Sport coverage: the future’s not Bright

How on earth is Mark Bright holding down a regular gig at the BBC? He’s been working for the sport team for a long time now, and after a less-than-impressive start it seems he’s just not going to get any better. For those of you that aren’t au fait with early to mid-90s English football, Bright was a well-respected top-flight striker. Nowadays he can be seen on TV as BBC London‘s main sport presenter, seemingly off the back of that reputation in lieu of any actual journalistic ability. He obviously knows his football, but you’d have been forgiven for thinking otherwise during yesterday’s dreary third round FA Cup tie between Hull and Aston Villa. Now, admittedly, if I was unfortunate enough to engage in conversation with Jonathan Pearce then I might try and talk over him at every opportunity, but not if I was broadcasting live to the nation in the capacity of co-commentator. ‘Brighty’, however, thinks nothing of it. All through the match. He doesn’t even bring his insider knowledge to the forefront, which is exactly what the co-commentator, typcially an ex-pro, is there to do. A case in point:

Pearce: He’s played all over the pitch in different games this season Mark, but is that his best position — centre-half?

Bright: Hmmm. He’s versatile.

 Just answer the question. It’s what you’re there for.

As for his regular slot as main sport reporter on the local BBC London news, it’s really quite embarrassing at times. It’s painfully clear that Bright doesn’t generally possess the knowledge of other sports that he obviously has of football, and to this end he tends to ask the kind of question that any sport fan tuning in especially for the coverage will cringe at. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against the guy; indeed, he comes across as a genuinely likeable man. I just can’t help but feel that he’s there on his ex-pro status alone, likely keeping a fully-trained journalist out of an important job.

There is room for ex-professionals in the UK’s sport coverage, there’s no doubt about that. Gary Lineker has shown that those that know the game inside out, having done it all at both domestic and international level, can take that knowledge and turn it into a successful broadcast career. He too looked ropey when he first started presenting Match of the Day, but he quickly knuckled down and worked at it. He’s now a complete natural. Unfortunately, I fear Mr. Bright will never earn that particular tag.


One Response to Sport coverage: the future’s not Bright

  1. Pingback: The Vanishing (and subsequent reappearance) « trendthrift

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