Jump to content
British Speedway Forum
LondonSpeedwayFan71

Presenters And Announcers

Recommended Posts

I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the late Ted Sear. He, in my opinion, was the epitome of announcing and never showed any bias. He was, rightly, very well respected in the sport.

i cut my speedway teeth on good old Ted Sear at west ham and hackney. David Hamilton and Ed Stewart were very entertaining at wembley, followed by martin rogers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It says more about you if you condemn a club owner for not allowing a mic man to say what he wants to say and damage his business, rather that the big man picking up the losses having in input. Pie in the SKY thinking. It is not allowed in other sports so why should it be in speedway to allow an individual the opportunity to damage your business publicly.

 

While there are limits, I am not sure that a presenter calling it how he sees it will damage the business. Quite the opposite is probably more accurate.

 

The worst one I know for that is, ironically in view of his BSPA status, Rob Godfrey. Heard him criticise referees (albeit gently) many times and its one of the reasons why I think he's one of the best - he simply says what I - and almost certainly many others - think.

 

It seems to me that a few referees need to grow up a bit.

 

At Glasgow this afternoon, we had the excellent Michael Max but with him they had that dreary, mistake-ridden bloke in the box who tries to be funny when he's not. Stark contrast, and its the same at Belle Vue if the other way around - the excellent Neil Drummond with that total tool on the centre green.

 

I still maintain the master is Kevin Long. Speedway fan through and through and funny with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

While there are limits, I am not sure that a presenter calling it how he sees it will damage the business. Quite the opposite is probably more accurate.

 

The worst one I know for that is, ironically in view of his BSPA status, Rob Godfrey. Heard him criticise referees (albeit gently) many times and its one of the reasons why I think he's one of the best - he simply says what I - and almost certainly many others - think.

 

It seems to me that a few referees need to grow up a bit.

 

At Glasgow this afternoon, we had the excellent Michael Max but with him they had that dreary, mistake-ridden bloke in the box who tries to be funny when he's not. Stark contrast, and its the same at Belle Vue if the other way around - the excellent Neil Drummond with that total tool on the centre green.

 

I still maintain the master is Kevin Long. Speedway fan through and through and funny with it.

Of course there are limits, but the alternative is not letting them saying anything that they, or the audience, think which could lose paying customers. "Oh i think rider A will get the heave ho after that last ride" would not sit with every well, or many others just so a presenter, can make himself a bit bigger.

 

With respect, Rob is perfectly entitled to express a point of view to the referee being the promoter at the track and it being his business. it he goes over the top he has be punished by the BSPA rules that he signs every year for each season.

Not exactly the same as a hired hand doing the damage is it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

While there are limits, I am not sure that a presenter calling it how he sees it will damage the business. Quite the opposite is probably more accurate.

 

The worst one I know for that is, ironically in view of his BSPA status, Rob Godfrey. Heard him criticise referees (albeit gently) many times and its one of the reasons why I think he's one of the best - he simply says what I - and almost certainly many others - think.

 

It seems to me that a few referees need to grow up a bit.

 

At Glasgow this afternoon, we had the excellent Michael Max but with him they had that dreary, mistake-ridden bloke in the box who tries to be funny when he's not. Stark contrast, and its the same at Belle Vue if the other way around - the excellent Neil Drummond with that total tool on the centre green.

 

I still maintain the master is Kevin Long. Speedway fan through and through and funny with it.

 

Kevin Long did a sterling job on Thursday gone (1st June vs Newcastle), when he presented the meeting on his own. He kept fans informed as to what was going on during all the delays (both before and during the meeting) and also kept the crowd 'entertained' by going around the track and, basically, taking the 'p' out of people, but it was done in a light-hearted way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not a popular opinion, but I think Roy Clarke is alright. If the BSPA let him say half the things he said when he wasnt on the Mic, it would be a lot more amusing. I suppose with it being a family sport, you have to keep it kid friendly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not a popular opinion, but I think Roy Clarke is alright. If the BSPA let him say half the things he said when he wasnt on the Mic, it would be a lot more amusing. I suppose with it being a family sport, you have to keep it kid friendly.

I like Roy.

 

When I was going he had just the right balance of fun for the kids and knowledgeable comment for the adult.

 

Personally I never forget - "The lean green racing machine that is - Andrew Tully".

 

Also I think Barry Wallace deserves praise for his work as the Announcer at Newcastle - oh - I nearly forgot - and Sunderland back in the day................ :t::approve:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my early speedway visiting days of the late 1940s the mike man at New Cross was Cecil Smith - I am certain that promoter Fred Rockford use to describe him as "...the golden voice of speedway..."?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like Roy.

 

When I was going he had just the right balance of fun for the kids and knowledgeable comment for the adult.

 

Personally I never forget - "The lean green racing machine that is - Andrew Tully".

 

Also I think Barry Wallace deserves praise for his work as the Announcer at Newcastle - oh - I nearly forgot - and Sunderland back in the day................ :t::approve:

Certainly agree. He has that very distinct voice for a stadium announcer that he also did at St James Park as well, along with Alan Robson. Seem him at Worky, when he was the presenter for a short period a few years ago, but not quite as comfortable or good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Kevin Long did a sterling job on Thursday gone (1st June vs Newcastle), when he presented the meeting on his own. He kept fans informed as to what was going on during all the delays (both before and during the meeting) and also kept the crowd 'entertained' by going around the track and, basically, taking the 'p' out of people, but it was done in a light-hearted way.

Does a fantastic job at Mildenhall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like Roy.

 

When I was going he had just the right balance of fun for the kids and knowledgeable comment for the adult.

 

Personally I never forget - "The lean green racing machine that is - Andrew Tully".

 

 

Also I think Barry Wallace deserves praise for his work as the Announcer at Newcastle - oh - I nearly forgot - and Sunderland back in the day................ :t::approve:

My favourite moment by Roy so far had to be at Peterborough earlier in the season, when they faced Newcastle. I was standing near Roy on the second bend, when Poppy the Panther was walking past, on the fans side of the fence. Waved at everyone, then got to Roy and stopped and carried on walking. To which Roy responded,

 

"Aw okay, so you're not talking to me this week then, you (expletive)?"

 

It's safe to say Poppy wasn't best pleased. :rofl:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Roy does a good job, considering the audience,,, and a much better job than the guy who did it before him.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a question of balance, rather like it is for the riders themselves. Nobody can condone someone irresponsibly shouting their mouth off and causing damage to a business but that is no reason to exert a vice-like grip.

 

Ultimately it's a matter of trust. Some of the great announcers and presenters mentioned in this thread operated in the pre-licencing era and I can think of few who abused their position in such a way, although there are tales about a certain Workington announcer of the late 70s when the Comets were fading out of the sport.

 

The reason why is that those presenters could be trusted to use their judgement and self-control, and crucially their knowledge of the sport to guide them, but, and this is where I would probably upset the BSPA with this, they came from an era when the job was usually paid and people with genuine ability could be attracted.

 

Where it all goes wrong is the sad need to cut costs to the bone and rely on willing amateurs to do the job of professionals. We end up with the dreadful position where too many are able but don't know or understand the sport or are experts but hopeless on a mic. Faced with the possible sanctions few are going to open up, even if they could. It is to the credit of certain modern announcers and presenters that they can work within the current restrictions - there is a huge difference between a bit of fun and outright condemnation.

 

Having said that, one of the presenters often praised deeply offended me one night. I won't name names but I had travelled a fair way with Rye House on a tour as a supporter, which I was before picking up a mic. I turned up at one track casually-dressed, more than a little hung-over from the previous night's tour fun and in no fit state to present. The track asked me to co-present with their guy but I had to decline. This didn't go down well.

 

During the match there was a heavy crash involving a home rider and a Rocket. There was an injury to the home man. The presenter tore into the Rye House supporters for daring to support a team that included such a rider and making t clear we were unwanted at the track. It was totally over the top. After the meeting I asked for permission to use the office phone to make my phoneline report (this being pre-mobile days) and I was refused. I can never remember anyone ever being refused at Rye House in my time. In fact I would normally let them have first use since they were reporting to fans who probably had little choice whether they could get to the match. If only we'd received the same courtesy elsewhere.

 

We returned to Rye House on the Sunday and ironically hosted that team. On parade I let my own feelings out. "If anyone here thinks that the away supporters are going to be treated in the way we were at their track, then they've come to the wrong speedway - we respect all visitors as customers and thank them for coming".

 

I'd have probably got a fine for that now. My promoter backed me completely though, which was pretty typical of him,.

 

I was very lucky to hear the work of such excellent talents as Ted Sear, John Earrey and Bob Radford at a young age and I am very aware of how superbly the job can be done. I wish my own efforts could have come close.

 

You get what you pay for.

 

Well, usually.

 

I had the privilege of working with Ted Sear on a video project once and it is a very fond memory. It was to interview Johnnie Hoskins in Herne Bay about 1984. It had been rightly decided that someone more experienced and mature than myself should perform the interview so Ted was invited in. I was allowed to work as a programme assistant.

 

We recorded magic. John responded to Ted's gentle nudging, and while he would wander off frequently the results were quite superb. Johnnie's wife chipped in with a fascinating account of their rail trip across Australia in the 20s to open Claremont in Perth.

 

You may wonder what happened to the project. Sadly Johnnie's hearing aid radiated a signal that was picked up on the sound and couldn't be filtered out. It was too intrusive to use the material. Perhaps modern technology could have dealt with the problem but I expect the masters are long gone now. It's one of those great 'what might have beens'.

 

It was a true lesson to work directly with Ted Sear though. Oh, by the way, I once heard him be highly controversial. It was at Hackney in 1973 when he was highly-scathing of a piece of music that had been played - Rock On by David Essex.

 

There are very good reasons why Ted announced at World Finals - as long as that song wasn't played I guess.....

Edited by Rob McCaffery
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course there are limits, but the alternative is not letting them saying anything that they, or the audience, think which could lose paying customers. "Oh i think rider A will get the heave ho after that last ride" would not sit with every well, or many others just so a presenter, can make himself a bit bigger.

 

With respect, Rob is perfectly entitled to express a point of view to the referee being the promoter at the track and it being his business. it he goes over the top he has be punished by the BSPA rules that he signs every year for each season.

Not exactly the same as a hired hand doing the damage is it.

 

Whether he can do so publicly is another matter - to be fair, he's usually pretty tame and if he did get fined the referee would be subject to a barrage of (justified) criticism.

 

What is true is that a promoter should not be liable for the actions of a presenter and they must take that responsibility themselves.

 

Tim Allan is one of the best in the game, but you simply can't - in his position - heavily criticise a referee during a meeting.

 

Not a popular opinion, but I think Roy Clarke is alright. If the BSPA let him say half the things he said when he wasnt on the Mic, it would be a lot more amusing. I suppose with it being a family sport, you have to keep it kid friendly.

 

He's grown on me. What I will say is that the presentation at the Peterborough 4's last season is the best I have ever seen, and he was part of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Whether he can do so publicly is another matter - to be fair, he's usually pretty tame and if he did get fined the referee would be subject to a barrage of (justified) criticism.

 

What is true is that a promoter should not be liable for the actions of a presenter and they must take that responsibility themselves.

 

Tim Allan is one of the best in the game, but you simply can't - in his position - heavily criticise a referee during a meeting.

 

 

He's grown on me. What I will say is that the presentation at the Peterborough 4's last season is the best I have ever seen, and he was part of it.

Tim has now quit Plymouth after being fined for his comments earlier this season. He has, I understand, handed in all his licences etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like ive been spoilt over the years at Ipswich. Firstly the late great John Earrey (so long as we know) and now we have the wonderful Kevin Long, knowledgeable and also knows how to make the presenting funny without overstepping the mark

 

Ok you ready for the controversy??

 

My first British Final was at Coventry in 1990 (we basically followed Mark Loram and that was his first final) and i used to think Peter York was great , commentating as they went into the last lap, something i had never heard before. Maybe he was rubbish and as a youngster i couldnt detect that lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Privacy Policy