Sport on TV: Curlers simply swept aside as Paula writes her name in snow

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They should call it toe-curling. As if the crawling pace of the play isn't bad enough – and that business of setting up a "guard" so that the next man can just knock it away seems especially absurd; what sort of guard is that? – Great Britain's (or rather Scotland's) women were off kilter from the start and the men, the world champions and favourites, were beaten by a bunch of kids. Swedes 7 Neeps 6.

Equally toe-curling was the arrival of Paula Radcliffe in the commentary box alongside Steve Cram for that men's play-off (Winter Olympics, Wednesday, BBC2). At least the marathon runner didn't curl one out this time, but as is her custom these days she had to dash off before the end. She's a great mate of Cram's and (still just about) a national sporting icon, but what on earth was she doing there? Cold-weather training for London 2012, perhaps.

Bobble hats off to Cram, though, who was arguably the best commentator around in Vancouver. Quite why he is so knowledgeable about this relatively obscure sport, an altogether more leisurely pursuit than the one he was used to, is anyone's guess. Maybe only distance-runners have the stamina for this kind of endurance spectating.

Perhaps Radcliffe is grooming herself for a similar role when those 26 miles and 385 yards become a step too far. The bobsleigh seems like a possible speciality for her, since the British teams seem incapable of making it to the end of the run.

Two of the Beeb's most overexposed commentators at the Winter Games, Ed Leigh of the snowboarding world and former skier Graham Bell, almost didn't make it. British Columbia – Canada's Olympic Wilderness (BBC2, Thursday) told the story of the pair's 3,000km journey from Whitehorse to Whistler in time for the start of the Games.

Along the way they met about five people, all of whom liked nothing more than going out and shooting lots of cute, cuddly grizzly bears. This was more than Ed could stomach, even if it was for food. He was lucky they didn't skin him and make him into a rug.

For the final stretch they spent three days with a guide in the mountains, trekking cross-country on skis before flying down the virgin slopes on their respective planks.

Leigh said it was like being "in a mental carwash"; "after about 45 minutes, an hour, your mind wanders off." The same might have applied to viewers of this laborious travelogue, if not the crowd in the curling arena – apparently "the hottest ticket in town", though in a place as cold as Vancouver that's not really saying very much.

While Leigh was coming up with such insights as "It's a tough, hard life, and maybe that's the point" (er, sorry but what was the point again?), someone at the BBC should put a freeze on the salary of this abominable snowman.

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