AT THE risk of returning to a rant that I have already aired, I have to say that the BBC’s Paul Jones truly plumbed the depths during the coverage of the European Team Championships in Gateshead.
It has irked me for a good while that the Beeb seem to think that there is some value in having their man placed as close to the tartan track as possible so that athletes can be almost instantly interviewed after their event.
This usually provides very little in terms of insight, aside from the fact that you learn someone who has just run their heart out struggles to regain their breath immediately.
Rarely does the poor panting individual, stood there dripping with sweat, manage to give any stunningly revealing views and I have to ask just what would the armchair fan lose out on if the athletes were given at least a couple of minutes to regain their composure and, more importantly, gather their thoughts.
But at the rain-lashed meeting in the north east the worst example of Jones failing to find out anything remotely interesting from an athlete came to pass.
Having finished fifth in the 100m, Middlesbrough athlete Richard Kilty was plainly both disappointed and shattered having got out of the blocks well but faded from a first three place in the final yards.
Jones opened the questioning to receive a reply something along the lines of: “I’m disappointed. I started well, but I faded in the last 20 metres.”
A fair and concise reflection of events from Kilty, but sadly this was all that was going through his head – understandably as it was still only a matter of seconds since he had completed his race.
Jones continued his questioning, but as he went on to his fourth and fifth nudges for Kilty to say something different, we entered the surreal world of deja vu as the poor lad from Teesside was still trotting out: “I’m disappointed. I started well, etc, etc.”
In the end it started to make Kilty look a little daft, so the experience didn’t do him too many favours, and I am sure a number of other viewers will have joined me in imploring the interviewer give up and to talk to the young sprinter once he had had the chance to properly assess his performance.
So I say to the Beeb, give these athletes a couple of minutes to recover then both your interviewer – and more importantly the watching public – might learn something!