Sport on TV: Loos talk costs viewers in war of voice coaches

Obviously, not everyone can present television programmes, though everyone seems to think they can. Rebecca Loos fronted a countdown of best chat show moments on Five this week and was so wooden she was illegally logged and shipped out to Siberia, where she's shoring up a salt mine.

Obviously, not everyone can present television programmes, though everyone seems to think they can. Rebecca Loos fronted a countdown of best chat show moments on Five this week and was so wooden she was illegally logged and shipped out to Siberia, where she's shoring up a salt mine.

But media training can work wonders: in a kind of celebrity speech therapy (there's a programme pitch in there somewhere), monotoned dullards learn to fracture their vocal patterns with random stresses and pauses, speedingrightUP then slowing... right... down, beaming and twinkling, mugging and gurning, all in the name of keeping us from changing channels. Gary Lineker's the best example, a Loos cannon when he started out but now with an extensive repertoire of tricks at his disposal (most of them copyright Des Lynam).

The gamut of camera-friendly horrors can best be experienced, of course, in the über-ham efforts of the nation's weather presenters, for whom a bloodstream full of Class As is clearly standard working practice.

At the other end of the spectrum, a flatliner compared to the mad dogs at the Met Office, is Sky Sports' tennis anchor, Chris Bailey, seen in "action" this week at the US Open. I guess there must be two schools of thought regarding his delivery. For those who think Peter Alliss is about as racy as it should get, Bailey's probably a welcome antidote to the bright-eyed brigade. For those who cleave more to Jonathan Pearce, the former world No 126 presents like someone who's just been told his dog has been kicked to death.

What he says is fine (and in an ideal world perhaps that's all that would matter). It's just that by midway through his second sentence the audience must be on a massive collective downer, contemplating the awfulness of their lives. What's with the long face (as the barman said to the horse)? Did something very bad indeed happen to Bailey at a formative stage of his life? Was he locked in a cupboard for extended periods of his childhood?

In fact on Tuesday (Sky Sports 2), Bailey's mutterings matched perfectly the tone at Flushing Meadows as Tim Henman opened his tournament against the ridiculously tall Croatian, Ivo Karlovic. They were first up on Louis Armstrong Court, admittedly - and New Yorkers are notoriously late risers, the summariser Peter Fleming observed, presumably by way of apology - but the stadium was nearly empty.

The US Open is supposed to sound like a darts tournament at Purfleet Tavern, played out against a cacophony of burger-munching, fizz-slurping and inane chatter, but this had all the atmosphere of an OAPs' bowls match in Eastbourne. After some points you could actually count the number of people applauding. Gradually the stadium did fill up, and by the end of the second set it resembled the gymnastics qualifying at the Athens Olympics - and that was one man and his feral stray dog.

Over what feels like aeons I've dished out a tidy number of kickings to They Think It's All Over, which returned for its nine millionth series on Thursday (BBC1), but when something has been going that long, there comes a point at which you have to say that, like a bonkers old aunt, it has earned the right to be left to its own devices, to fade away in its own time. Ian Wright is a new captain - not so much fresh meat as old ham - but really, I could find little on which to wield the critical switchblade.

Best value was Tommy Docherty, who memorably described Nancy Dell'Olio as "Jack Palance in boots". Asked if he might be able to help out the Scotland international set-up, he growled, "Aye. As a player."

Suggested Topics
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales & Customer Service Executive - Call Centre Jobs

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Lancashire - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003