The Sochi Network

Hundreds of complaints over BBC’s ‘puerile and hyperactive’ commentary

The Sochi Network

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Jenny Jones of Britain

The BBC has conceded that their commentary team at the Sochi Winter Olympics misjudged their delivery and got 'over-excited' in the wake of 303 viewer complaints.

Viewers and critics were very unhappy about the coverage of Jenny Jones's Olympic bronze medal success in the snowboarding slopestyle final on Sunday as she secured Britain's first ever Olympic medal on the snow.

The main complaint from viewers was centred around the fact that the BBC commentary team erupted into whoops and cheers when one of Jones's rivals hit the ground after losing control of her board in a potential dangerous crash.

This more spontaneous, off-the-cuff style saw viewers take to Twitter to register their discontent:

Viewers also complained that the BBC commentary team called the wrong medal, saying Jones had won gold, not bronze, and roared with delight over an incorrect interpretation of the result.

The BBC has seen a ratings smash with the Sochi Games, but viewers said the commentators were "puerile and hyperactive", particularly in a five-minute peak audience of three million viewers during Jones's medal win.

The commentary team of the Ski Sunday presenter, Ed Leigh, and the former UK snowboarding champion Tim Warwood were joined by Aimee Fuller - a Team GB competitor who was invited into the commentary box after failing to make the final.

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BBC Winter Olympic anchors Hazel Irvine, Clare Balding and Jonathan Edwards

Fuller told viewers "Jones gets bronze... can I stand on my chair now?" as the trio all descended into tears before asking "Are we supposed to do that? Probably not."

Warwood later admitted: "All professionalism has just gone out of the window" after an exchange on air during the live event with Leigh.

Leigh said while other competitors were challenging: "I can feel my pulse in my lower intestine" before Warwood replied: "That's not your pulse."

The corporation has responded by saying that it was a "truly historic occasion" and that the commentators were "understandably very excited".

But it did admit that "on this occasion the excitement got the better of them and this is something we will work on for future events".

Despite the complaints received, postings on social media suggested that some of the viewing public embraced the more informal style of commentary.

Some viewers have also been left baffled by snowboarding slang, with the BBC offering a hasty clarification after British snowboarder Billy Morgan said in a live interview on Saturday: "I just thought, 'huck it'," - a term meaning to attempt a bold, ostentatious performance/trick.

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