SW19 Diary: Unhappy campers miss World Cup showdown

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The Independent Online

The All England club didn't endear itself yesterday to the many hundreds of overnight campers wanting to see today's play. The Club insisted that anyone wanting to leave the queue to watch the England-Germany match at the World Cup at a pub, or elsewhere, would not be allowed back to take up their place.

Stewards issued lots of verbal warnings that this was the case, although the situation became very confused when BBC Radio 5 Live began broadcasting that queuers would be allowed to pitch tents and leave to watch the football – as long as they were back in the queue by 6pm. The Club at one stage phoned 5 Live to insist it stopped giving out the wrong message because queue protocol is seen as very important.

The Club's hard line did not go down well with some queuers, the first of whom arrived as early as 11am on Friday for today's play. As the first person in the queue, Sharon Bishop, told the SW19 Diary: "I've been coming to the tennis for 30 years and I've never known anything like it. It's a bit hypocritical when you know that players are watching the World Cup in the locker room." As it transpired, few fans left the queue – which by last night resembled something more like Glastonbury than SW19 - to watch the football. And given how awful England were, that's probably not a bad thing.

It's better to queue than to view at Wimbledon

Sharon Bishop and husband Martin are at Wimbledon celebrating their 12th wedding anniversary today and are among an 11-strong group who have been at the head of the group for days, including Chris Brackett, Calum Brackett, and Natalie Keen, another regular queuer.

Natalie generally goes home when the gates actually open as she's not very interested in the tennis. "I thought I'd go in and watch this year," she said. "But I've just started a new job and taking a day off so early probably isn't a good idea."

Barker has uncomfortable break on television

Sue Barker had what's being described as her "Gordon Brown" moment on Saturday when voicing thoughts she didn't know were being broadcast. She was rehearsing her lines on Centre Court ahead of introducing the guests in the Royal Box, unaware she was live on every TV at the Club. Trying to calm her nerves, a producer advised thinking of the famous faces "sitting on the toilet". "I wish I was on the toilet," she replied.

Murray proves just the ticket for greedy touts

Andy Murray is a hot ticket, with seats swapping hands for his matches at up to £20,000 each. The resale of debenture seats is legal, and it is these on which touts are making a killing, although the police are trying to clamp down on touts by using dispersal powers and anti-social legislation.


The second week of the tournament will open with another hot, sunny and humid day.

* Maximum temperature: 29C


* Live

BBC 1, 5.15-6pm.

BBC 2,  12-8pm.

Additional coverage on BBCi and BBCHD 12-2.30pm, 5.15-8pm.

* Highlights

BBC 2 8-9pm