The BBC's Charter and its Producers Guidelines state:
...'Due impartiality lies at the heart of the BBC. All programs and services should be open minded, fair and show a respect for truth? [BBC reports should] contain comprehensive, authoritative and impartial coverage of news and current affairs in the United Kingdom and throughout the world??
In 2010 the BBC sent 74 staff to cover the winter Olympics. This year they will be sending 95. They justify this with the excuse that they will be broadcasting 20% more coverage. So why do they need 30% more staff?
Clearly from the following story, the Olympic presenters selected by the BBC are so infused with the 'culture of celebrity', where they themselves are a bigger item than what they are supposed to be presenting, they couldn't keep their minds on what they were there for.
BBC apologises after receiving more than 300 complaints
Viewers branded Ed Leigh, Tim Warwood and Aimee Fuller 'hyperactive'
Broadcaster says 'excitement got the better' of commentators
Presenters cheered when Austria's Anna Gasser fell over on the slope
Jenny Jones, 33, won Great Britain's first ever medal on snow
Snowboarder said today that she had slept with her medal under her pillow
The BBC has apologised after hundreds of viewers complained the broadcaster had spoiled Jenny Jones’s Olympic bronze medal success and branded the commentators 'puerile and hyperactive'.
Ed Leigh, Tim Warwood and Aimee Fuller came in for a barrage of criticism on Twitter from viewers who called for them to be axed, while the BBC received 303 complaints about the commentary team.
During the commentary, the presenters incorrectly told the nation Miss Jones had won gold and un-sportingly whooped with delight when a competitor fell over. Angry parents also called for the BBC to take action after the commentators made vulgar sexual innuendos during the programme which was broadcast on Sunday morning.
The BBC said that 'excitement had got the better' of its commentary team as Miss Jones won Great Britain's first ever Winter Olympics medal on snow.
The 33-year-old Bristolian had previously been world champion and had won three gold medals at the Winter X Games but had never previously competed at the Olympics as the snowboard slopestyle event was making its Olympic debut.
Miss Jones was the oldest competitor in the final by six years and had not even picked up a snowboard until she was 17 when she visited a dry ski slope.
And she had been forced to put her preparations for the games on hold over Christmas after she suffered a concussion during training.
She confessed today that she had slept with the medal under her pillow last night and that the reality of her win was only just 'starting to sink in a little bit.'
The BBC commentary team seemed just as excited as Miss Jones over the win as in the moment when she secured her bronze medal the presenting team brazenly declared that 'all professionalism has just gone out the window'.
At one point Mr Leigh was forced to cut Miss Fuller’s microphone because she was screaming so loudly she was drowning out the rest of the commentators.
And despite repeatedly telling viewers how sporting snowboarding rivals were, they distastefully cheered when Miss Jones's main competitor Anna Gasser suffered a fall - securing Team GB’s first ever Winter Olympic medal on snow.
American Jamie Anderson eventually took gold with 95.25, ahead of Finland’s Enni Rukajarvi on 92.50. The three medal winners shouted their delight and hugged as the final competitor failed to match their scores.
As Ms Gasser hit the ground after losing control of her board the BBC team erupted into cheers and tears.
While Mr Leigh and Mr Warwood whooped, Miss Fuller, a fellow snowboarder and friend of Miss Jones, screamed: 'Jones gets bronze, before asking: 'Can I stand on my chair now?'
Miss Fuller had competed in the event, but had been invited into the commentary box after she failed to make the final.
The cheering became so loud that Miss Fuller herself even remarked: 'Whoa, are we supposed to do that? Probably not.'
The trio then told baffled viewers they were all crying in the box as Warwood admitted 'all professionalism has just gone out of the window'.
As he desperately struggled to maintain control over his fellow commentators, he said: 'I shall be the dad here, let’s keep our composure, we are live on the BBC.'
However, fuming viewers took to Twitter to vent their frustration at the commentary team - with some admitting they had been forced to switch the sound off.
Paul Morton wrote: 'I thought I’d tuned into CBeebies or “Grange Hill does Val d’ISere” by mistake, turned out to be BBC’s #Slopestyle commentators #myeardrums.'
Another twitter user, simply called Helena added: 'Want a refund on the bit of my licence fee paying for the appalling slopestyle commentators. They’re a disgrace.'
Nick Blacow wrote: 'Deary me can the @bbcsport slopestyle commentators please get a grip you are working for the BBC for god’s sake!'
And user Adam Yates added: 'Never heard such puerile hyperactive guff in my life. BBC should axe those three clowns immediately. Had to mute coverage.'
Other viewers were offended by the sexual innuendos the commentary team used, including joking about a competitor having 'slugs in her knickers'.
Mr Leigh and Mr Warwood also collapsed into fits of infantile giggles when they joked about 'pumping the fist in the commentary box' - slang for a sexual act.
Mr Leigh also referred to Olympic hero Miss Jones’s reaction to winning the bronze - telling viewers she 'had a face that can help bread rise'.
Mr Leigh, 39 has worked for the BBC presenting flagship snow sports show Ski Sunday since 2007 after previously working for Channel 4, while Mr Warwood presented CBBC show Wild! after a low-key career as a professional snowboarder.
One viewer said: 'It was awful, you would not have expected this in the heyday of BBC coverage, could you imagine Ski Sunday commentators reacting like that?'
Amir Adhamy added: 'So just popped online to see people’s reactions to the commentary, I cannot believe I’m alone in finding them unbearably annoying.
'They’re like hungover teenagers, talking over each other and yelping. It’s giving me a headache - I came here to zone out and watch people in hyper trendy fluffy clothes do cool stuff in snow. Ugh. Call me a naysayer.'
Father-of-one Graham Carr tweeted: 'Just been watching BBC coverage of snowboarding with my 6-yr-old son. He just asked what ‘pumping the fist’ meant. Disgusting BBC.'
Another Twitter user Melanie wrote: 'Wish BBC snowboarding commentary team get buried in avalanche. Cringing so much my face hurts. Can’t believe we pay their wages!'
However some viewers said they had enjoyed the raucous commentary. Twitter user Becca wrote: 'The BBC commentators on the women’s snowboard slopestyle are my favourite people ever.'
The BBC today apologised to viewers after they received 303 complaints about the women’s slopestyle commentary team.
A spokesperson for the corporation said: 'This was a truly historic occasion for Team GB and the commentary team were understandably very excited, however we acknowledge that on occasion this excitement got the better of them and this is something that we will work on for future events.'
The broadcaster said that 3.1million people had tuned in to watch Miss Jones win her Olympic medal, and that 53 people had submitted appreciations about the overall Winter Olympics coverage so far.
Endearing or irritating? Opinion on Twitter – that unequivocal barometer of the quality of anything – was split, but over 300 complaints to the BBC would suggest that most viewers found the BBC's commentary team for Jenny Jones' historic bronze medal in the women's slopestyle snowboarding event tilted towards the latter.
To recap, Jones' medal was the first by any British athlete on snow in the history of the Winter Olympics. As such it's understandable that Ed Leigh, Tim Warwood and especially Jones' team-mate Aimee Fuller would be swept up in all the excitement. The hysterics, the screaming are, I suppose, therefore understandable; when they're prompted though by the sight of a rival collapsing in an unedifying heap though, they're not really excusable.
Fuller cheered loudly when Jones' bronze medal was confirmed by Anna Gasser's unfortunate fall; the same competitor the team had earlier mocked when trying to climb back up a slippery slope (in their defence, the sight of people slipping down a slope is pretty funny), before adding, "...are we supposed to do that? Probably not."
No Aimee, not really. Biased commentary is fine: no one would ever claim Bill McLaren, Geoffrey Boycott or Kenneth Wolstenholme was the most impartial of reporters and indeed all are praiseworthy for their invested observations. But this was closer to parochial boorishness, which doesn't sit so easily.
Twitter users were unimpressed. Ian Jordan tweeted "The commentators on @bbcsport Winter Olympics are embarrassing. Cheering people falling over just because a Brit is going to win a medal!", while another user called Suzanned added "Why are the commentators cheering for someone falling? How unprofessional can you get?"
Fair enough, although those of us who have ever sat through Ian Botham or Ravi Shastri's cricket commentary will have found Fuller pretty mild. The larger problem was for those of us less au fait with the technicalities of snowboarding as gushing enthusiasm and hysterical tears took the place of any information about what was going on. "Is it me or are the commentators so nonchalant and laid back it's hard to take this seriously?" tweeted Steve Garside. He later added "Terrible, awful commentators. #Sochi 2014".
It's hard to either understand or take seriously what is, with the greatest respect to Jenny Jones, quite a minor sport when the national broadcaster's experts are bandying about phrases such as "riding switch is like writing left-handed while wearing a chip hat and being attacked by seagulls" without any contextualisation. It is hard to avoid feeling frustrated when you're trying to understand a historic sporting moment through Warwood's expert analysis that "She's got the same birthday as me, so she's obviously very cool."
Fuller, Warwood and Leigh have their defendants, especially in light of the complaints. Adam Hensman said "The 300 people that have complained about the commentary yesterday for Britain's bronze model are on another planet! @bbcsport #bbcsochi" and Lee Wright tweeted "The best commentary I've heard in years. The emotion shone through and added to such a joyous UK achievement. #bbcsochi".
As I said, fine, get behind the team and bask in Jones' reflected glory by all means. But then the three commentators did at one point forgo actually commentating and launched into a rendition of Lionel Richie's 'Easy'. There's no excuse for Lionel Richie.
Viewers could have been forgiven for thinking the 18-year-old had won
The BBC commentary team screamed with delight at the finish
Commentator Tim Warwood said she 'absolutely ripped the lid off it!'
But then it emerged Summerhayes had finished a lowly seventh
On Twitter the coverage was branded 'amateur hour' and 'ludicrous'
It follows more than 300 complaints about BBC's coverage on Sunday
By Leon Watson
The BBC was criticised again today for its over-the-top commentary at the Winter Olympics when Katie Summerhayes narrowly missed out on a second medal for Britain.
Viewers could have been forgiven for thinking the 18-year-old from Sheffield was nailed on for a podium finish after her second freestyle skiing run in Sochi this morning.
The BBC commentary team screamed with delight at the finish, with Graham Bell, a five-time Winter Olympic skier, roaring: 'It's a medal! I'm sure it's a medal!'
Tim Warwood, BBC's snowboarding and freestyle skiing commentator said: 'Summerhayes, of Team GB, has absolutely ripped the lid off it!'
Unfortunately the judges didn't quite see it in the same way and she finished a disappointing seventh.
'Oh no! 70.60,' Warwood moaned when it was revealed Summerhayes finished outside the top three.
'It's not enough, and the hand drags have cost her there, they really have. But you know what? She's 18 and will be 22 in South Korea. Summerhayes is going to feel robbed, but she has done herself and British sport proud.'
Making a hasty U-turn, Bell added: 'She just had to stick it on her first run. The second run is so much harder. It came down to her not landing that first run.'
It led to a flurry of activity on Twitter with posters branding the coverage 'amateur hour', 'ludicrous' and 'partisan'.
Ross Garvey, from Dublin, Ireland, was one of them. He said: 'BBC commentators losing their mind here with Katie Summerhayes.'
Summerhayes had fallen in the first of her runs while doing the three and a half switch 1280 trick, scoring just 19.40. And then she managed 70.7 with a better if not entirely clean run next time up. The winner, Dara Howell, of Canada, scored 94.20.
The result followed more than 300 complaints about the corporation's coverage of Jenny Jones’s bronze in the snowboarding slopestyle final on Sunday.
The corporation was forced to apologise after more than 300 viewers said the commentary had spoiled their enjoyment.
Commentators Ed Leigh and Tim Warwood were labelled 'immature idiots' for whooping and cheering as Miss Jones competed.
The pair, who were joined by Miss Jones’s friend and fellow snowboarder Aimee Fuller, repeatedly talked over each other and appeared to celebrate when her Austrian rival Anna Glasser fell, ensuring 33-year-old Miss Jones a medal.
This morning, Summerhayes was too distraught to talk to the media immediately afterwards and was comforted in the arms of a Team GB press officer. She went away and collected herself before returning to speak about the day's events.
'I'm still gutted,' she said. 'Just the same, without the tears. It’s our sport. People fall. Yeah, I'm gutted.
'On my first run, it was really slushy. I’m not sure what happened when I fell and I was on the back seat and next thing in the snow.
'Second run, I put my hands down twice and that’s a big thing.'
'I want to push the sport forward and to do it for myself so I tried some different things in the final. It didn’t come off. I was not put off by the delay. I had no idea Yuki was injured. She’s one of my best friends and I send her my best wishes.'
While Summerhayes was disappointed to miss out on a medal, she is proud of her achievement in reaching the final.
'I knew that if I put down a good run I would be in with a chance of making the podium but I'm just happy with the way I skied,' she added.
'That's one of the best I've ever skied. I just have to take it as one of those things.'
She had been delayed before her second run by a seemingly serious injury to Canada's Yuki Tsubota.
The BBC had been forced to make respond after over-excited commentating when Jenny Jones won her bronze medal.
'We have never won a medal on snow and those involved have known her for a long time. It's a very passionate sport. It's a young sport and young people don't sit and watch it po-faced, they watch it with great excitement.'
Summerhayes qualified for the final with plenty in reserve and entered the final with an upbeat declaration. ‘It’s great to be consistent,' she said. 'I've got something planned. I've got something I want to do.
‘I’m fearless. I want to try different stuff and scare myself.’
She did but not in the way intended.
Sheffield born and bred, Summerhayes' very participation in Sochi represented a tremendous comeback from her breaking the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee two years ago, an injury so severe that the first operation could not mend it.
So her doctors decided to use part of her hamstring from her other leg again. It left her with a race against time: she would be off the snow for six months and the Olympics were only nine months away. She cried and cried on hearing the news.
She said: ‘It was probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to deal with, especially as I’d worked so hard to get over the previous injury and I thought everything was just fine.
‘My first reaction was that I wasn't going to make it and it was all a matter of touch and go as to how the rehab went and how my knee reacted. I had ups and downs all the time but I would speak to my coach, Pat Sharples, every day and he would tell me that I was going to make it.’
Summerhayes was so overawed by the prospect of seeing fellow Sheffield girl Jessica Ennis when the heptathlete visited her school that she ran away rather than have her picture taken with her.
Now she sets her sights on four years hence and the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. ‘I want to be there with my sister,’ she said of Molly, 16, another young star of the Summerhayes family.
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