Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Avalanche of complaints for Aimee Fuller: Northern Ireland snowboarder's commentary whoops up storm at BBC

Northern Ireland snowboarder Aimee Fuller losing it over Jenny Jones'  snowboarding medal win
Northern Ireland snowboarder Aimee Fuller losing it over Jenny Jones' snowboarding medal win

A Northern Ireland snowboarder's whoops of delight in the commentary box as her friend won a bronze medal at Sochi has led to more than 300 complaints from BBC viewers.

Aimee Fuller admitted that "we all crumbled and let the emotions run wild".

Aimee may not have made it through to the snowboarding final after a nasty fall –but she certainly left her mark on the event.

The 22-year-old Co Down-based Englishwoman joined BBC commentators, Ed Leigh and Tim Warwood as Jenny Jones took part in the slopestyle finale.

As Jones took off, jumped, spun and slid to Britain's first medal on snow, the heart-on-sleeve TV commentary from the trio ratcheted up in tempo and volume.

Clearly 'stoked' by Jones' bronze-winning performance, their infectious enthusiasm got the better of them .

Aimee screamed and whooped "go on the Jones" after she went into a gold medal position.

"I can feel my pulse in my lower intestine," Leigh said further into the run. That was met by the response: "That's not your pulse, Leigh."

Aimee was also heard to take delight in snowboarder Anna Gasser having a bad landing, because it ensured a medal for her friend. She acknowledged that she should not have shown her partiality by asking: "Are we supposed to do that? Probably not."

There were also tears among the commentary team, with Warwood telling viewers: "You can cry Aimee, it's all right. Both Ed and Aimee crying – and now I'm going. All professionalism going straight out the window here." And hundreds of irate viewers agreed – by yesterday afternoon there had been 303 complaints, although the BBC pointed out it received 53 messages praising the coverage of the Olympics so far.

A spokeswoman said: "This was a truly historic occasion for Team GB and the commentary team were understandably very excited, however we acknowledge that on occasion this excitement got the better of them and this is something that we will work on for future events."

After the complaints, Aimee admitted she had got carried away.

"We had some crazy responses from the commentary. It went off in that booth and I can honestly say that was an emotional, crazy rollercoaster," she told Metro.

Despite the complaints, others warmed to the style. Matt Majendie of the London Evening Standard said they "have proved a breath of fresh air".

Online snowboard magazine Whitelines also defended the trio.

"We at Whitelines would like to go on record to say that the commentary from these guys was part of what made the Olympic slopestyle so special for us," it said. The historic medal win attracted a peak audience of 3.1 million viewers.

QUOTES

"That was a grab, I thought it was more of a tickle."

"If he was any smoother he would melt."

"She has a smile that could hatch eggs."

"She's got a face that could help bread rise."

"Look at the stomp on that."

BBC commentators Ed Leigh and Tim Warwood

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