Dom Joly: The voice of tennis – a true great in the commentating racket

Weird World Of Sport

Share
Related Topics

Thrilled as I am about Andy Murray doing so well at Wimbledon, I can't help feeling bad for Tim Henman. Henman has now become the equivalent of the British referees and linesmen at the World Cup. Because the national team were so crap the football commentators have started to get excited about how well any British official is doing. Similarly, Henman is the best that the BBC can do when scouting about for a successful former tennis player. I know that they still chuck the occasional bone to the Desperate Dan of the game, Greg Rusedski but come on....

Anyway, the law dictates that when Andy Murray retires he must take over from Henman as chief British commentator. I tried to imagine what that would be like... You join us as the new mainstay of Wimbledon 2020 commentary, Christine Bleakley shares the mic with Murray for the first time.

"Welcome to the new Northern Rock Centre Court, where we have some really exciting tennis ahead for you. Andy – looking forward to the afternoon? It's going to be a cracker..."

"Uuuhhmm... yeah... whatever..."

"Who do you fancy in the first match up – they're both from China, do you know anything about them?"

"Uuuhhmmm... no... not really..."

"Right, so we've got to look at their stats to get a feel for it. They both look very impressive but Xen Du's first-serve percentage could just be the deciding factor?"

"Uuuhhhmmmm... yeah... I suppose so..."

"This year really marks a turning point in the game, doesn't it? All the semi-finalists, both men and women, are from China. They've really taken over the game. Why do you think this has happened?"

"Uuuhhmmmm... dunno... it's a really big country..."

"Right... it's ... a... really... big... country... That's all you're going to give me, is it? Forgive me if I'm mistaken but I thought you were being paid to actually talk... Say something profound and of interest about the game... Is there a problem, Andy?"

"What? No, it's just really early. I'm not really awake yet... sorry."

"It's two o'clock in the afternoon, Andy..."

"Yeah... I don't really get going until about four and then I need time to get my head together..."

"Right... Jesus, this is like working with Chiles back on The One Show – you'd have to give him an adrenalin shot just before we went on air."

"Can I tell people about my new range of ice bath products?"

"No you can't – this is the BBC and we can only plug approved products."

"WHAT!!! That's not fair... that really pisses me off... someone said I could... I hate this... I hate you... I hate this box..."

"Ladies and gentlemen, I must apologise for the language. I think Andy is a little... tired..."

"TIRED... I'm knackered – I had to get up at 11.30 to get in here... I can barely keep my eyes open... Can somebody get me a Murrayade... the premier sports drink... the drink of champions..."

"Are you plugging one of your products?"

"No... just fancy a drink..."

"A drink that happens to be one of your products?"

"Yeah but... so what? I like it."

"Right, we've got some callers on the line now. As you know interactivity is the name of the game here at the BBC and you can have the opportunity of commentating live on one of the games in these upcoming matches. Who've we got on line one?"

"Hello, it's Tim... Jim here..."

"Hello Jim... you're live on the BBC, what do you want to say?"

"I wanted to say that I thought Tim Henman was the greatest English tennis player ever and I feel that he's been largely ignored recently and that I, like many people, think this is a scandal."

"Is that you, Henman?"

"No... not at all... actually... yes it is, Murray... and you're rubbish at this, I want my job back..."

"Well, tough, I've got it now, so what are you going to do about it?"

"I'm going to send Greg Rusedski round to your house..."

"Boys... boys... calm down... this is silly. You were both great players and it's great to have you on, Jim... Tim. What do you think of this afternoon's match?"

"I'm paying for this call right now – can I claim for it or will somebody ring me back?"

"Let me get someone to get back to you on that, Tim. Andy Murray, what about the young British player Elsa Richard? As we know, she is Cliff Richard's daughter, but she did well to get to the quarter-finals."

"I don't care... she's English so I was supporting anyone but her..."

"Really, that seems a little harsh..."

"Look... I'm seriously tired. Can I go for a kip? And I'll come back around five and then you can ask me some more questions..."

"Ladies and gentlemen...the future voice of British tennis..."

"Scottish tennis..."

"This is going to be a long day..."

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £30,000+

£16000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for individual...

Recruitment Genius: IT Project Coordinator / Manager

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Advisor - OTE £95,000

£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Purchasers

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Pu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The possibility of Corbyn winning has excited some Conservatives  

Labour leadership: The choice at the heart of the leadership campaign

Jeremy Corbyn
Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Spain’s anti-austerity party Podemos  

Greece debt crisis: Trouble is, if you help the Greeks, everyone will want the same favours

Charlotte McDonald-Gibson Charlotte McDonald-Gibson
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy