They think it's all over: BBC to axe double radio commentators

Alan Green could be forced to go it alone as the BBC announces that they’re axing their traditional ‘dual commentator’ format.

The press pack at Anfield.
The press pack at Anfield.
Image: Jon Buckle/EMPICS Sport

THE BBC HAS announced plans to cut second commentators on their Radio 5 Live channel, bringing the station in line with its TV equivalent.

Football matches on Radio 5 Live have traditionally been covered by two commentators since the station began broadcasting in 1990, while the BBC’s TV broadcasts only require a single voice.

The changes to the format will begin next season because insiders have told The Guardian that the use of two commentators – swapping duties at quarterly intervals in the game – is an ‘anachronism,’ and they come amid massive cost cutting measures at the company.

“There is no reason why one person cannot commentate for the whole game,” said a Radio 5 Live source.

“It’s a historic thing – the way the BBC has always done it – but it is also expensive, especially if the game is coming from Moscow.”

It is likely that fans will now be treated to Alan Green’s unique brand of bluster for full 90 minute matches, though it is not clear at this point what format the new arrangement will usher in. Dual commentators will be phased out next season, with a single commentator in place for every game from 2014.

The BBC’s is currently undergoing director general Mark Thompson’s ‘Delivering Quality First’ proposals, aimed at saving more than £700m every year.

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It’s as good a time to ask as any – who is your favourite football commentator?

Poll Results:

Alan Green (43)
None of the above, Jeff (40)
George Hamilton (38)
Martin Tyler (28)
Darragh Maloney (18)
Jon Champion (16)
Trevor Welch (7)
Jonathan Pearce (7)

Watch (and listen): Alan Green leaves one colleague unimpressed >

Read much more about this story on The Guardian’s website >

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