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Monday night is Inside Sport night

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Alastair McIntyre | 17:20 UK time, Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Inside Sport is back on 6 April with big interviews, lively features, incisive comment and a new look.

Gabby Logan is raring to go for the nine-show run in the studio which will look different to previous series.

The set has changed, a sofa is back and on it Gabby will be joined by current sports stars and some of BBC Sport's finest talents.

Our four-time Olympic gold medallist Matthew Pinsent also returns, reporting on a whole host of issues using his unique insight and questioning.

New to the team is Andrew Cotter fresh from his commentaries on the Six Nations. The multi-talented Scot, who's a pretty mean golfer as well as a top class journalist, will also bring us reports from underneath the surface of sport in his own distinctive style.

So what have we got lined up for the new run? Well, for the first show, Gabby meets Manchester United legends Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville. United have had an incredible season by their own high standards and despite a recent wobble, are still in with the chance of landing the 'quintuple'. Giggs has enjoyed an amazing season - a 10th Premier League winners' medal could well be round his neck come May - as could another Champions League and FA Cup honour.

We've also got a feature on Tiger Woods - back on the big stage at the US Masters. Tiger means so much to golf and Andrew will report from Augusta as the year's first major gets under way.

Tiger Woods in action

The Masters tees off on 9 April - so who better to join Gabby in the studio than Colin Montgomerie. The new Ryder Cup captain will have many issues to discuss and 'Monty' will be joined on the sofa by Alan Hansen, so expect a lively exchange on all sporting matters from the Match Of The Day regular.

Also on the show and throughout the run, there'll be some lighter moments - so expect a mix of light and shade - after all, sport is full of highs and lows, controversy, fun and enjoyment as it plays such an important part in our lives.

I know some viewers have complained about the timeslot for the show but this series we do have a somewhat more regular slot - 11.05pm for the first six shows, and the last three at 11.15pm. It will also be be on the red button, reversioned for the BBC News channel and for BBC World News, plus it will be on the BBC iPlayer, so there are plenty of ways you can catch it!

From now until June, I will be blogging, so be honest and upfront with your comments. Feedback is crucial - and I will endeavour to answer as many questions and queries as possible. We're also hoping to get Matthew blogging too, so watch this space on that one ...

All I can add for now is the whole team can't wait to get going - we're really excited to be producing Inside Sport, so tune in on Monday, 6 April at 1105pm. Gabby's expecting you...

Alastair McIntyre is the editor of Inside Sport

Inside Sport:
Monday evenings, 1105pm on BBC1 from 6 April


  • Comment number 1.

    The Masters is beyond doubt one of the greatest and most difficult tickets in Sport to get hold of, and I am very fortunate being married to an Augusta native to get to go each year. This year should be no exception with Padraig and Rory MacIlroy at the event.

    A crying shame that Monty's day seems to have gone by now, an incredible talent whose greatest golfing epitaph will be how much he got under the skin of the Americans, because they feared his competitiveness and his talent! They knew how good he was and thats why he was targeted!

    I still find it incredibly weird that the BBC have Gary Lineker to host the event with a supporting cast of the likes of Hansen, and god forbid I saw Boris Becker sitting in the hut along the first fairway one year!

    I do apprciate Andrew Cotter's coverage of the game though and Iain Carters blogs...if they fancy a drink in the Augusta Country Club then feel free to get them to give me a shout!

  • Comment number 2.

    Is it going to be on in Scotland?

  • Comment number 3.

    Giggs already has 10 Premier league winners' medals - this season will be is eleventh.

  • Comment number 4.

    Have you not heard of Football Focus? That programme currently lacks any pizzazz at the moment and then Inside Sport steals all the big BBC interviews with footballers. Seems a little bit silly to me.

    I hope you haven't got rid of the journalists like Steve Bunce. I thought that was what Inside Sport was all about - a journalistic view on sport. It is often much more interesting to hear forthright opinions from journalists than hedging from ex-sportsmen.

    This programme once had the potential to be good. But for some reason or another (scheduling is a factor, but clearly hasn't been resolved) it hasn't become the show it should have been. I don't see how the changes you have mentioned will help. I doubt a new sofa will improve the programme.

  • Comment number 5.

    Alastair: I'll cover other points in due course - but a simple question and I hope for a full explanation: why was the slot chosen? Why wasn't the 10.35 slot secured for this instead of this?

  • Comment number 6.

    New titles as well for this show?
    The old titles are really poor, the music was shoddy.
    Grandstand theme have not been used for ages..use them!
    Also where has Amanda Farnsworth gone?
    Have you replaced her?
    Again, 11:05...still very late...surely you cant get it repeated on a Saturday, Im sure the BBC could plug up that gaping hole still vacated by Grandstand to plug in Sport.

  • Comment number 7.

    Giggsy had his 10th medal last May. This May, he could have 11, to match the number on his back.

  • Comment number 8.

    WIll the running time be back to 40 minutes or the rushed 30 minute version of the last series?

  • Comment number 9.

    Will the Monday night programme be on the iplayer? or the cut down version you see on the news channel where you miss out on the studio guests' views?

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    With Alastair's permission, I'm just dipping into his blog to pick up WebbyFoxes' point in #6.

    On the "gaping hole" left by Grandstand, here's the way the schedule works this Saturday on BBC Television as F1 comes back into our portfolio:

    BBC One
    5am - live Australian F1 qualifying
    12.10pm - Football Focus
    1pm - F1 re-run
    2.15pm - live rugby

    Then on BBC Two
    5pm - more live rugby
    7.15pm - World Cycling Championships

    When you set it out like that, it makes our rationale for phasing out Grandstand clear. Grandstand was a fantastic programme when Sport was transmitted largely within the confines of a weekend afternoon, and when we used to be switch between coverage of different events.

    Now, audiences want events live and uninterrupted when they happen - and the best way to brand them is as "BBC Sport" on television, on radio, on the red button and online. And overall, our hours of sport in video and audio keep increasing.

    I know some of my valued email correspondents still won't agree on the G word, but that represents our firm position! The main thing is we hope you enjoy both the live sport and also programmes like "Inside Sport".

  • Comment number 12.

    Hi guys
    Yep I'd sold Ryan short by one Premier League honour - just goes to show how successful he's been when you lose track and get a stat like that wrong!
    A few questions answered...
    The show is 30 mins, not forty - but I am hoping to pack in as much as possible. And in that time, there will be more room for studio chat as the guests I hope to get in, will themselves be worthy of big interviews. So Monty on the first show will tell us about life as being the new Ryder Cup captain as well as pass comment on the Masters and the return of Tiger.

    The BBC News Channel version will be on the iPlayer, due to rights restrictions. We will aim to get it on as soon as possible but technical reasons means it may not be available until later in the week. However, the BBC News Channel version will be on the red button from late Tuesday afternoon/early Tuesday evening.

    Regarding the time of the show - 1105pm is late and I know, as I said in the blog, it is an issue with many of you. All I can say is that we have endeavoured to get the programme on earlier since the show started in April 2007 but the show's timeslot is down to the BBC schedulers. We are always looking to broadcast the show earlier and will continue to do so.

    Keep the comments coming and I'll keep replying

  • Comment number 13.

    I think the thing that annoys most about the 11.05pm slot is most of the time the programme at 10.35pm has been a repeat, I think of One Foot in the Grave during the last series.

    And as great as Giggs is, you've instantly put me and a sizeable chunk of your audience of viewers who believe there is much more to sport than football by starting out the series with such a football led show. Leave that to Football Focus.

    As for the dreaded G-word, I don't think anyone can argue with your commitment to coverage of major sporting events since the demise of Grandstand a couple of years back, but it's the smaller events which perhaps would have only got a 20-30 minute slot in the programme which have really suffered - and I fear now Formula 1 has arrived that's pretty much going to be ticking the "sport" box for most of the summer, leaving little room for those minor Olympic sports to get any exposure at all on the BBC at a time where the BBC should be doing all it can to both build the profile of the UK's athletes and the sports themselves in the run up to 2012.

    Ski Sunday was also very disappointing this year - great when it was on, especially the extra interactive stuff, but it didn't begin until half way through the season and finished before the end of it.

  • Comment number 14.

    Brekkie, thanks for your comment.
    Giggs and Neville I think are great sportsmen and transcend the game...what I'd say is that I am keen to reflect on a variety of issues, sports and sportspeople on this show. I have a massive interest in all sports and I want this show to reflect football will of course play a part of Inside Sport, but so will others. There are so many issues regarding cricket on and off the pitch at the moment - and on show two we will be reporting from South Africa on the IPL. Show three, the day before the Lions squad is announced, there'll be a story from Andrew Cotter...more to come in due course on that.
    All I'd say is that my aim with this show is to look at issues and personalities and reflect and produce a programme in a lively way that will interest not just the sportsfan but a cross section of the audience...

  • Comment number 15.

    I’m really looking forward to the new series of Inside Sport.

    I hope that Steve Bunce will still have some involvement in the show.

    What I would most like to see in this series is previews of the two big fights coming up for British boxers in the next month or so. Carl Froch and Ricky Hatton are both in action and I think they deserve some coverage on the show.

    So Alastiar are you the new editior of the show?

  • Comment number 16.

    Mr Mosey, using F1 to cover for the lack of sports is not good enough.
    Spots which were the heart of Grandstand are missing now.
    Also when did Grandstand start at 5am before?
    Football focus wasnt part of Grandstand as well, the gaping hole is filled with a re-run of F1, what would be there if F1 was still on ITV? Nothing.
    Last year, some Saturdays had no sport...why? Because of Grandstand missing.
    Im not saying that the BBC have given up on Sport, I am happy that they have the F1 and have lots of Sports on but some minor sports have disappeared off the schedule.
    Inside Sport will one day be covering up holes, 1 weekened when the BBC doesnt have any Sport to show because its the summer and the F1 isnt on for another week and Football and Rugby is on its break...whats there? Oh Inside Sport!

  • Comment number 17.

    WebbyFoxes - I think you're missing the point. First, we have sport pretty much every Saturday afternoon anyway. But we've also increased the hours of live sport when it's actually happening: so this week we've had World Cycling at 7pm on BBC Two and on the red button with late night highlights - rather than saving it up for the weekend.

    On the point you and Brekkie (reasonably) make about 'minority' sports: many of them are getting more coverage than ever before on the red button and online. Our website alone gets 8.5m users each week. But we also have terrestrial TV windows for them: to take just three examples - ice skating on BBC Two this weekend, white water canoeing from Nottingham in May, the European three-day eventing in August - alongside the big events like World Athletics, World Swimming and World Gymnastics which will all get significant airtime.

    But what is true is that we operate within a finite budget and sometimes if we've done a lot of live sport, we won't fill a gap in the schedule simply for the sake of it. So like last weekend: having put a lot of resources into the Six Nations with three live matches on Saturday and an amazing climax to the season, we didn't seek out events for Sunday afternoon. Everything costs money...

  • Comment number 18.

    Roger, may i ask about events advertised and then dropped.

    The 2009 list of advertised events on this website included a significant increase in cycling coverage. Sadly this has come to very little - the promised World Cup events were dropped and I note that the BMX World Champs have now disappeared too. Badminton too had two events listed neither of which will now be shown - indeed Badminton has disappeared completely from the list of televised sports. Why are this year's racing days not yet listed? Bizarrely Racing from Epsom in April is on the snooker pages but not on the racing pages!!! And you wonder why we question your commitment to Racing...
    On a positive note... the 3D graphics for Formula One which have appeared on this site are just awesome.

  • Comment number 19.

    Gary-E: apologies if there's been any confusion. I just asked our guys to explain what might have happened and they said there can sometimes be problems caused by working from different databases - and work's underway to have one single system for all our scheduling information. Obviously, schedules are fluid anyway because some events change time and date which may increase or cut coverage.

    Pleased you like the F1 graphics!

  • Comment number 20.

    Track Cycling: doubtless spurred on by the outstanding recent successes of British Cycling - most notably in the Olympics - BBC 2 is now presenting daily programmes from the World Track Championships. However, the style and content of the first two programmes falls far short of the standard normally expected of BBC Sports coverage.
    The competition is hardly being presented at all. What we have is a high percentage of interviews, with coverage of the actual racing almost entirely confined to the performances of British competitors. The replacement of the usual enthusiastic and knowledgeable presenter with generalist Gabby Logan has resulted in a superficial approach focused entirely on whether or not the British will win. Her questions to Craig McLean seem to be confined almost entirely to this matter, generally failing to prompt more than an embarrassed response from a former track cyclist new to presenting.
    The result can surely please neither the general TV audience, who gain no new understanding or perception of the sport and are led to disappointment by the constant expectation that 'we will win', nor the faithful cycling audience who are looking for a proper representation of an exciting sport. Come on, BBC! You would not show only the England team's innings of a cricket match, would you?
    My greatest fear is for British Cycling: that this 'tabloid' approach is leading them from back page heroes to back page losers, in the unfortunate way we British have of knocking down our greatest when they prove human.

  • Comment number 21.

    I was sceptical about Grandstand going, but actually I think it's worked quite well - it's simply not possible these days to wait for a week for highlights of cycling, for example, as they'd probably be on YouTube by then anyway!

    On Inside Sport though - is it going to be shown on BBC1 Scotland this time? I think the scheduling was something to do with Sportscene having to show the SPL highlights at around that time - but the SPL season will be just about finished during the run, I think?

  • Comment number 22.

    "All I'd say is that my aim with this show is to look at issues and personalities and reflect and produce a programme in a lively way that will interest not just the sportsfan but a cross section of the audience..."

    This is why I'm becoming more and more disillusioned with sports coverage on the BBC.

    Why do sports programs have to appeal to a cross section of the audience?

    Can they not just be made for people that are interested in sport.

  • Comment number 23.

    Alastair McIntyre:

    Congrats to the return of the show....

    ~Dennis Junior~

  • Comment number 24.

    10. (thrown out!)

    The comment that was removed was a statement of fact, relating to the advertising of "Inside Sport" on the BBC News Channel.

    By all means, tell us what is on Inside Sport between 6.45 and 7 on a Monday evening ie "Sportsday", or indeed any designated "News Hour". It is not exactly appropriate in the shorter hourly bulletins.

  • Comment number 25.

    "Why do sports programs have to appeal to a cross section of the audience?

    Can they not just be made for people that are interested in sport"

    Would want somebody who doesn't like sports want to watch it anyway?

  • Comment number 26.

    the red button and online - Mr do know that many people dont want to watch sport on the red button.
    The cycling coverage this week was good but ruined when the red button was mentioned.
    Yes there is Sport on most Saturdays...most is the crucial word there.
    There will be some saturdays where there is Sport on but to watch it, we have to press a red button.
    If Grandstand was returned, we would be able to watch it on TV and fill the gaps that are made.

  • Comment number 27.

    Couch Pedallar - completely agree regarding the cycling, it's appeared to be very sub-standard, and Jill Douglas is much missed - and even though Gabby Logan is amongst the best sports broadcasters in the business, when it appears that she's repeatedly being given the wrong information it reflects badly on both her and BBC Sport as a whole.

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 30.

    Good to hear it's going to be on iplayer as very few people I know are keen to stay up past 11pm on a Monday. 1030pm is the obvious slot.

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    Alastair - could explain the main points of the discussion between you & the schedulers and why they appear to have won the battle to show pointless repeats before your show, when your audience appear to be calling for the show to be brought earlier and to be 40 minutes rather than 30.

  • Comment number 33.

    As others have already done on here, i must comment on the scheduling which is far too late. It only gets watched on Sky Plus by me. Its an ideal 7pm on BBC2 programme in my view.
    Main reason i watch is for the journo's debates which are always more insightful than those by ex-sports people who nearly always aren't willing to make a controversial comment for fear of upsetting someone. Des Kelly and Tony Livesey in particular - im not a big fan of Steve Bunce personally but know that others are. Gabby Logan is an excellent and very knowledgeable presenter. Lets see it on earlier so that more people can watch what is one of the most interesting sport programmes on TV.

  • Comment number 34.

    Well looks like the journalists have gone then. Surely a compromise of one journo/one pundit wouldn't be too much to ask for.

  • Comment number 35.

    I enjoyed the features last night but was dissapointed with the studio discussion. At times it appeared that Hansen and Henman were being interviewed rather than there to give there opinions on the subjects featured. I would hope that we will see a return to the journalistic input later in the series as I have felt that was what always gave Inside Sport its different feel as opposed to most sports shows where its always ex professionals commenting.

  • Comment number 36.

    Missing the journalists, like Brekkie says surely a combination of a journo and a pundit would work well.

    Last night could have been Hansen and Des Kelly for example.

    Next week Aggers and Steve Bunce etc.

    I like the idea of having a special guest in the studio, Monty was due to appear wasn't he? But it would have been better for the likes of Des Kelly to replace him rather than Tim Henman.

  • Comment number 37.

    The BBC coverage of the moto gp has been pathetic. Same old commentators, had to have BBC3 to watch on Sunday, then had to press the red button to watch race on Monday - really, really rubbish - thank God for British Eurosport!!!

  • Comment number 38.

    2 things.

    As a Liverpool fan who has complained alot to the BBC about the presence of a certain Kelvin Mckenzie on the BBC, I must congratulate the BBC on the coverage of the Hillsborough disaster 20th anniversary.

    Maybe the evidence that has been collated over the years by the families and is now seeing the light of day has had some influence on the journalistic integrity within the Beeb.

    Secondly moderators, may I take the liberty to ask that you post the following link to a petition relating to the disaster in your blog.

    This is now in the news and we wish to keep the pressure up on the government to release all the documentation available. This petition needs to go national (and should do as the Taylor report into the disaster stated this could have happened to any group of supporters attending football at the time).

    You could also email around your organisation.

    Thanks for any assistance you can provide


    JFT96 - YNWA

  • Comment number 39.

    Rather disappointed in the biased report on the Cambridge / Torquay match at Wembley. (Saturday, 16th May) Interviews of Cambridge evidently more inportant than the team referred to as a Devon team. Could not even mention Torquay by name let alone interview the manager Paul Buckle.


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