Tokyo 2020: Matt Baker shares commentary behind the scenes
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Matt, 43, was on hand to commentate on coverage of the Men’s gymnastics team final on Monday, with the broadcast coming live from the Ariake Centre in Tokyo. Due to the travel restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the BBC is trying to air as much as it can from the Olympic Games while its punditry team remains in the UK. However, when only half of one event was shown, viewers took to Twitter to express their disapproval, despite the former The One Show presenter issuing a warning prior.
The likes of Max Whitlock, 28, were set to showcase their talents to the judges with aim of securing another gold for Team GB.
They displayed their abilities to tackle the pommel horse, vault and rings, something viewers were keen to see as the team had won gold at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Knowing the coverage could be cut at any moment, Matt decided to share the warning so fans knew what to expect.
From the commentator’s box, the presenter said: “Great Britain, obviously our eyes are going to be on them.
“We’ll keep you posted with their scores if we don’t see them, as we’re not in control of the feed here. I’ll keep you posted as they go round here.”
Just as Matt had predicted, the coverage was cut within the first half-hour of the event after only two members of Team GB had performed.
These included rings master Joe Fraser and vault extraordinaire, James Hall, with Max’s time on the pommel horse not shown.
Even though the scenes were not broadcast on the BBC, viewers were kept up to date on social media and live blogs of the event.
The men’s gymnastic team managed to make it all the way to the final four of the competition, taking on the likes of Japan for a medal position.
We’ll keep you posted
BBC viewers were not happy, however, with the coverage of the network being cut so short as one wrote: “BBC Olympics coverage has been shockingly bad this year.
“Just talking and showing some clips. That’s no fun. Had to switch to Eurosport’s to be able to see GB Team Live doing the gymnastics,” they continued.
A second remarked: “I want to watch my country and it’s not even on the main broadcasting… anyone know where I can watch?”
“From watching the gymnastics this morning the BBC commentators have said they’re not in control of the coverage coming from Tokyo.. still annoying though,” a third shared.
Fans of Countryfile and The One Show will know Matt as a prominent figure on both programmes.
What they may not know is the television presenter has an interest in the world of gymnastics and often commentates on the competitions.
From a young age, the former Blue Peter star was drawn to the artistic sport but never pursued a career in it.
The father of two said: “The thing is with gymnastics, I honestly believe it gave me everything I have today.”
“It taught me about dedication. It taught me about putting in the hours, and you get a result … It’s something that is really, really special,” Matt added to BBC Sport.
When he was diagnosed with anaemia at the age of 14, the presenter’s parents thought it best he should not compete anymore.
However, he still pursued a sports form in the shape of acrobatics and became a Junior British Champion in the field.
Matt has been a commentator for the past three Olympic Games, including those taking place in Rio and London.
Tokyo Olympics coverage airs weekdays from 5am on BBC One.
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