He may know his stuff when it comes to AFL but he is severely lacking in knowledge when it comes to other sport. It was clear to me he was just winging it through much of the Olympics coverage and his desire to engage with the audience and co-hosts was half hearted.
Bruce McAvaney has a unique presenting style and is heavily associated with AFL but he’s lauded for his knowledge and ability to engage viewers in the excitement of whatever his is hosting or commentating on. Bruce is a national treasure, a doyen of sports commentary and hosting, Hamish would struggle to bring excitement to a three way dead heat.
It’d be good to see him in the studio again, but of course his craft which we all love is calling, namely athletics, which viewers across the country loved last year when the second week hit.
We did see Bruce step aside from calling for some time and jump into the studio to host, at least at the tennis during mid-late 2000s, where John Alexander and Jim Courier were their chosen A-team so to speak, but it didn’t really work, viewers want him calling and they responded putting him back in the bunker by 2011.
So if no Bruce or Hamish and I’m certain they wouldn’t put Gelmi by herself in such a coveted gig, I wonder who else could helm prime time for their major network sports? Why not put Griggs back there, who essentially took over from what Matt White was doing when he went to TT. She seemed to have fallen out of favour with executives around 2013, though that might be harsh, from memory I think it was regular House Rules filming clashes but wasn’t selected as a host at Rio 2016 for the first time since Sydney I think and once Worner left and Warburton returned she’s been much more prominent on their major sports again.
Not sure I’d use Bigfooty as a sole guide, but sure, you do see comments from time to time criticising him.
But, in comparison to JB, BT and Darcy, not even close, they’re regularly belted on a daily basis by the public. But then you get those who like one or all three of those as well.
Same for Hamish I guess, probably those that enjoy his work, those that hate it and those that are neither strongly for or against.
Like NewsWeary alluded to, probably just goes to show what a unique position Bruce finds himself, universally liked nationwide with little criticism (though he was copping some criticism in his final years doing the AFL especially once Dennis Cometti left - in hindsight perhaps a good decision by Seven not just reducing workload and ‘protecting’ the great man and his health - but saving him for major events and seemed to work a treat at Tokyo).
That remains a bad decision. Whateley would have been the perfect successor to McAvaney - especially considering he’s ideally suited for Seven’s portfolio of sports rights.
Disagree with that considering (as others have touched upon) Seven has other people who are/would be better ‘big event’ sports presenters than Mclachlan. It’s just for some strange reason they keep thinking he’s the next McAvaney when he’s nowhere close to polishing his shoes.
Look that’s fair, they go hard at all the commentators on Bigfooty.
My point/ question though was that I’ve personally never seen or read anything that would suggest Victorians had generally embraced him or even accepted him and was wondering if that was accurate or not from afar. It can be hard to tell when you don’t live there.
Seven should be pushing Matt Shirvington to be front and centre of their sports coverage. He has the charisma, knowledge, experience of competing and above all personality in the role compared to Hamish.
The fact that they’re trying to shove Hamish down our throats for sports whilst throwing Shirvington on Sunrise says a lot about Seven and their priorities. AKA it’s all wrong.
Was his role to replace Hamish at the network though? Thought Tim Worner wanted him to replace Bruce on Friday night AFL alongside BT (or I believe an initial article said)? And why Warburton didn’t see it though (or maybe Whateley for some reason didn’t like Warburton) is beyond anyone.
Probably about the long game though - sticking him overnight this time but on what will be the flagship evening sessions is a good way for him to hone his skills for a higher profile slot in the future.
Of course the time differences come into play too - presumably Seven usually stick their flagship hosts in primetime whatever time that is in the host city. Paris 2024 wil be a near identical timeslot to the Commonwealth Games so the evening sessions will be overnight Aussie time, and then I think if I’m working out my time differences right (from the UK) for LA 2028 their evening sessions are in the afternoon Aussie time - though of course LA will be scheduled more for the NY audience than the LA audience! Heck they’ll be lucky if NBC don’t show it in the host city on a three hour delay.
He’s a terrible live and ad-lib anchor, still stuggles today even though he’s been on TV for more than 15 years across two networks, just last night struggled through post game crossing to a press conference “we’re, um, ah, now um, going to take you over to, arr, the coach of the Carlton Football Club Brett Ratten… Oh, sorry, well he was previously the coach”. [Their coach is currently Michael Voss and have had three prior coaches to him]
However, I do have to say, don’t know what it was or how he did it (better producers/prep/coaching/Griggs mentoring herself), but he actually did rather well (although wirh an autocue and co-anchor) at last year’s Tokyo Olympics.
To be fair, Warburton needed to make those cuts and has since been credited for it, leading the network to a winning resurgence over 2020, 2021 and this year.
And as much as I admire Whateley and agree he would’ve been great, ‘takes two to tango’, yes we don’t know the private negotiations, but can’t imagine he shouldn’t cop at least a little criticism for seemingly walking away at a flash.