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Been off the radar for a while... what has happened to Phil & Paul...?

ITV commentry not the same without them...!

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MartyMcCann [287 posts] 3 years ago
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They are still doing it- they just aren't being heard!

Their commentary is actually an international package that ITV would have bought in the past few years- if you manage to watch a US or Australian feed you will still hear them.

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Jonny_Trousers [277 posts] 3 years ago
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I've already commented elsewhere on this, but I agree, it just isn't the same. Ned Boulting's excited voice sounds somewhat contrived compared to Phil Liggett's. I may have to go over to Carlton Kirby. 

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Jonny_Trousers [277 posts] 3 years ago
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Ps. I used to be very fond of the garbage chats they'd have about some historical landmark or other. Phil lining it up and then Paul reeling off a bunch of facts as though he's an expert and is not at all looking in his big folder of stats. Will David Millar be pointing out that a particularly splendid chateau was originally built in 1734, but, due to a kitchen fire, it was redesigned in 2817, or will he once again bleat about how bad drugs are and how it wasn't his fault he took them?

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carytb [136 posts] 3 years ago
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I suspect ITV are doing it cheaper with Ned & Dave. Also Phil & Paul's commentary only seemed to kick in for the last couple of hours. ITV would then have to find someone to commentate if they wanted to show the whole stage as on Saturday. I think they are making a decent fist of it. David still has the folder with the useless facts and I've not heard him mention drugs yet.

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Edgeley [542 posts] 3 years ago
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it seems a bit dead with Ned.  He doesn't make liggett cockups, he seems to be able to identify the riders and he hasn't said that L+nce Arm++++ng was the best cyclist ever, but it doesn't seem to flow either.  Early days though.

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crazy-legs [1125 posts] 3 years ago
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Ned's getting there, he's very good and a few years as a pundit and intrerviewer means he knows the riders and their character as well rather than just reading it off a factsheet like Phil used to do.

There's still a couple of moments where he reads off the distance to go which seems to be a default with a lot of commentators, presumably thinking "well I need to say something but nothing is happening and I'm not sure what to say so I'll tell everyone the distance to go in spite of it being in the top left of the screen".

I think Ned and David are excellent, a vast improvement over the tiresome cliches, missed moves and misidentified riders from Phil & Paul. A mate in America was watching on NBC where they still provide the commentary and he said it was dreadful. Paul already reaching into his suitcase of courage in this, the sport of professional bike racing.

 

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WolfieSmith [1400 posts] 3 years ago
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Hahah. I thought you'd miss Phil now he's gone.

 

I agree with much from both sides. Ned's good but he suffering from anxiety which makes him talk when he could be quiet for a while. He needs a touch of Kelly. And he needs to stop explaining the sport from scratch too. Really annoying. 

To be fair Phil was getting a  bit confused with the tiny telly. Always missing major incidents by 5-10 seconds. Also lots of the "If only Cancellara had made this break Paul." " That's him in 3rd wheel I believe Phil..."That said Ned went off on one yesterday about a 'photographer' getting in the way when it was clearly a soigneur handing out bottles.

I am going to miss the in depth discussion of European history though. There is still so much I feel I don't know about the 100 Year War... I have a bet with mates each year to guess the stage when Phil first mentions Charlemagne.  I note Miller is trying to refer to the ASO guide and  talk about chateaus but it's shallow stuff. "That looks like a nice one!"

I believe talking abot the regions is just as important to the event as the racing. Yesterday was frustrating as they showed aerials of what I assume were mussel beds? Ned was droning on with his newbie guide to 'what a domestique does'  so we might never know now. 

Still loving Matt Rendell's Professor Yaffle routine. Maybe my new bet will be on how many times he mentions obscure Colombian riders no one's ever heard of who aren't even racing. 

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antigee [561 posts] 3 years ago
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MartyMcCann     "......if you manage to watch a US or Australian feed you will still hear them."

Yep down under and in the one hour highlights Phil and Paul managed several minutes on how fast the channel currents are (fast), the age and construction of a distant lighthouse and how if it wasn't cloudy you'd be able to see Jersey and how fast the channel currents are(again)...and that was presumably an edited version ...

we also get Robbie McEwen who is accurate but not excitable

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NeilG83 [316 posts] 3 years ago
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The problem I had with Phil & Paul other than being Armstrong apologists, mis-identifying riders and sometimes repeating what the other has just said was that by the 2nd week of the tour I was fed up of the basic of tactics, teamwork etc being explained 20 times per stage. Although, in my opinion nobody calls the final kilometre of a bike race as well as Phil Liggett.

In what other sport do the commentators take so much time explaining the basics of the rules and how to play. It was irritating, but understable when cycling was a minority sport in the UK and the Tour was the only cycling on free to air TV all year meaning most viewers were novices. I have enjoyed Ned & Dave on the Dauphine and other races. Having a recently retired pro gives good insight. Not watched much of the Tour yet, but by looking at other posts here they may be overdoing the explaining too.  I wish somone would tell Ned that he doesn't have to fill every second of the broadcast with commentary.

I think the ITV presenting/punditry/reporting on the Tour is probably the best in sports broadcasting. If Ned & Dave can perfect the commentary it will be the final piece of the jigsaw.

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Innerlube [47 posts] 3 years ago
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Prepared to give them time to settle into it, but have more hopes for Boulting than Miller. 

Over on Eurosport Kirby and Kelly add value. Yes, Carlton was giving us the "fastest currents" stuff too, but he was frankly disbelieving of the material and played it well, bit like Wogan at the Eurovision. Liked the stuff about the biscuit factory where he worked as a16 year old too - in the town of the sprint on stage 1. Worth finding his commentary of Cavs stage 1 win too.. Several seconds of yelling stuff in obvious pleasure followed by a long pause and a measured "he did it, Sean". 

nicely called as early in the stage when they did the heart v head, who you think will win v. who would you like to win Carlton named  Cav in the latter category.

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esnifador [57 posts] 3 years ago
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I don't have Eurosport, so I can't comment on their commentary team, but I am pleased ITV have finally starting using their own guys. I like Ned Boulting in general, so I'm predisposed to liking his commentary, but I really do think he's a lot better than Liggett. I think Millar is pretty good as well, as like others have pointed out, it's good to have someone with recent insights experience of life in the peloton. Will have to see if that insight lasts once his pro years become more of a distant memory.

As much as I was fond of Phil's incompetence and Paul tourist board schtick, it wasn't enough to make up for the constant supply of obvious mistakes in Phil's commentary. His ability to be repeatedly fooled by the foreshortening of the front-on view of a sprint finish was uncanny.

Still, I will miss Paul describing cyclists as 'great bike riders' and talking about 'big diesel engines'. If I were a pro, I think my main career aim would be to be on the receiving end of either of those descriptions.

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MartyMcCann [287 posts] 3 years ago
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Innerlube wrote:

Over on Eurosport Kirby and Kelly add value. Yes, Carlton was giving us the "fastest currents" stuff too, but he was frankly disbelieving of the material and played it well, bit like Wogan at the Eurovision. Liked the stuff about the biscuit factory where he worked as a16 year old too - in the town of the sprint on stage 1. Worth finding his commentary of Cavs stage 1 win too.. Several seconds of yelling stuff in obvious pleasure followed by a long pause and a measured "he did it, Sean". 

 

I know Kirby has his detractors but I am a fan.  He doesn't seem to have any time for the "too-cool-for-school" brigade and as such isn't afraid to demonstrate his passion for our sport.  There are the obvious examples like Keisse's Tour of Turkey stage  win  in 2012 and calling Quintana and Froome home last year in the TdF but one that stands out for me is his voice cracking as Stijn Devolder reappeared for the fourth or fifth time after all sorts of bad luck in the 2014 Paris Roubaix- he teared up and didn't feel the need to hide it.

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Bob F [53 posts] 3 years ago
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Well I'm enjoying the ITV4 coverage. Particularly Millar's observations, and the fact that Ned's calls have been accurate. 

Not paying 100% attention to all the commentry, but it seems Ned is the only one to have mentioned drugs so far, with ensuing silence from David. 

And mussel beds? I assumed it was oysters. Dammit chaps, we need to know this sort of stuff!

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surly_by_name [570 posts] 3 years ago
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Kirby seems to have been in serious training to be crowned as the all time worst commentator of cycling (even when measured against his own high standings in this competition in previous years). The hysteria in his voice when Cav won on stage 1 was straight from the Iceland TV football commentator's playbook. I don't want to hear (again) how he worked in a cake shop in France. Highlight for mine was on the way to Utah beach when he said (in an out loud voice; I promise, I played it back twice just to check) "Kittel, Griepel, Degenkolb - it could be a German 1, 2,3, that might cause a stir in this part of the world". If there was any way of getting Belgian or Dutch commentary (which I don't understand, but at least sounds like the commentators know what they are talking about and is hysteria free), I'd do it in a heartbeat.

All of the English language commentators should be forced to spend several months listening to Michel Wuyts before being allowed back behind a microphone.

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Comrade [221 posts] 3 years ago
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Maybe they should get Chris Evans in....

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tritecommentbot [2266 posts] 3 years ago
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Kirby is softly spoken and genuinely loves cycling. That's good enough for me. Kelly reels things in when needed and is also softly spoken. That's all I need. 

 

I find a lot of accents grating or harsh, sharp even. Can't listen to that for long. If someone sounds charmless, I find it hard to tolerate them for long. One reasons why I struggle listen to football commentary. Henry and Lineker are good for me, pretty much anyone else I'd just turn the volume down.

 

I do like Millar though, thought I wouldn't, but like Bob says, he's really good with the insight. Forget what I was watching recently, wasn't TdF, but he was partnered with another English young sounding guy and I kept thinking, why doesn't the other guy just shut up and let Millar talk. Millar was always trying to get in and say something insightful about the actual cycling and the guy was trying to ramble on about some balls.

 

Millar with a younger version of Kirby would be great for me as regulars. They could be the next Kirby and Kelly. 

 

 

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Aragonite [269 posts] 3 years ago
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Enjoyed reading this thread. First real discussion on here for a long, long time. Lets have more.

Have to admit to being a Kirby, and Kelly fan myself. Because Eurosport's coverage is longer, and not as well produced as ITV's, K+K have a lot more time to kill. On stages like yesterdays, and probably todays you need Kirby's bullshit imo, as there is little else to talk about.

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mostly [71 posts] 3 years ago
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Well Ned and Millar have prevented me from purchasing that dreadful eurosport app, although I've ended up sponsoring a dog , funeral cover and a signed picture of Michael Parkinson with the obligatory free pen.

All of which were paid for with a very reasonable 99.9% apr loan.