SEEING RED: Channel hopping is blighting BBC's Olympic coverage

I am absolutely loving the Olympics.

Thursday, 18th August 2016, 3:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:09 pm
Remote control

It’s been great viewing watching Great Britain’s athletes win medal after medal in all forms of disciplines, from Max Whitlock in gymnastics to Justin Rose on the golf course

What a wonderful Games it has been so far.

However, what is less wonderful is the constant channel hopping we viewers have to do between BBC1 and BBC2 and vice versa.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

I’m not one to normally jump on a social media bandwagon, but I had to climb aboard on Monday evening when cyclist Mark Cavendish was competing for a much-wanted medal in the omnium.

For just as the race was about to reach an exciting climax, the dulcet tones of Clare Balding appeared out of nowhere to make a public announcement, asking us all to switch to BBC2 to watch the final stages of the race.

This is something, which, quite frankly, has been a blip on what has otherwise been a great Olympics too so far for the Beeb.

I know there are dedicated Olympic channels during this fabulous fortnight of sport, but that’s not really the point, is it?

As viewers, we are generally conditioned to watch the mainstream channels as the coverage flits from one sport to the next, bringing us edge-of-the seat drama in the velodrome one minute before crossing to another golden moment for that swimming freak of nature, Michael Phelps.

Why we’re asked to constantly switch channels every other hour is beyond me.

Why couldn’t the BBC hierarchy have simply chosenone channel to broadcast exclusively during the Games, be it BBC1 or BBC2?

For two weeks, I’m sure it doesn’t matter which channel EastEnders is screened on.

Monday night’s farce of channel-hopping, just moments before Cavendish won silver brought back memories of the days when the BBC screened Test cricket live – yes, I’m that old!

Who could forget the commentator telling us on the hour that “it’s now time to go to the news”?

Of course, 10 minutes later, the cricket would reappear on our screens and we carried on as though nothing had happened – although in most cases England had lost a wicket or three!

Fast forward two decades and it’s more or less history repeating itself.

As someone Tweeted on Monday, it doesn’t matter which channel Newsnight is on!

More worrying for me is the condition of my blistered right thumb.

So come on BBC, please put an end to this farce for the sake of viewers’ sanity and my thumb.

- Staying with the Olympics, when did Great Britain become Team GB?

Granted, we appear to have become more successful since a team of marketing gurus came up with this trendy title, but to me it’s simply another example of the continued Americanisation of our country.

In fact, without wanting to contradict myself, shouldn’t we be competing as the United Kingdom?

I’m sure Great Britain is made up of England, Wales and Scotland, whereas the UK consists of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

So, not only does Team GB sound quite dreadful, we’ve also been competing under the wrong name!

You couldn’t make it up.

- Apparently, millions of us spend up to five hours a day looking at our phones, oblivious to everything around us.

I’ll hold my hands up and say I’ve been guilty of gawping at my phone for more hours then I can remember, instead of communicating with real people!

But no more. A few weeks back I went abroad on holiday and left behind my phone and iPad. It was sheer bliss. I took a book and bought a newspaper every day to help me through what is now being dubbed digital detox by the experts.

I can thoroughly recommend it.