ITV4 TDF Commentators Have Changed!

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TDF
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ITV4 TDF Commentators Have Changed!

Postby TDF » 2 Jul 2016, 4:01pm

First-time poster, longtime lurker.

Good website.

Just watching today the ITV4 UK live coverage of the Tour de France 2016 stage 1... The live commentary-box commentators have changed... And they are terrible!... A bit dull, and less authoritative-sounding (as one might expect) than the previous pair who had been doing it for decades...

Does anyone know what happened to the previous pair of race commentators, Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen? Did they retire? Move backstage? Switch channels? Doing something else?

Apologies if this has been asked elsewhere already. Had a quick search of the forum, Google and Wikipedia, and there are some suggestions they both retired from all TV and radio in the UK and worldwide, but nothing concrete.

Mods, feel free to move if the post needs to be in another section.

loch eck steve
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Re: ITV4 TDF Commentators Have Changed!

Postby loch eck steve » 2 Jul 2016, 5:32pm

what a shame ! will see later on when i watch the highlights !

goatwarden
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Re: ITV4 TDF Commentators Have Changed!

Postby goatwarden » 2 Jul 2016, 5:50pm

Yes, they have finally put the buffoons out to grass. Phil and Paul were dreadful and entirely spoiled the event for us. In David Millar they have someone who actually understands the way the race works (Paul Sherwen should have done, but could be relied upon to tell you what the riders were thinking at the expense of watching what was actually happening.) Unfortunately Ned Boulting is on the way to developing a quiver of his own meaningless cliches to rival those of the buffoons but he's not there yet so is really quite bearable.

All in all today's stage was a pleasure to watch.

Richard D
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Re: ITV4 TDF Commentators Have Changed!

Postby Richard D » 2 Jul 2016, 6:29pm

My comments, posted to FB earlier:

Come on, Boulting - I want trivia! If the helicopter gives us a shot of a castle, don't tell us that it's a castle, we know already! Tell us when it was built, for whom, what happened to it in WW2 etc.

Otherwise we'll have to listen to Millar wittering about how the race has been "blown apart" with 160km to go, just because a domestique stops for a widdle.

That last castle didn't even get a mention, despite the cameraman's best efforts. Instead we were told about Contador's various bumps and scrapes. Ho hum.

Sounds like I'm going to need to "dig deep" into my own "suitcase of courage" to survive this year.

What's happened to Imlach and/or Boardman? I know Phil & Paul haven't really retired, but ITV4 look like they have decided not to pay their share towards the P&P pension pot. Okay, they're long in the tooth and usually dead wrong (though that's scarcely unique amongst commentators), but at least Paul knows his chateaux from his motorway service station.

Richard D
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Re: ITV4 TDF Commentators Have Changed!

Postby Richard D » 2 Jul 2016, 6:33pm

It turned out that Imlach and Boardman are just topping and tailing the programme, leaving the actual commentary to Millar and Boulting, with the odd colour spot from Rendell.

Phil and Paul are still providing English-language commentary, but this year it looks like it's just the yanks and the Aussies who get to listen to it - ITV usually buy the rebroadcast rights for the UK, but aren't doing so this year.

The quality of the technical cycling parts might have improved, but Millar in particular is prone to overusing his own cliches. And I miss the spot pieces about castles, towns, monasteries and other local interest factoids.

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cycleruk
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Re: ITV4 TDF Commentators Have Changed!

Postby cycleruk » 2 Jul 2016, 6:49pm

You could always turn the sound off.. :mrgreen: :wink:
Leave getting old to others.

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cycleruk
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Re: ITV4 TDF Commentators Have Changed!

Postby cycleruk » 2 Jul 2016, 6:50pm

You could always turn the sound off.. :wink:
I'm just glad it even gets TV coverage. :mrgreen:
Leave getting old to others.

Richard Fairhurst
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Re: ITV4 TDF Commentators Have Changed!

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 2 Jul 2016, 8:13pm

I thought Ned Boulting was a little nervous and over-compensating today. He and Millar have done the commentary for ITV's last few major races (the Dauphiné, the Vuelta) and been excellent - insightful without resorting to cliché. Today Boulting seemed to be less relaxed and more motormouth than at those. No doubt it'll settle down.
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hondated
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Re: ITV4 TDF Commentators Have Changed!

Postby hondated » 2 Jul 2016, 8:54pm

That's disappointing to read even though I normally watch it on Eurosport.
Ned and David seemed of for the fill in pieces but I can't see them being very good at the full commentary as they struggle for words in those fill in pieces.
Just as well I can watch Eurosport with Carlton and Sean then.

TDF
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Re: ITV4 TDF Commentators Have Changed!

Postby TDF » 2 Jul 2016, 11:11pm

Richard D wrote:Phil and Paul are still providing English-language commentary, but this year it looks like it's just the yanks and the Aussies who get to listen to it - ITV usually buy the rebroadcast rights for the UK, but aren't doing so this year.

The quality of the technical cycling parts might have improved, but Millar in particular is prone to overusing his own cliches. And I miss the spot pieces about castles, towns, monasteries and other local interest factoids.



Yes, in the past few hours, an article about it has since popped up on one of the UK cycling magazines. It says ITV4 has this year stopped buying the international syndicated feed of Liggett and Sherwen's live commentary. The article doesn't say why, but some posters on here and there seem to suggest perhaps it was a cost or quality issue.

Which is a shame. Because L&S were / are highly entertaining, always upbeat, endearingly excitable, easy to listen to, and as much a part of the TDF in the UK as the riders and scenery. Jeremy Clarkson is not the best motoring journalist, but he is / was certainly the most entertaining (~350m viewers globally).

Perhaps ITV4 could consider reinstating Liggett and Sherwen in 2017. I tried hard to get into Boulting and Millar today, but their dull, monotone, uber-serious-cyclist commentary is unexciting and I ended up switching off. Will watch again for stage 2 and give them another crack of the whip, but not hopeful, to be honest.

In the meantime, it looks like L&S are still fully on NBC US and partly on SBS Australia in 2016. Wonder if there is a streaming (preferably free) link to the live NBC coverage for stage 2?

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Re: ITV4 TDF Commentators Have Changed!

Postby mjr » 2 Jul 2016, 11:27pm

I'm glad ITV have switched commentary to B+M. Today wasn't their best work, but P+P had gone beyond being parodies of their former glories... and I can't imagine suffering Carlton and Sean for a full tour!
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Spinners
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Re: ITV4 TDF Commentators Have Changed!

Postby Spinners » 3 Jul 2016, 7:53am

I quite liked Liggett and Sherwen but I think it's a 'comfort blanket' thing from watching the C4 half-hour shows that first introduced me to the Tour in the early 90's. Best tribute to the new pairing is that I didn't actually notice that the old pairing had gone for quite some time yesterday afternoon! I will miss Sherwin's, "Panic on board" and "Sharp end of the bike race" though.

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Re: ITV4 TDF Commentators Have Changed!

Postby reohn2 » 3 Jul 2016, 8:00am

hondated wrote:....Just as well I can watch Eurosport with Carlton and Sean then.


Carlton Kirby is a scream,sometimes subtle,sometimes mad as a March Hare,which is what I really like about him.His descriptions of the riders are quite simply brilliant,ie;yesterday describing one rider as looking like he'd be going to a 3D movie after the race due to the less than stylish sunglasses he was wearing,and not afraid of describing Andre Greipel as a "Gorilla on a bike",etc,etc,wonderful and weird,great!.
Sean Kelly is Sean Kelly and that is what's good about him,though sometimes you have to wait for the gems he occasionally come out with,.
Matt Stevens and Carlton Kirby when paired up are quite simply magic.
Brian Smith is also very good and totally in tune with what's going on.

Ligget & Sherwin,trying to be slick but ending telling us something I already know and telling me it badly :?
David Miller not bad but equally not that good either.
Ned Boulting ain't good.
IMHO the whole ITV bunch lack personality and entertainment.

TBH,let's face it sometime bike racing can get boring at times when the race isn't 'on' or when the TV breakaway is up the road and under control and anyone with an ounce of knowledge can see the outcome,some TdeF first week flat stages spring readily to mind.
It's then when the commentators knowledge of things French/Italian or whatever country the race is in shines,and the anecdotes flow for pure entertainments sake.Carlton Kirby is a master of 'telling the tale' at such times and Mat Stevens is getting there PDQ,Stevens interesting and subtle,Kirby sort of interesting and completely off the wall,a sort of young Duffers,with an element of Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy abstraction,brilliant!
Last edited by reohn2 on 3 Jul 2016, 8:07am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ITV4 TDF Commentators Have Changed!

Postby reohn2 » 3 Jul 2016, 8:05am

cycleruk wrote:You could always turn the sound off.. :mrgreen: :wink:


Preferable on ITV........
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TrevA
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Re: ITV4 TDF Commentators Have Changed!

Postby TrevA » 3 Jul 2016, 8:09am

We'll no longer have people looking into their suitcase of courage or going around traffic circles, what a pity.