8/12/2008

Note for BBC Sport - Ireland is NOT part of the UK

I am enjoying the BBC's coverage of the Olympic a lot. Being a teacher and it being the holidays, my daytime habits might have in the past involved me getting up at eleven, a visit to the gym interspersed with the ITV 2 repeat of Jeremy Kyle, Bargain Hunt and something about World War Two on UKTV History. But this holiday is very different.

I am up at seven thirty when my one year old son wakes up (I actually had to wake him up at eight this morning), then wall to wall coverage with the red button of the Olympics. There is, however, just one things that is annoying me, and that is the BBC's obsession with reporting on the Irish team.

This morning we have been urged to watch Ireland rowing and kayaking, with commentators seemingly encouraging on the Irish competitors as if they were British. I think John Inverdale at one point said "I know we have lots of Irish viewers at home in Ireland so we are showing you this".

Do they pay a license fee in Ireland ? Is John Inverdale aware that Ireland although close to Britain, is not actually a part of the United Kingdon of Great British and Northern Ireland ?

I don' so much mind them showing Ireland, indeed watching some minor nations in some sports is rather entertaining, but some people in the BBC Sport department are clearly under the misapprehension that we should care about Ireland. They forget that there are more UK passport holder living in Australia or New Zealand or South Africa or any other number of countries (even Spain or France) than in Ireland and that actually I care if Ireland win a medal as much as Germany wins a medal. In short, I don't care.

8 comments:

Ryan said...

Almost every household can receive the Beeb in Ireland via cable or Sky, and they pay to receive it.
Whilst RTE are showing the games, there will be those who prefer the way the BBC do it.

Louis said...

If you think that was bad, you should have watched their coverage of the 1994 World Cup!

Norfolk Blogger said...

When you say they pay to receive it, do they pay Sky or the BBC ?

Norfolk Blogger said...

Louis, I do remember the 1994 world cup and was sickened by the BBC's coverage of Irland. I supported Holland that year.

Cross Ma Glen said...

Of course part of Ireland is in the UK. Although not the BBC's fault I object to the designation "Team GB" as I hope do red-blooded Manxmen and Channel Islanders.

Norfolk Blogger said...

You are referring top the island, not the country. I am referring to the country.

I do think it is odd that we are "Team GB" when in athletics events we are always designated as GBNI, but this may be because The Olympics insist on every country having a maximum three letter abreviation, no more.

Anonymous said...

Norfolk Blogger said...
Louis, I do remember the 1994 world cup and was sickened by the BBC's coverage of Irland. I supported Holland that year.


But since the majority of the Irish team (if not all) played for UK league clubs, I would expect a majority of people in the UK supported Ireland. So the BBC was just giving viewers what they wanted.

Misanthrope said...

It's not just sport. Radio 4. "Any Questions" memorably aired a programme marking the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome from Dublin. The chairman even invited the Irish audience to vote on whether the United Kingdom should join the Euro. Irish independence seems to have passed the Corporation by, even though it pre-dates the BBC.

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