really disapointed that the introduction to the Athelets entering the stadium is firstly in French, why, is not the ceremony being held in England, surely the host countries language should be spoken first followed by a Foreign language.

  • Comment number 27.

    Commentary - was annoyed not to have the option to turn off Nelson and co, especially as 301 HD was just showing a looped graphic. Huw wasn't too bad tonight and Hazel was a pleasure to listen to during the athletes parade, but Trevor Nelson talked through much of the music section - the one section that really didn't need a narrative. And viewers couldn't care less whether he could spot his sister/cousin/next door neighbours cat in the stadium.

    All in all though thumbs up to Danny Boyle and really enjoyed the two hour build up. Now's the difficult bit of planning what to watch actually for the next nine days.

  • Comment number 28.

    Having just watched the opening ceremony which was excellent, I felt it was ruined by the excessive commentary. I had heard the announcment at the start that no commentary versions were available, but there was no information given about where to find them. Surely a graphic with the announcment giving channel numbers for each platform wouldn't have been too hard to provide.

    At first it wasn't too bad, there were just a few brief nuggetts of pertinant information from Hew Edwards which I felt sounded like they had been carefully scripted and some thought had gone into the timing of their delivery which should have been straightforward to do following the rehearsals. It was a little more than I would have liked but had some value and didn't justify looking for the commentary free version. Then Hazel Irvine started to chip in with significantly longer remarks which imparted less useful information and were distinctly annoying. I couldn't believe it when a third one started. It was like sitting in a theatre trying to watch a show with some idiots striking up a conversation behind you.

    The remarks became increasingly inane and once they got going they seemed to lose any inhibitions about blabbering on needlessly.

    When they started having a chat about how many song titles they could remember I gave up and left the room where I had been watching in HD via Virgin cable with my family and headed for my study to find out how to get the commentary free version.

    I put the coverage on my small screen set while scouring the BBC web site to discover where it could be found but to no avail. I navigated all round the TV guide and tried searches on the BBC site and in google but nothing. I eventually found it by scrolling through the entire channel list on a Virgin box, it was on channel 550! and by that time they were into the final song of the show before the athletes walked out for which I wanted the commentary anyway. So I had missed most of the last half hour of the show because you hadn't provided the necessary information.

    What is the point of providing a service if you don't tell people how to get it.

    Even now I can't find any guide on the website as to what sports are on which channel in the much vaunted 24 channel service.

  • Comment number 29.

    Hi I followed the opening ceremony on BBC One HD with Dolby Digital on Freesat. The Comentary was almost inaudiable. It was fine on normal BBC1 but not the Dolby Digital version, so I guess it was the Dolby Mixing that went wrong. Was it just me? And did anyone else experience the same problem?

  • Comment number 30.

    Less talk more action please in the coverage - you've had three hours of Breakfast for build up and then in the first hour of BBC coverage we've only had a few minutes of actual live sports action - plus we've already hit the inevitable situation where BBC3 and 301 are showing the same thing.

  • Comment number 31.

    P.S. And why on earth is it Tanni Grey Thompson and not long time BBC cycling presenter Jill Douglas covering the road race?

  • Comment number 32.

    For me, watching in HD on BBC1 Freeview, the Opening Ceremony was seriously marred, not so much by the commentary, as by the appalling amount of sound bleed into the commentators microphones. There were odd moments when they remembered to switch them off and we were 'accidentally' treated to revealing moments of audio clarity, but then 'normal service' resumed and the carefully crafted soundtrack became again flawed by nasty, over-resonant audio bleed. Surely this could have been solved by telling the out-of-vision commentators to use lip-ribbons?

    The point about all this was that the soundtrack had been carefully crafted and the whole spectacle told a story which to us, the domestic audience, was crystal clear - it needed no description. When Mike Oldfield appeared we didn't want to hear Huw Edwards telling us about Mike Oldfield, we wanted to HEAR MIKE OLDFIELD.

    This obsession with pointless and unneccessary tv commentary has to stop. For events like this the commentary should be an option (for those who are visually impaired, for example) NOT THE DEFAULT.

    In this case, it was bad audio engineering which spoilt the event (for me) rather the commentary (though Hazel Irving could and should have done the whole thing - she was the only one any clue about wordcraft at all).

    And I won't mention Paul MacCartney.

    I checked before I went to bed, for any evidence that the BBC would repeat the Opening Ceremony overnight but there was none, but to my dismay when I woke up and checked an hour later I found the commentary-free version being run on 301/304 - a stream still labelled "Olympic Football Highlights". WHAT IS THE POINT OF DOING THESE THINGS IF YOU DO NOT INFORM ANYONE THAT YOU'RE GOING TO DO THEM?

    I despair. This year I am running out of ways to predict that the BBC will cock things up, but I'm sure the BBC still has plenty up its sleeve.

  • Comment number 33.

    Anyone else having problems with buffering on the online streams. I'd been able to watch things online over the last few weeks without a problem, but just buffering every few seconds today.

  • Comment number 34.

    A UK TV audience averaging 22.4m people watched Friday night's Olympic opening ceremony, BBC overnight figures show.

    Fantastic figures!!!!

    I watched most of the opening ceremony, it was beautiful,mesmerizing,breathtaking, well done to the BBC and everyone else involved!!!

  • Comment number 35.

    Agree on the wittering commentators whihc is why I have been banging on for ages for a commentary free feed and which the BBC promised for ages then denied us at the last minute for those of us who are 'freeview' only.

    You only needed one commentator and that was Huw. It was Hazel and Tevor who were wittering on (and at times it was like overhearing a chat between too mates rather than two supposed professionals)

    Am looking forward to the official IOC DVD whihc will be witout any commentary (if they do the same as Beijing)

  • Comment number 36.

    #32 just seen your comments. I had NO idea that the BBC repeated it without commentary over night. Iromnically I was watching the recording opf the live showing as I was at a wedding last night. If I had known I would have recorded that version.

    Why on earth wasn't this advertised better?

    Roger you could have even mentioned it on this blog ??? . It would have been useful like me that you had already dissapointed by denying us a live commentary free feed.

  • Comment number 37.

    I am trying to watch the 'seamless' coverage and have so far had to change channels 4/5 times and the coverage has been completely interupted by a pointless news bulletin and adverts for programming. Either the coverage is seamless or it isn't. Whoever had a ponytail moment over the phrase 'Never miss a minute' wasn't thinking of trying to watch the cycling.

    If this was the London Marathon we would see every moment of a lead group running on their own, for 2 solid hours. Why do you think that cycling fans can't watch the whole race?

    I would echo the comments of one of the previous contributors about the opening ceremony too, about nebulous comments made by the studio team.

  • Comment number 38.

    What's with all the breaks on BBC3 - no need for it at all. For me the Olympics justify the licence fee - but in return we expect them uninterupted.

  • Comment number 39.

    It was spectacular to be able to watch the opening ceremony in 3D on the BBC HD channel (on freeview) but due to the constant commentary the experience was spoilt. Why could the BBC HD channel not be kept commentary free and people who felt the need to listen to the commentators tune over to BBC1. This was not a sport event that required minute by minute commentary but a great show that could speak for itself. It feels that the BBC simply wont listen to common sense!

  • Comment number 40.

    Thanks for the comments. Today has been slightly odd on the commentary issue in that 2 newspapers are suggesting we should have had *more* commentary, while 2 others are saying we should have had *less*... That thing about not being able to please all the people all the time, I guess; but the "no commentary" options on cable, satellite and online are all part of the BBC service.

    By the way, we're going to repeat the Opening Ceremony on Saturday 18 August. The peak audience was 26.9m last night at 9.45pm, and the average has been revised upwards to 23m. This is the highest BBC1 audience for 16 years. In that context, we had a very low level of complaints - but lots of positive feedback.

  • Comment number 41.

    So Roger, who was responsible for testing the timing systems in the cycling RR prior to the live event today, BBC, OBS or LOCOG? It was embarrassing. Also the commentary team made a complete hash of it today, even with the pictures and data they could see. I found it a relief to be be able to tune in to Eurosport when their coverage began.

  • Comment number 42.

    Just watching some great swimming coverage from the aquatic centre, but why can't we hear any of the PA announcements, including the names of the medal winners on the podium?.....not good enough BBC

  • Comment number 43.

    Overall it is great and perhaps realism will arrive at level of competition our sportspeople face. However it is a real shame that we are not giving them the full stadia that they deserve. Interesting to note that the first 'free' and non corporate seating event (the bike race) was amazingly populated and full of atmosphere.
    Don't we have to ask questions of how organisers can ensure that all stadia are full if only in appreciation of the amazing commitment of the athletes, any of who will be doing this without the incomes enjoyed in other sports.
    Please BBC, start to at least highlight the empty seats and hopefully organisers can start to fill seats with volunteers (who have shown real energy and passion to get involved) if the seats are not taken say, 20 mins after an event starts (10 mins before would actually be good form).
    If the ticket holder turns up they would need to wait for 10 mins before being seated and at least the volunteer would have got an experience.
    Anyway, whatever the solution, there surely needs to be something done out of respect for the athletes and to dampen the frustration many of us must be feeling having tried repeatedly to buy tickets on the website only to be told events are sold out!
    Action please.

  • Comment number 44.

    The regular breaks on BBC3 especially are really annoying now, as well as in the peak of Olympic action on BBC1. There is just no need for them.

    Also put Ian Thorpe in the Aquatics Centre with Claire and Mark - it's ridiculous having two teams to review what we've just seen.

  • Comment number 45.

    The otherwise excellent opening ceremony was totally ruined by the BBC commentary, (close on the heels of the terrible Silver Jubilee commentary). Was there no one with any sense on hand to shut up Trevor Nelson in particular. A total annoyance, and no way to switch them off. It seems that the BBC are moving towards younger presenters with no actual thought to whether they have any aptitude, or sense of occasion, they just seem to want to hear their own voices.

  • Comment number 46.

    Well I have to say I thought the build up to the ceremony was excellent. The commentary on the ceremony itself was much more restrained and hence much improved on previous Games. Yes there was a critic in the Mirror claiming there wasn't enough commentary. Incredible. I thought Huw and Hazel did a good job, but there was no need to have a pointless conversation saying guess the songs so we couldn't here them, or talking over Mike Oldfield. Sadly the worst offender was Trevor, who decided to tell us that this was the peak of one artist's career by telling us that through his performance. Hopefully Trevor won't be in Sochi or Rio. Nevertheless I thought the BBC did a good job overall.
    As for today I think Brekkie is right-the coverage seems disjointed. I am really grateful that the BBC has made the streams available so we can get away from all this boring studio chatter! I am sure things will improve as everyone finds their feet.

  • Comment number 47.

    I have to say that the BBC are making a hash of things so far. 1. The opening ceremony commentary was as inane as it gets. 2. I think the road race commentators were watching something totally different so wrong were they on so many occasions, and the race itself became difficult to watch without timings, etc. 3. It was crass beyond belief that the eventual winner was greeted with questions about Cav rather than congratulations on his win. 4. Mishal Hussain is just plain embarrassing as it's clear she knows nothing about sport. Nor does Sian Williams come to that. Why are these non-sporting people fronting the Olympics? Why can the BBC not keep the sporting greats to their own sport. Clearly Mac knows nothing about cycling and it's an annoying for those who do know the sport to be patronised in this way. I sincerely hope things improve otherwise it's going to be real turn-off for a lot of us.

  • Comment number 48.

    Good shout Debs. the discussion between John Mcenroe, Kelly Holmes and Gabby Logan on the mens' road race was somply embarrassing. Not one of them understood the sport or the tactical issues. the BBC is descending into pub chat - for which I don't have to pay a licence fee. As for Mishal Hussain and Sian Williams as studio anchors....big mistake!!! Stick to the newsroom and leave sport to those who know about it and convey their passion for's not a news bulletin! And to re-iterate my earlier post on arena atmosphere. it is clear that the background noise has been toned down, so that we lose a lot of the raw passion, at the expense of those commentating, who sound like disembodied voices. this was particulalry apparent this morning in the coverage of the mens' GB volleyball match, when the crowd were barely audible, and the commentators sounding as if they were in a studio hundreds of miles away. PLEASE sort this out BBC.

  • Comment number 49.

    The use of news faces makes no sense at the expense of an experienced sports team - no reason why Hazel couldn't host from 9am through to 1pm before Jake and then Sue in the afternoon.

    I don't understand either why Jill Douglas has been sidelined for Tanni Grey Thompson (and later in the week Jake Humphrey) on the cycling either - she is unrivaled in covering the sport at the BBC and where possible coverage should be lead by people that viewers are familar with covering the sport. OK, for all we know Tanni may be a massive cycling fan and have an encylopedic knowledge of the sport, but to viewers she's just a name who has been parachuted in at the expense of someone we trust that knows what they're talking about.

    I know the discussion of numbers has been bought up here a couple of times and I've no quibble with hundreds of BBC staff being used - but BBC1 is spreading events too thinly amongst presenters and it's disrupting the flow of the coverage. BBC3, with just three shifts per day, flows a lot better - with the exception of the bloody ad breaks on the hour.

  • Comment number 50.

    Thanks as ever for the comments. As I've explained before, we see the Olympics as a "one BBC" event that brings in the best people from right across the organisation; and we've been delighted by the colleagues from News who've joined the team with Sport. Feedback from the audience has been massively positive - along with pieces like this:

    Our one disappointment has been the road cycling yesterday where there was a lack of information that we and other broadcasters needed because of data problems in a part of the Games organisation that's outside our control. We've made our views on this known, I promise.

  • Comment number 51.


    You should read the public's comments after the Guardian article to get the full measure of what people are saying here. In any event the article itself made no mention of Hussain or Williams - neither of whom have any idea what they're talking about. One would expect Gabby, Hazel and Clare to get it right - it's their job to do so. And quite frankly instead of the Beeb wringing its hands and saying it's not our fault, we have no control, perhaps the powers that be should get off their overpaid backsides and sort the problems out with OBS,

  • Comment number 52.

    I assume the BBC are providing the OBS feed for the tennis and rowing as I think you usually do - anything else?

    And I think we all just need a medal to settle our nerves and hopefully open the flood gates.

  • Comment number 53.

    P.S. The "Olympics Live" feature on the web player, supposedly flagging up upcoming medal moments, is still not working.

  • Comment number 54.

    @Brekkie: the BBC is providing tennis, rowing, canoe sprint, football and boxing to OBS's specification for the world feeds.

    @Debs: with the best will in the world, we can't be responsible for the data failures of providers not operating under contract to us. The systems didn't do what they were supposed to do.

    And on Brekkie's medal point: yes - well done, Lizzie!

  • Comment number 55.

    For the record I thought that the commentary of Huw Edwards and Hazel Irvine on the openeing ceremony was very good. I particularly liked their portentous words at the climax of the "Pandemonium" section. Trevor Phillips seemed a bit superfluous at times but was good on providing "cultural context." Overall well done BBC! (Much, much better than the Jubilee river pageant)

  • Comment number 56.

    Whatever the thoughts on the opening ceremony – and some people loved the bits that others didn’t like – can’t please all the people all of the time. What is winning now – and is British – is the organisation of the sport events and the fantastic full coverage of events on the BBC. The swimming is amazing to watch – going off like clockwork one after the other but nothing uncomfortably regimental or military about it! Just wonderful! That is the best of British management and organisation… AND LONDON… I wanted to avoid it during the Olympic season but had to spend a couple of days there – and it was fantastic. Everyone was so friendly, cheerful and helpful – the Londoners, visitors and the public service people, train and bus staff – they were considerate, funnly and kind – a taxi driver helped and the charge was not high. Marvellous, marvellous London and reliable BBC I am proud of you as someone who lives in another UK capital… Congrats to you all!

  • Comment number 57.

    Once again, the BBC ruin a perfectly good show of performance art with needless commentary!

    Would Trevor Nelson appreciate it if in the middle of one of his DJ sets his music was turned down so that an ignorant, ill informed commentator can mis-inform the audience... Almost all of the commentary was completely unnecessary....

    Danny Boyle's image: Wonderful.
    BBC's commentary: Awful!

  • Comment number 58.

    We now have plenty of evidence about the Opening Ceremony. Apart from having the highest audience of the 21st century, our research also says it was massively appreciated by viewers - getting top scores for quality.

    As for the commentators, there was an external poll yesterday that came up with these results - showing overall strongly positive scores:

    A good ceremony commentator? agreement / disagreement in order

    Huw Edwards Agree 49% to 10%; Hazel Irvine 46% to 12%;Trevor Nelson 42% to 15%

  • Comment number 59.

    Dear Roger Mosey.

    In which case, I assume that the BBC will now proceed to put commentaries over the music during the proms, talking through people's sets on Glastonbury, and best of all, chirping away whenever Trevor Nelson plays a DJ set... No? Thought not.

    You are asking the WRONG questions.

    If you had asked- do you think the commentary was intrusive over the artistic section of the ceremony, then there would be an overwhelming agreement! Also, just because you have a high audience doesn't mean that you're doing anything right! Viewers had precisely 1 option to view the opening ceremony - the BBC. We couldn't vote with our feet - and the fact that virtually no-one knew that there was a commentary free option on the red button means that there was no choice!

    Why was there need for the commentators to replicate what the announcer in the stadium was saying?

    Why was there any need for a commentary team anyway, given that those IN the stadium managed to understand what was going on without one.

  • Comment number 60.

    PS. I have just read your comments in the Guardian and the Telegraph from prior to the ceremony, claiming that the viewers would need prompting as they were unfamiliar with the tempest. I take it then that you will be recommending that Shakespeare also gets a commentary track included?

  • Comment number 61.

    I think it's human instinct though Roger that you absolutely take in any praise for the commentary choices as that is what you want to see to vindicate your decision.

    From what I can see from various places (and of course my reading of things is no less biased than yours Roger) but most people seem to think Huw Edwards was improved on Beijing and people really appreciated Hazel Irvine's role but Trevor Nelson was an intrusion and as many thought when it was announced, an unnecessary addition and it would be wise to drop him from the closing ceremony. It did appear that the one segment he was presumably bought in to cover was the one segment that really didn't need anyone talking over it.

    P.S. More audio problems than tic tac ads during ITV football over the weekend. Of course these things happen, but they seem to be overly frequent at the moment by BBC standards.

  • Comment number 62.

    PPS. So, using your own data, 51% of people did not agree that Huw Edwards was a good ceremony commentator, 54% did not agree that Hazel Irvine was a good ceremony commentator and 58% did not agree that Trevor Nelson was a good ceremony commentator. Ok, so most people were apathetic, but that's hardly a glowing reference for the commentary team!

  • Comment number 63.

    The audience research scores the whole programme including commentary, and you simply don't get the appreciation levels we're receiving if the commentary was as disliked as some people claim. Remember, it was substantially planned in co-operation with Danny Boyle; and the data suggests the overwhelming majority of viewers were happy with it.

    The audio options are clearly signposted on all platforms, including cable and satellite where "no commentary" is available. But take-up is very low indeed compared with the BBC One version.

  • Comment number 64.

    The AI figures though surely more for the ceremony itself than the BBC coverage of it - as annoying as they can be I'd say my enjoyment of the Opening Ceremony was at least 90% down to the event itself rather than what the commentary added. I think we'd all prefer a good show with poor commentary than a poor show with good commentarty too.

    P.S. And yet again we're pointed to BBC3 as BBC1 breaks for the news only to turnover and for BBC3 to take a break of their own.

  • Comment number 65.

    Dear Roger Mosey
    "The audience research scores the whole programme including commentary, and you simply don't get the appreciation levels we're receiving if the commentary was as disliked as some people claim. Remember, it was substantially planned in co-operation with Danny Boyle; and the data suggests the overwhelming majority of viewers were happy with it."

    Can you comment on how much truth there was to the article in the Telegraph, claiming that Danny Boyle was upset that the BBC were commentating over the top of the ceremony?

    Where was the HD commentary-free option on freeview? Was there one?

  • Comment number 66.

    Artist: please read this original blog post and the previous one. This makes it clear that there was complete agreement with Danny Boyle in the planning of the commentary, and also explains why we couldn't offer a "no commentary" option on Freeview. But it was online and on Sky, Virgin and Freesat.

  • Comment number 67.

    I think Mishal is doing a good job actually, although I was pleased to see Hazel doing Breakfast. I agree entirely with Brekkie about these inane interruptions on BBC Three. Some showing of trailers or even the dumbed down bulletins can't be objected to altogether. But surely a bit more common sense can be used about how they're placed. Yes I know-when the Paralympics start on Channel 4 we'll get more breaks than action-but still....

    I think the BBC coverage is getting more into its stride now after the Saturday road race nonsense. Keep it up!

  • Comment number 68.

    My gripe about the opening ceremony is that the fireworks at the end were interrupted by showing clips of old olympic events. This happened at the Diamond Jubilee when the credits rolled over them. Pictures of the fireworks that have appeared in the press were not shown on tv. I have checked on Iplayer. It would appear that someone at the BBC does not like fireworks.

  • Comment number 69.

    Thanks, jcb336. We're reducing some of the interruptions to the flow.

    Pete in #68: That's what we were given on the official feed - which was generally excellent. I love fireworks myself...

    As a general point - I said I'd blog more during the Games. In fact, pressure of events means what I've been doing instead is trying to respond to feedback on Twitter. I can't guarantee individual replies because of the volume of contacts is too high but I do read as many as I can - and I'm there as @rogermosey


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