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Andre and Steffi's Six appeal

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Alastair McIntyre | 15:59 UK time, Thursday, 7 May 2009

This week is show six - and, dare I say it, it is one that has real six appeal. Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, arguably the biggest sporting couple on the planet will be on the show. Wow! I don't like using the word exclusive - but as exclusives go, it's as near to one as you're ever going to get.

Gabby has done the interview in Vegas - she filmed it with producer Jason on Wednesday, and having spoken to her, she says they were fantastic. As soon as the tapes have safely arrived back here in London, the team will be busy editing the 30 minute special - it's a case of all hands to the pump, as editing a 30-minute show in a 'documentary style' is not easy.

In fact, some documentaries you see from Sport to Current Affairs can take weeks and months to edit. For this, we have only days but I want this to go out as soon as possible - before the world sees the dynamic duo play again under the new roof at Wimbledon on 17 May (which you can see on BBC TV on the Red Button and BBC2).

It is a real coup - not just for us but for Wimbledon as well. Steffi and Andre transcend tennis - they are out there on their own, like Woods, Federer, Ronaldo...they are indeed big hitters.

Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf

So, what did they talk about? Well, you'll just have to wait and see. Yes, we saw Steffi in all her pomp in her playing days power her way to 22 Grand Slam singles titles and yes, many of us wanted to be Agassi, who we witnessed through various metamorphoses in a career that saw him win eight Slams, but as a married couple, we've not seen them together, until now.

All I can say is tune in on Monday night at 2310 BST on BBC One to see them as you've never seen them before. It isn't the greatest slot in the but to be on the main network in the country is something we are very happy about.

"Happy", though, isn't a word to describe some of your comments about our guest set-up on Inside Sport. I respect your opinions but as the editor I also have an opinion and I think the guests we have had on so far have worked well, offered new elements to the show and given it energy, and that isn't being disrespectful to who we've had on before.

I deliberately wanted to look at this part of the show and I'm happy with how its working. Here's why...Geoff Boycott and David Brailsford were fantastic value last week and Boycott alone generated more than 70,000 hits on the website following his comments on the England cricket team ahead of the Ashes.

His quotes also made all the newspapers the next day...but 70,000 hits... Austin Healey was in the studio on 20 Apri and talked about who might be in, or out, of the British and Irish Lions squad to be selected the next day - he was spot on with his inside line on that. We also had AP McCoy talking about his future just two days after his 14th successive championship title.

So, while we have generated news lines, I've also used those guests to get an insight into their sport from the sofa as well as in the usual big interviews and features we do. So, you have your opinion and I have mine. As a programme maker you want to engage as much as possible. My idea for this show is to make entertaining television with strong journalism and questioning in the studio being a huge part of that...but in television you also have to entertain and later at night you have to keep things moving even more and sometimes have an element of surprise.

The element of surprise this week? Wait and see....


  • Comment number 1.

    I have enjoyed this series of Inside Sport and I still miss the inputs from Messrs Bunce, Kelly and Livsey.

    However I do think most of the guests have worked this series. Having Alan Hansen was perhaps a lazy start, but this week Geoff Boycott and Dave Brailsford did work well. And having Austin Healey on to talk about the impact on the body to a pro rugby player, obviously Des Kelly couldn't have given that insight.

    I just wish there was still room for them. Like I mentioned in your previous blog I was hoping for some boxing coverage and then Steve Bunce would have been perfect to front it.

    I would also like to see a bit more of the news side of things as opposed to just interviews. The type of thing that James Pearce did in the first couple of series.

  • Comment number 2.

    I hadn't seen the show for a long time, but tuned in on Monday as I always find Geoff Boycott entertaining. I was disappointed. I didn't think the interchange between him and David Brailsford worked. Gabby would ask a question of each in turn, which was only polite, but interrupted the flow. There was no opportunity for an in depth discussion, just to scratch the surface. Boycott would merit at least 20 minutes on his own.

  • Comment number 3.

    Great decision to get rid of Des Kelly and Steve Bunce. It was like listening to two idiots in a pub having fake arguments with one of their girlfriends looking on awkwardly. From what I've gathered, many other people thought the same thing.

    Fantastic to get Agassi on too, just such a shame that it's being broadcast at a time when barely anyone will take notice.

  • Comment number 4.

    I've got to admit, this is now less of a "must see fixture" and more of a "if the digibox remembers to record it, I'll watch it". The show has lost its way and this 30 minute documentary (which, I'll admit, I've not seen yet) shows once again that the apple is moving further away from the tree.

    You may well be the editor, but as editor you should listen to what some of the viewers are saying.

  • Comment number 5.

    Thanks for your comments
    Reaneyofftheline I would have loved to have had more time with the blokes on the sofa on Monday. I structured the show to give them as much chat, but yes, time is always a factor and 30 minutes goes so quickly. Geoff and Dave could have done lots more, agreed.
    Jordan D - if you feel the show's 'Lost its way' - well, that's your opinion. If you have two big names like Steffi and Andre you want to let the show breathe and of all the people who deserve a 'special' treatment, it is Andre and Steffi...Apples and trees, you sound like a modern day Eric Cantona, who by the way, could be appearing on Football Focus soon.
    Packersftw - yep, i hear your comments about the time and David Shield II thanks also for your comments. Would like to hear all your opinions of the VTS, the films, content etc etc. Cheers, Alastair

  • Comment number 6.

    In the this current climate of the misuse of taxpayers money, re MP's expense claims, it strikes me as rather odd that the BBC should fly out Gabby Logan and presumably other members of the inside sports team for a week in Las Vegas (returning only yesterday 9th May-according to Gabby logan on her Sunday morning radio programme)to interview Andre Agassi & Steffi Graf, WHEN IN FACT the tennis couple are going to be in London on or before 17th May to play in the exhibition match at Wimbledon. I hope you do not invoke the date of this non competitive publicity exercise as an immovable deadline, to justify this 'near to exclusive as you are ever going to get'. Surely you could have waited until the couple were in the UK, thereby saving precious licence-payers resources for more worthy expenditure.

  • Comment number 7.

    Excuse me McIntyre - how dare you critise what the viewers are saying.
    I've stopped watching altogether, the show was a waste of time to start with and still is, what happened to the razmataz of what was suppose to be a hard-hitting Sports Show now becoming another show which is suited to Setanta Sports News!
    I feel that the BBC should drop this, Sky Sports have more better shows : such as Soccer AM, far more suited for me then Football Focus.
    Sky make better shows, 'you are live on Sky Sports' is much better then the Danny Baker rubbish that was once the great 606 on Radio 5.

  • Comment number 8.

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

  • Comment number 9.

    I have to say I did enjoy last nights show but was also wondering why they were not interviewed in London as they will be here at the end of this week at the latest. The shots of Andre's School were not really justification in sending Gabby and film crew for a jolly in Las Vagas. I could understand it if they were not coming over until Wimbledon say but it seems silly for the sake of a week.

    I also asked last week why the goals from Monday Night Football are not on this series. They were before Christmas I am sure (JP was usually in the studio to comment over the pictures). There have been some big Monday night matches recently and waiting until Football Focus (who don't show all the goals anyway) is something ITV would get criticised for I am sure.

  • Comment number 10.

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

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi Alastair,
    Fab show and your doing a great job... but what has happened to Amanda, she's suddenly just disappeared?

  • Comment number 12.

    Why am I not allowed to post a comment about plastic surgery?

  • Comment number 13.

    I see Alastair Macintyre has said he wants to turn this programme into a 'magazine'. Shame it's Hello! Magazine. Where has the journalism gone from this show? We had an extended PR piece for a couple of ex tennis players made at some expense to us all. The programme had no goals from Newcastle's famous win that night. No mention of Shearer's first win. No news at all. Instead it was a lovey-dovey fluff piece. Return this show to journalism, ditch the title Inside Sport, or just close it down BBC. The programme appears to be dead.

  • Comment number 14.

    Bring back Sportsnight! Have it on a Monday night, review the weekend action (this will be ideal for those busy over the weekend), get a couple of journos in, one BIG interview per week, have an interaction element (so yes it would have to be live) and do a feature a bit like Countryfile's viewer's video diary, call it "your sport" where someone does a short film on the sport they do, be it rowing, clay pigeon shooting, whatever.
    Job done

  • Comment number 15.

    Although undoubtedly legends in the sport, are Aggassi and Graf really relevant to the game as it is today? Surely it should be current stars which Inside Sport are interviewing.

  • Comment number 16.

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

  • Comment number 17.

    We have a new roof , we have american and german tennis greats , when will we have a english tennis champion ?

  • Comment number 18.

    I second Harry Potts. Frankly, I commend the producers for attracting Graff and Agassi for a chinwag with Gabby, but is it what we want from a late night Monday sport's programme? I say combine the best things from Sky- the banter of soccer am, the journalistic structure of the Sunday supplement- with the BBC's contact book and ability to use various media platforms-internet, blogs.

    In order to get people watching, and not half-heartedly skimming via the i-player, make a sports programme that revolves around the previous weekend's sporting action.

    Less glamour, more nuanced sports journalism broadcasting!

  • Comment number 19.

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

  • Comment number 20.

    Credit where it is due, after weeks of compaining about the lack of Monday Night Football highlights, we did get the goals from last night.
    However, as Pappatat commented on the show becoming Hello magazine, you seem to have taken this on board and booked brand Beckham for next week. Oh dear! Can we not have our serious sports show back? We've already had the Graf and Agassi programme. Why not more focus on the stars of today and tomorrow?

  • Comment number 21.

    Why oh Why did we get rid of the excellent Des Kelly, great decision to get rid of Bunce but Kelly is an insightful panelist far better than Geoff Boycott who was quite frankly woeful this week when not discussing cricket.

  • Comment number 22.

    Thanks a lot for the post was realy interesting to read.

  • Comment number 23.

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  • Comment number 24.

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