Des Lynam slams the BBC’s decision to axe the traditional reading of the classified results as ‘cheap’ and ‘change for change’s sake’… as the broadcasting legend hopes backlash will prompt a rethink
Des Lynam has described the BBC’s controversial decision to axe the traditional reading of the classified results as ‘cheap’ and ‘change for change’s sake’.
Sportsmail revealed that the broadcaster had taken the shock move to can the much-loved 5pm scores on Radio 5 Live’s Sports Report programme on Saturdays following eight decades.
Bosses said the decision – made without notice – had been made to save on time, but it has immediately triggered outrage.
And Lynam, a BBC legend and OBE whose career with the broadcaster started in 1968, has questioned the move.
‘It seems cheap. It has been going for 50 to 60 years so why change it at all? It feels like change for change’s sake,’ the 79-year-old said.
‘It’s tradition and I guess traditions come and go but I know that the older people will miss it greatly. It was part of the Saturday night routine. You would get into the car after the game and the scores would come on.’
Lynam is hoping that the backlash may trigger a rethink.
Des Lynam (pictured at Wimbledon last month) has described the BBC’s controversial decision to axe the traditional reading of the classified results as ‘cheap’
‘Some people feel like they have to make changes and freshen things up,’ he said.
‘New department heads putting their stamp on things. I remember someone came in and changed the theme tune to Match of the Day. They almost burned down Television Centre! They soon changed their mind on that and hopefully will do so here.’
Lynam presented Sports Report from 1970 to 1977 on Radio 2 and is well qualified to comment.
‘It feels like a lifetime ago when I introduced it,’ he said.
‘But it was bang – the famous Sports Report tune – and then the results, which gave us five minutes to think about who we were interviewing.’
He also hailed the work of announcer Charlotte Green, who took over announcing the scores from the late James Alexander Gordon in 2013.
BBC bosses said the decision – made without any notice – had been made to save on time
‘She has a wonderful voice,’ the Brighton supporter said.
‘It’s not easy to get the inflection right so you immediately know after the home team who has won. “Manchester United 1, Brighton 2”, for example. I was ecstatic with that!’
Malcolm Clarke, chair of the Football Supporters’ Association, also hit out at the axing of the program, as he hopes the BBC will rethink their ‘deeply regrettable’ decision.
Clarke said: ‘The classified football results on the radio have been one of the great traditions of British football.
‘Listening to the classified results has always been one of those beloved, shared routines for match-going fans.
‘This feels like yet another of football’s great traditions has gone and it is a deeply regrettable decision from the BBC – I hope they will think again.’