Almanack: A Special insight

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ANOTHER rugby season approaches, and with it another season of Rugby Special. But this autumn Sunday afternoons may seem a little different. For Rugby Special has been up for grabs recently, and little birds in rugby shirts are flocking to tell Almanack who has won the contract and who is going to be involved in the new-look show.

But first, because Almanack is a well-behaved diary and not the sort to publish unfounded tittle-tattle unless absolutely necessary, a call to the BBC. Four companies bidding, runs their line, still under wraps, no decision announced, anyway everyone's up at Turnberry so there's no one to ask. In other words the usual well-spoken 'No comment'.

Okey-doke. A call, then, to Chrysalis Sports in their Camden Town studios. Would you, we ask, be the same Chrysalis Sports that will shortly be responsible for Rugby Special? 'Why yes,' they say. But they're not supposed to talk about it. Could they suggest what it was about their proposal that won them the prize? Can we expect groovy graphics and celebrity fan interviews? A Fran Cotton fashion spot? Early days, say Chrysalis. Too early to say.

So we will have to indulge in a little unfounded tittle-tattle after all: do not be surprised to see the smiling face of Radio Five Live's own John Inverdale on your screens at 5.10pm on Sundays this autumn.