The TV viewers' marathon: time to turn on, tune in, or opt out?

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The Independent Online
Michael Parkinson

"I might be worried if the sport was replacing anything worth watching. If it was not for the sport on the TV, what would there be to watch? Dreadful shows such as Oprah Winfrey and repeats of crappy old game shows. I would rather watch a runner on drugs than Ricki Lake."

Joan Bakewell

"I know plenty of people are interested in sport, but I shall be getting books from the library and sitting in the sun. The BBC have been pretty clumsy over Murder One, they built up people's expectations. I am a bit of a news junkie and shall be watching the Nine O'Clock News. They won't change that, it's sacred."

Max Clifford

"It does seem to me that the BBC are going a bit over the top in their coverage.

"I am a sports fan, but I think a lot of people have very good reason to complain about the amount of sport on TV. But then, it's difficult to please everyone."

Tony Banks MP

"I'm the worst person to ask, because I am a big sports enthusiast.

"The range and variety of sport that has been on this summer is enormous. And the Olympics have so many different events that I do not really see it as a problem for people."

Terry Wogan

"I am a sports buff, but I think that with the Olympics, there is a case for saying that the events are pretty boring, until you get to the semi-finals and finals later on. The assumption is that most people around the country are interested in sport. They are not. I would reckon it to be about 60-40 against sport."

Stirling Moss

"I enjoy sport myself. But I can see why some would be upset by this, and I can understand the outcry over all this sport on television. Though in the case of the Olympics, it is only one year in four."

Desmond Morris

"Surely it would easily be possible technically for terrestial television to do the same they do on satellite, and have a channel dedicated just to sport.

"That seems the obvious solution. I will watch a bit of the Olympics if I'm around when then a television is on but I won't be taking notes."