Belfast Telegraph

Sue Barker shows little bite with Andy Murray

By Billy Weir

You knew it was going to be a big-hitting show when Andy Murray – The Man Behind The Racquet, began with some of tennis' greats popping up on screen.

Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Kevin Spacey and Tim Henman all appeared, one of them playing the odd man out role perfectly. Tim was never a great player ...

But his opening greeting on the Beeb's pre-Wimbledon tasting menu was apt as he revealed that Andy's decision to bawl after losing the final last year was the catalyst for a change in public perception.

"Wow, he has got a heart, he is a sensitive soul," explained Tim. Certainly it's better than belting a ball girl around the lug but we've glossed over that, although there were some startling revelations to come.

Under interrogation from Sue Barker, a bit like being savaged by a sheep, Murray admitted that he'd stolen sweets from a newsagents and that his nickname as a child was Bam Bam, of Flintstones fame, because he 'used to get so angry and kept bashing things around.'

There were other much more serious and important issues to deal with, the Dunblane massacre showing Murray shedding real tears for something that really matters, not hitting a silly ball over a net.

It was great TV but how you wished for John Inverdale or a journalist to be on the sofa beside him and not Sue who couldn't get out of there quickly enough.

She was more in her element asking inane questions and stroking his dog before they all went on a jolly walk together, but thankfully the Beeb's other documentary about the Williams' sisters wasn't hampered by fears of rocking the boat.

Venus and Serena was a warts and all, behind the scenes look at the lives of the sibling rivals, deeply disturbing at times, but compelling viewing, and it was what wasn't said rather than what was that made it so good.

So for all the hyperbole that will fly around SW19 for the rest of the tournament, and while Sue and co mourned the passing of Nadal on Monday he perfectly encapsulated what had happened – he had lost a tennis match.

Belfast Telegraph


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