Where ITV led the way with Tic Tacs, BBC One has followed with toilets. I enjoyed last night’s (or rather this morning’s) Football League Show, I really did. I just wasn’t expecting the highlights of Torquay v Chesterfield to be interrupted by footage of a woman sitting in a toilet cubicle. I’m hoping it’s not going to be a regular feature.
For those of you who didn’t stay up until almost 1am today to catch the BBC’s new Saturday night, Sunday morning Football League highlights programme, you missed an extraordinary moment towards the end. Admittedly, it wasn’t quite up there with the TV station in Arizona which accidentally broadcast 30 seconds of porn during a crucial stage of this year’s Superbowl.
And nor was it up there with ITV’s spectacular cock-up during February’s FA Cup replay between Everton and Liverpool, when the TV pictures cut to an ad break seconds before Dan Gosling’s winner – and failed to cut back in time in the south of England.
But still, it was very amusing all the same. There was reporter Dave Beckett happily describing the action from Torquay’s 2-0 victory over Chesterfield, when all of a sudden, he was cut off in mid-sentence, to be replaced with a shot of a woman sitting in a loo cubicle talking into her mobile phone. The clip continued for around 30 seconds, before cutting back just in time for Nick Halling to tell us all about how Port Vale came from behind to draw with Rochdale.
The loo clip, it turns out, was from a film called Blue Crush, which was showing on ITV1 at the time. Someone somewhere seems to have accidentally pressed the wrong button (my knowledge of TV broadcast technology really is amazing) and had an ITV broadcast briefly go out on the BBC. Either that, or it was done deliberately as a way of livening up the League Two goals round-up.
Impressively, the BBC managed to carry off this little piece of inadvertent channel hopping without missing any goals. All that was shaved off the Torquay-Chesterfield edit were a couple of Chesterfield near misses and a short interview with home boss Paul Buckle.
I’ll be honest, I would have preferred it if someone in the gallery had switched channels during the section of the show reserved for viewers’ texts and e-mails, which all seem to have been either: a) Cleaned up for broadcast, or b) Written by people from the 1950s.
(You know the sort of thing: “Tim from Kent says: The mighty Gillingham are going up. Mark Stimson has got us flying. Come on you super Gills.” I’m sorry, but I’m old enough to remember the Anne Robinson-era Points Of View, when BBC viewers knew how to give properly caustic feedback. If you ain’t got anything to say but ‘Hello, mum’, then don’t waste my time.)
However, I was genuinely impressed that IMG – the company producing the highlights show for BBC One last night – managed to get highlights from all of the games edited down in time for the show. Having the show available again on the digital TV red button for 12 hours, and on the BBC iPlayer for a week, is another smart move.
The punditry was somewhat restrained, despite the presence of the very talkative Steve Claridge and new Blackpool boss Ian Holloway, the tangential Tangerine. I’ve seen Holloway devote huge sections of a press conference to discussing Dancing On Ice, so I figured anything was possible, but he was in one of his more sensible moods. This was slightly surprising given that he had spent the build up to yesterday’s trip to his old club QPR by suggesting it was like going to meet up with an ex-girlfriend.
Inevitably, there will be teething troubles with the new show. (For instance, was there really any need to go through the league tables in such depth at the end of the show, one round of fixtures into the season, when there are 16 teams in the Championship on one point?) And there may well be more cock-ups along the way. It will be worth watching next week’s show all the way through to the end just to see if there are. But it will be worth watching for the football too.