DIARY: I’m only a punter but...

It’s time to explode a myth. One spread by those Bob Wilson/Brian Moore apologists otherwise known as ITV salesmen. Namely, that the only reason the nation doesn’t tune into ITV for the footie is all the ad breaks.

It’s time to explode a myth. One spread by those Bob Wilson/Brian Moore

apologists otherwise known as ITV salesmen. Namely, that the only reason

the nation doesn’t tune into ITV for the footie is all the ad breaks.



Actually, the ad breaks have been among the most entertaining aspects of

Euro 96 for ITV viewers so far. The real reason eight out of ten footie

fans prefer the BBC is that ITV’s coverage is crap.



I’m not talking about the camera operators, sound technicians, and the

like - who do a great job. No, the problem is the other bits: the

commentary, the pre-match, half-time and post-match analyses.



Des Lynam versus Bob Wilson. Who would you rather share your living room

with? And take a look at the rest: Alan Hansen versus Alex Ferguson,

Ruud Gullit versus John Barnes. Need I go on?



Example - Ruud and Alan at loggerheads over the handball that should

have given Holland a penalty against the Scots: Alan: ‘No, he just gave

it a little of this’ (shrugs right shoulder). Ruud: ‘It was clearly a

penalty.’ Des: ‘Are we going to have a row?’ The boys: ‘Arrrgh...’ (near

fight ensues). Des: ‘Can we go to the second half now?’ Barry Davies:

‘Ah, Des, I was enjoying that.’



Over on ITV, we get Bob Wilson: ‘And, sorry to interrupt you, Alex, but

I think we’re going to an interview, yes, and I think it’s with Peter

Schmeichel and...are we ready? Yes, we can go over now and, I think it’s

with Gabriel Clarke.’



Come on, you’re a viewer. You know why you watch the BBC. So, if, as

everyone suspects, both the BBC and ITV choose to screen the final, why

on earth would you consider advertising on ITV?



Rants to: Diary Editor, 174 Hammersmith Road, London W6 7JP