Belfast Telegraph

Billy on the Box: Our Sue's guide to Wimbledon and all others parts of the globe

Unless you have been buried in a gigantic punnet of strawberries, you will probably have noticed that Wimbledon is on and across the land white plimsolls and old tennis bats have been dug out from lofts and sheds.

This means quite a lot of exposure to Sue Barker - not something anyone should relish - and, as if two weeks of her wasn't enough, she was there before a ball was thwacked in anger or anyone had a chance to pull out injured.

'Sue Barker - Our Wimbledon' was a feature-length documentary on, yep, you guessed it, Wombles, John Fashanu and greyhounds. Oh, okay then, it was about the tennis.

"It has a history as tightly packed with stories as these courts are with blades of grass," she told us.

"The richness of colour, you know immediately where you are," she added, that and the big sign with 'Wimbledon' written on it adorned with two giant racquets.

We weren't there for long, Sue was off around the globe to catch up with some of the legendary names or, as she justified it, 'I'm going to meet some of the greats of tennis to see if they feel the same way I do' as she set off like a slightly more tanned version of Judith Chalmers.

Rod Laver, Billie Jean King, Virginia Wade, Bjorn Borg, the Duchess of Cambridge, the big names kept coming and Sue kept going but strangely there was barely a mention of two Wimbledon icons, Steffi Graf for her many wins and Pat Cash for the most iconic moment ever at SW19.

Serena Williams was also just a re-hash of old footage but, on that subject, who cares as we got to see John McEnroe at his best/worst and who doesn't feel all warm and gooey when he bellows 'you guys are the pits of the world'? Still, at least he doesn't say anything naughty now…

Highlight of the show was Chris Evert reminiscing about Sue's time with Keith - not Cliff - Richard and Boris Becker's moan on Centre Court that 'if you win out here you lose your privacy.' Just don't be hiding in a cupboard, Boris.

"For me, making this film has been far more than any professional assignment, from kissing the champions to sitting with my idols, I have laughed and cried," although not as much as the BBC when they see her expenses bill.

Belfast Telegraph


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