Sports awards now celebrity extravaganza

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From: Brian Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

I WOULD like to endorse your Editorial’s comments on BBC Sports Personality of the Year (The Yorkshire Post, December 16). I am not surprised that you found the treatment of Le Grand Départ “patronising” and “sneering” towards Yorkshire. I am a sports fanatic but I have not watched the show since it became a shallow, celebrity-obsessed extravaganza.

I recall my early experiences of sport on TV back in 1954 in the form of Sportsview, an unpretentious round-up of the week’s sport presented by a distinguished-looking gent named Peter Dimmock who was to become a doyen of BBC TV sports broadcasting. I looked forward eagerly to the programme each week, as did my school pals. The year 1954 also saw the first Sportsview Personality of the Year, which was to become BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Modern technology now brings us stunning sports coverage but, for me, it is impossible to recapture the magic of those grainy pictures. The commentaries were more professional in those days because the commentators were, well, professionals: not former tennis or football stars.

From: G Hobbs, Albert Road, Harrogate.

WITH regard to your Editorial column and poll about the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year (The Yorkshire Post, December 16), what do you expect from the bunch of amateurs who made such a ‘pigs ear’ of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee river pageant?

From: Terry Duncan, Graeme Road, Bridlington, East Yorkshire.

WHY do we pay for our TV licence?

I have received this email from our younger son on a business trip to Malaysia: “Just letting you know I landed OK and am now in the lap of luxury at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Kuala Lampur. It is 3am where you are as I write this. We have lost a day basically. Weather is very hot and humid. Horrible. So am staying in my room watching the BBC.”

Interestingly, the BBC website is full of advertising to every country bar the UK. So I have no idea, considering that global revenue, why we have to pay them £145.50 a year.

Massacre of
our language

From: John Watson, Hutton Hill, Leyburn.

ONE of the worst abuses of the English language in this 21st century is the use of the word “guys” as a collective noun for both men and women.

I agree with Andrew Vine (The Yorkshire Post, December 16) who calls it lunacy. I would never even consider using that word when addressing my friends and acquaintances and I would be insulted if I was spoken to in the same vein. Our language as it appears in the Oxford Dictionary is being massacred and I suspect it is owing to some form of political correctness.

From: Jack Brown, Lamb Lane, Monk Bretton, Barnsley.

AS intelligence is inextricably linked to language, less language equals less intelligence. The restaurant car and guard and driver accommodations are train stations; a railway station is a point of arrival or departure by, or service of, a train. Within the same jargon, Americans lose fine distinction (limit their intelligence) by using the word “track” for both “platform” and “line”.

These solecisms are relatively trivial. Use of the verb “to bring” for “to take” is rather more limiting. Fortunately – if Channel 5 USA is anything to go by – American dialect is losing usage to English as mid-Atlantic culture develops.

Englishmen who would take us in the opposite direction are linguistically deprived.

Winterland
a shambles

From: Chris Mann, Sheffield.

ALONG with my family, I was one of the unfortunate visitors to “Yorkshire’s Magical Winterland” in Harrogate (The Yorkshire Post, December 13). We made the trip from Sheffield, expecting a day which would begin the Christmas theme.

The event was a shambles and I really felt sorry for the genuine exhibitors, who seemed to have been hidden away.

The poor reindeer brought a certain aroma which seemed to sum up the whole scenario.

It looks as though the directors of Arlecchino Events Limited are instructing insolvency practitioners to put the firm to sleep. Let’s just hope they don’t 
re-invent themselves any time soon.

What a shameful way to end the year in Yorkshire, particularly following on 
from the tremendous success of the Tour de France, and 
that truly magical weekend in July.

From: David F Chambers, Sladeburn Drive, Northallerton.

AS is customary at this time of the year, I return to the subject of Leroy Anderson’s popular novelty number Sleigh Ride, still among the favourites.

The arrangement is jolly – jingle bells, whip-cracking and so on, but a sleigh ride is no fun unless there is a decent covering of snow.

That being so, the featured sharp “clip-clop” of the horses’ hooves (coconut shells) is totally out of place, and should be replaced with “plod-plod” or even “splodge-splodge”.

I am sure any devoted sleigh rider would support me in this, but I couldn’t find one.