Remember that truly amazing moment last season when Simeon Jackson scored the goal that got us promoted at Fratton Park?

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Remember the tension until the end of the three minutes of stoppage time when the final whistle heralded our promotion?

If you were not there among the 3,000+ delirious supporters, you were most likely listening to Radio Norfolk and hearing the hoarse, ecstatic voices of Chris Goreham and Neil Adams as they made it possible for those of us who couldn’t be there to be part of that moment.

Now, imagine if you can how Radio Solent’s commentary team would have covered that game. I haven’t been able to track it down - so I guess it was a fairly routine description of a home loss against a team who won promotion - and whose fans invaded the pitch after the final whistle. Imagine also what it would have been like for listeners to Radio Norfolk on that day to have the Radio Solent broadcast as the only available live match commentary via BBC local radio.

That’s a lot of imagining but this could happen. Apart from my day job and supporting Norwich City, another of my interests finds me as a member of the BBC Regional Audience Council. As many of you will know, BBC local radio, like most of us, is facing hefty cuts. But do you know how this might affect our listening, particularly the coverage of sport in the Radio Norfolk region?

Some money would be saved if Chris Goreham only covered home games. This would mean that we would hear him commentating on the home games against Arsenal and QPR and his coverage would also be broadcast to Radio London listeners. Now Chris Goreham - who is one of my personal Radio Norfolk favourites - can, I am sure, be relied on to know the names and strengths of the Arsenal and QPR players. But what about the away fixtures? Can we rely on the Radio London commentary team to know the names of all our players - let alone the positions they play in.

If you think I am being unfair, how about this for a quote on the recent game at Villa Park: “a mix-up between Kyle Naughton and John Ruddy led to Agbonlahor putting Villa in front. Naughton’s back pass was slightly short...” This was by a sports journalist writing for the Press Association, and it appeared in the match report in at least one of our more prestigious Sunday newspapers. Apart from being inaccurate and annoying - particularly to Kyle Naughton - is this a glimpse of the future?

There are other issues around the BBC cuts which will become clearer over the next few months. There will be less “local” radio and more shared programming and regional radio. Not all of these affect sports fans, but all Radio Norfolk listeners will be affected in some way.

My concern - as a member of the BBC Regional Audience Council - is that the big national consultation Delivering Quality First (DQF) which covers changes to radio and television has been almost forgotten. This is because the BBC is also running a Local Radio Review which, if you are a regular listener to Radio Norfolk you will know, has been advertised extensively on air over the past few weeks. Although the radio review consultation will feed into DQF, this “double” consultation is very confusing for most of us.

If any of what I have said worries you, have a look at the consultation documents at http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/consult/local_radio.shtml and send the BBC your response. We, the listening public are the only people who can affect this process - that could change the way we listen to our sports coverage of our team for ever.

Before the Portsmouth game, Matthew Gudgin was talking to Greg Downs in the Radio Norfolk studio about the passion Chris Goreham and Neil Adams put into their commentary. Greg Downs’ response was: “it shows that the two lads down there, they are supporters of this football club and of course it means as much to them as to the rest of us”.

Get online and show how much it means to you too.

5 comments

  • Akula I cannot believe you think that. Chris Goreham is one of - if not the best - commentators that BBC local radio have. Radio commentary is all about painting a picture in the mind of the listener, and that includes whether a player has brown, blonde or multi-coloured hair. Back onto the article and I 100% agree with this. Think back to the end of last season. If you were a Derby fan listening to the end moments of 'that' match you wouldn't really enjoy somebody celebrating a goal that lost you the game would you. What about another derby game - the one at Portman Road. The home commentator at the end would've sounded really dissapointed - do NCFC fans listening want that when they are trying to celebrate the best result their team had ever got from that game. There are soo many examples I could go on about but I won't bore you any longer than I already have. The fact is BBC Local Radio is all about the local people is broadcasts to - that includes sports coverage.

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    Rebecca Abbott

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

  • He does not bring games to life. There are huge spaces of time where, as a listener, you don't know what's going on in the game, which is not fulfilling the requirements of commentator. I live abroad and listen to games more than go to them, and unfortunately, there is only one choice! Sad to say it looks as if he has a job for life.

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    Akula Zixia

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

  • Perhaps you simply don't understand the language Akula. Or perhaps you want to listen to deadpan "impartial" commentary with no emotion shown. When I can't go to Away matches, I often use Canary Player to follow the game. In most cases, this gives the option of listening to either the Norwich or the "local" commentary. From time to time I switch to the "local" version, just to hear the difference in point of view. The difference in emotion - and knowledge - is sometimes staggering, and I very quickly switch back again. If you think there are huge spaces of time, l there is probably something wrong with your radio - I suggest you get it checked out. .CG for ever!!

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    The Crab

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

  • To listen to a match without the idiocy of Chris Goreham would be a great day. His overuse of the word 'brilliant' and obsession with hair colour is absurd. He should have stayed in League 1. This article is trying to tell us that it is Goreham or an uninformed journalist from elsewhere. Please let that not be the case. He is not funny and is not talented; just look at his photo.

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    Akula Zixia

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

  • couldn't disagree more. Chris brings the games to life and his passion for NCFC is absolutely clear. I listen to Radio Norfolk more often than attending games and am so thankful we have Chris calling it.

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    idreaminyellowandgreen

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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