Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Wimblemund 2011, day 2

Novak Djokovic bt. Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-1, 6-1
The world's most in-form player's easy win on Centre Court captured my imagination today, simply for the commentary by Barry Davies. Barry Davies is perhaps the most under-appreciated treasure that British sports broadcasting possesses. His speciality is the kind of sparing but incisive commentary that will be declared clinically deceased when Davies hangs up his microphone. Coverage of Djokovic's match was characterised by oceans of silence, with only the sound of the crowd and the match to add to the atmosphere. Imagine that! After the parade of gasbags who had inhabited the comms box for the previous two days (and umpteen years), you wondered if perhaps there was a technical hitch, or if there was something wrong with the telly.

I really can't praise commentators like Barry Davies enough. They (he, actually) alone understands that the medium of television will quite happily speak for itself for much of the time. The irony is that this new breed of commentators' stream-of-consciousness meanderings would be more at home on the radio, where almost none of them are old enough to ever have had to have plied their trade. Barry Davies, of course, has. Someone give the man a knighthood, or give all the rest of them a pacifier.

I will add, however, that Davies was very much aided by a similarly reserved and concise Tim Henman alongside him. Henman seems to be the only ex-pro brought in to provide expert analysis who has anything approaching Barry Davies' sensibility and understanding of the medium. Nice work, Tiger Tim.

1 comment:

Chris O said...

Barry Davies is, in my opinion, a commentating god. His vocal delivery had miles more distinction than the soundalikes on Match of the Day. The BBC will come to regret his leaving them.

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