Friday 15 December 2017

Fifty winning years of getting it right

Rugby commentator Bill McLaren represented the BBC's voice of confidence, writes Declan Lynch

How did they get it so right? The men who ran television, and particularly BBC television during its golden age of the Seventies, just kept getting it right. As we now survey an executive class who are getting paid 20 times as much and who can hardly get anything right, we can but shake our heads in wonderment at the enormity of the achievements of their ancestors.

And with the passing of rugby commentator Bill McLaren, we can look again at this propensity for getting it right, and for getting it so right that no-one would think of changing it for the next 50 years -- McLaren first appeared on the BBC in 1953 and retired undefeated in 2002.

McLaren was one of several sports commentators whose accents were so idiosyncratic, their voices so singular, in these monotonous times there would possibly be grounds for claiming disability benefit.

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