Inside Eye

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The Independent Culture
John Rowlinson, deputy head of BBC sport, on Wimbledon coverage: 'The great change over the last few years has been the number of courts we can cover. We used to be largely reliant on Centre Court and Court No 1; we can now cover six courts properly so if a seed's in trouble on Court 3, we can go straight to it. However, we have running commentary on all the covered courts; this is recorded for the evening highlights or the following day if there's rain.

'We've tried to introduce a few features into the coverage, but the rule of thumb is that if there's live tennis, then that is what the people want to see. For the rain, I've got a 50-page folder full of possible stand-bys ranging from the recent Queen's final to something possibly from the 1960s. We never worry that we'll run out of stand-bys; they may be repeats but there is an appetite out there for them. The most used piece is probably the Borg vs McEnroe tie-break in the 1981 final; the thing almost laces itself up on the machine and you hardly need to introduce it.

'The annoying thing is having the present Test at Lord's. If the tennis is rained off, you can't go to the cricket because that's almost certainly off too.'

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