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Is anyone else having their coverage ruined by Hugh Porter and Rob Hayles' "commentary"?
Surely being to identify the riders is a basic requirement of a commentator? Hugh knows nothing about road cycling, Rob does but is unable to string a lucid sentence together.

57 comments

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Gkam84 [9092 posts] 4 years ago
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Yup, its shocking. Thats why i'm watching it over the tinternet on Eurosport international  26

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_Karlos_ [52 posts] 4 years ago
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Agreed, Hugh Porter is useless.

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arrieredupeleton [576 posts] 4 years ago
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I posted this elsewhere but it's worth repeating. On the live feed on ITV4 for stage one, dear old Hugh suggested the combativity prize was sponsored by Rouleur - the cheese maker.

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Gkam84 [9092 posts] 4 years ago
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He said that again yesterday. You would have thought he'd know about Rouleur...

He's today's cheese

https://twitter.com/rouleurmagazine/status/245485091495763968

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James Warrener [1083 posts] 4 years ago
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_Karlos_ wrote:

Agreed, Hugh Porter is useless.

But is a legend of the sport and should be remembered as that rather than a dodgy commentator.

(and he is still better than PhilPaul)

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pjay [251 posts] 4 years ago
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Hmmm, maybe a legend of track cycling, but not road cycling. He's not doing his reputation any good by taking these gigs. I have sent a complaint email to ITV.

Agreed on Phil and Paul, Liggett's comments on the USADA case are disgraceful.

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Kapelmuur [342 posts] 4 years ago
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What irritates me (about the hightlights programme) is that the pointless chat/interviews/ adverts take up so much time that only about 50% of the show is action from the race.

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ragtag [218 posts] 4 years ago
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Crosshouses wrote:

What irritates me (about the hightlights programme) is that the pointless chat/interviews/ adverts take up so much time that only about 50% of the show is action from the race.

Annoys me about ITV in general

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arrieredupeleton [576 posts] 4 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

He said that again yesterday. You would have thought he'd know about Rouleur...

He's today's cheese

https://twitter.com/rouleurmagazine/status/245485091495763968

I suppose I owe Hugh half an apology. What a great idea giving UK cheeses as prizes for the 'combatants'. Still he ain't a clue what Rouleur is.

More locally sources prizes please. I'm sure some of those skinny pros would appreciate a Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding or a Bakewell Tart instead of a Skoda stuffed yeti.

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arrieredupeleton [576 posts] 4 years ago
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Can you not record the show on a PVR/Sky Plus and watch it from quarter past 7? Then by the time you've spun through the adverts and waffle, it'll have caught up with itself.

We should be thankful that ITV's fourth channel can secure advertising revenue for them to put this on. Clearly, budgets have to be cut somewhere and the commentary probably suffers as a result.

I'm not defending Hugh Porters hysterical uncertainty but who is the best cycling commentator?

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pjay [251 posts] 4 years ago
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"arrierredupeleton" wrote:

I'm not defending Hugh Porters hysterical uncertainty but who is the best cycling commentator?

David Harmon. I don't suppose he's any more expensive than Hugh Porter, although he's busy on Eurosport at the moment.

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Gkam84 [9092 posts] 4 years ago
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Yup Harmon is the best. I'd go with this for a list

David Harmon
Ned Boulting
Sean Kelly
Brian Smith

That would be my choice's. If I had to pick just two its hard because David and Ned are the lead guys with Sean and Brian being more back up for them

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drheaton [3318 posts] 4 years ago
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I quite enjoyed Boardmans commentary at the Olympics.

What I would add is that ITV decided to run this at fairly short notice and its likely everyone else was already under contract for either Eurosport or the Paralympics or something else therefore it was slim pickings.

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Gkam84 [9092 posts] 4 years ago
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I don't think the paralympics were a factor, Because Hugh was the cycling guy there wasn't he?

But what didn't help was having it start while the Vuelta was still on and also having the GP's in Canada. To me, both higher profile than the ToB. Its a diddy race in the scheme of things. Also with the World Champs starting on Sunday, The day the ToB ends, so anyone tied up with that wouldn't have taken on the ToB either.....

Rob Hayles was always going to be part of the team. He seems to just follow Team Sky when Wiggo and Cav are both there.....He was part of Eurosports team for TdF  3

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drheaton [3318 posts] 4 years ago
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Boulting was doing the C4 Paralympic cycling coverage. I agree, the ToB is a small event really, its not world tour and the big teams don't have to turn up therefore it'll get less coverage than other stuff going on around the world. The scheduling hasn't helped and neither has the lack of forward planning on ITVs part.

Whatever the reasons, just be happy we're actually getting coverage on a free to air station and not Eurosport or Sky.

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Gkam84 [9092 posts] 4 years ago
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Although this is going "old skool" I used to like Gary Imlach and Phil Liggett doing coverage on channel 4 back in the day  4

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Gkam84 [9092 posts] 4 years ago
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drheaton wrote:

Whatever the reasons, just be happy we're actually getting coverage on a free to air station and not Eurosport or Sky.

I'm glad Sky don't have it, but watching it online via a "stream" of Eurosport international  3

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Some Fella [890 posts] 4 years ago
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I like Rob Hayles - he is not long retired so can offer good insight into the sport. I think he is very patient with old man Porter. Its a shame there isnt a Logans Run type thing with commentators - just because they have been around for a long time dont make em any good. The likes of Ligget and Porter can frankly be a bit embarrassing at times - like a boring old uncle who collars you at a wedding and insists on telling you tedious stories.

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drheaton [3318 posts] 4 years ago
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The problem though is that there aren't many 'specialist' cycling commentators like you get in other sports (football/cricket/rugby etc) who are both knowledgeable and capable of providing excellent commentary (personally I think that this is partly down to lack of radio coverage which has vastly improved the commentary of football).

Because of this I think the likes of ITV, who are at the forefront of free-to-air cycling coverage in this country (as well as the BBC at the Olympics), tend towards the safe options of people who've been doing it for years or who are 'names' rather than someone who's more able. It's also really difficult for someone to make their name in cycling commentary as there are no 'lower forms' of cycling to commentate on. Look at Boulting, he was called up from Champions League coverage to do the TdF and didn't know a thing but worked in front of camera.

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AWP [109 posts] 4 years ago
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If anyone from ITV is reading this forum I'd like to say "Thank you". I've been off work with pneumonia since May and your coverage of Tour De France, Vuelta, Tour of Britian and even your Monday night Cycle Show have helped keep me sain during this time.

Thanks for having the balls.

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issacforce [212 posts] 4 years ago
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Winge wingw winge!! U lot would be wingeing even more if it was not on at all. Its free to watch so stop your wingeing and get a life. U lot must have nowt else to talk about, well done to itv 4 for showing it, keep up the good work.

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pjay [251 posts] 4 years ago
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Ned Boulting's great at what he does but he's not really a commentator.

I reckon I could have a shot at it. ITV4, please PM me if you're interested, very reasonable rates.

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pjay [251 posts] 4 years ago
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I'm pleased that there is more cycling on free-to-air tv, but I don't see how pointing out that the commentary is embarrassingly bad is whinging. It's not doing the sport any favours.

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issacforce [212 posts] 4 years ago
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Its also not doing it any good slating their commentators

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issacforce [212 posts] 4 years ago
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If its not wingeing wot is it, if they took it off itv 4 they wud be wingeing because its gone and whose fault would that be!!! Jst watch and enjoy if you dont like the commentators thats easy turn down the sound. At the end of the day its free and a lot more than we used to get.

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issacforce [212 posts] 4 years ago
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Its also not doing it any good slating their commentators

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issacforce [212 posts] 4 years ago
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One last thing could you do any better ???

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Bhachgen [114 posts] 4 years ago
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I'm delighted at the level of coverage we've seen on free to air channels this year. All the grand tours, Olympics, the town centre crit series. It's been fantastic and hopefully the broadcasters will make their decisions a bit sooner next season. ITV in particular show literally nothing else worth watching but their sports coverage other than football generally stands up well.

Hugh Porter is not the best especially when covering road racing, but it's not an easy job. We've heard quite a few different commentators and summarisers across the different channels over the course of the season. Hopefully someone like Rob Hayles, Chris Boardman or Brian Smith is taking this opportunity to learn the ropes and we will see some "new blood" taking the mic over the next few years, assuming we continue to be blessed with so much coverage.

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phax71 [287 posts] 4 years ago
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Aw, come on, you love it when Hugh starts shouting the place down ....  1

He's big on the drama anyway.. makes me smile even if often factually incorrect..

He lives within about a mile of me, I've never seen him anywhere though ... certainly not out on the road..

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Some Fella [890 posts] 4 years ago
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I was glad Sky and Cavendish knew where the finish line was in Blackpool today because the director and camera operators didnt seem to.

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