Cycling on TV is sorely lacking. ITV4 have fantastically covered cycle races from the UK tour series to The Tour this year but it’s all road racing, exciting as this is there is nothing for the enthusiast up until now…..
ITV4 and Century television have bravely embarked on an 8 show series off the back of the recent Tour de France coverage. The first episode was on Monday and it is now available on ITV player hosted by Graham Little.
It is sponsored by the giant mail order bike company Chain Reaction Cycles which to be honest is fine. A new show like this needs funding from somewhere and as long as it’s not in your face I don’t mind.
The show is modelled on a magazine ‘top gear’ style show with features, chat and regular items to keep things flowing along.
It is based in London cycle café – ‘Look Mum No Hands’ a regular haunt of mine a year or so back when Pozzoni’s London office was almost next door on Old Street.
The first show obviously started with some post Tour Bradley hype but the euphoria of the win made the café so noisy it was obvious the guests and production crew were struggling. I am sure they will sort this out on the next show.
First Guest was Nigel Mansell, now turned cyclist and supporting Team UK Youth. I’d forgotten quite how monotone he was and it’s a shame the interviewer didn’t give a little more context and introduce UK Youth a bit more. He seemed a bit shell shocked to be interviewing such a famous celeb! Graham Obree was also on the sofa. I know who he is, but any non-cycle fans would not have a clue and he was not properly introduced.
We then had a piece on Box hill, where the Olympic road race will be held next week, which was OK but I’m not sure where it was being pitched. Not enough detail for the cycle race fan and not enough background for the novice.
Next guest was the ‘inventor’ of the mountain bike, the crazy Gary Fisher who lived up to his name. Again I know who he is but he needed more of an introduction.
There was a slightly patronising how to cycle in the city bit which was actually pitched OK for beginners but tried to cover too much and was at odds with the rest of the show.
More chat with no real direction and then they finished with a great roller race between the two guests which was fun and I am sure this will turn into a top gear style star in a reasonably priced car type leader board.
Overall it was a good effort but I felt struggled with its level of pitch, they tried to cram too much in and the balance of chat to feature leant too much to the chat .
I’ve set the PVR to record the whole series and look forward to the next ones, although I hope they have taken on board some of the criticism flying around on the various social media and well used forums.
Its worth a watch – support it, help it or lose it!
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