OUT WITH THE SUITS AS 5 FINDS RIGHT MIX

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE RESULTS - By John Lyons

IT’S taken a cou­ple of years but, whis­per it qui­etly, Chan­nel 5 may fi­nally have stum­bled on to the right way to show their EFL high­lights. A cou­ple of years ago, its Foot­ball League

Tonight took the ba­ton from the BBC’s Manish Bhasin-led Foot­ball League Show.

There was pos­i­tiv­ity be­cause the former were go­ing to put on the high­lights at 9pm, while the Beeb could only find a late-night slot af­ter Match Of The Day.

How­ever, Chan­nel 5’s pro­gramme was panned by the crit­ics. Hosted by Ge­orge Ri­ley and Kelly Cates, it tried to be in­no­va­tive by hav­ing a live stu­dio au­di­ence and a vari­able run­ning or­der be­tween di­vi­sions, de­pend­ing on what hap­pened dur­ing the day.

But it was heav­ily crit­i­cised for be­ing con­fus­ing and, some said, am­a­teur­ish.With view­ing fig­ures fail­ing to get any­where near the BBC’s, the show was quickly re­vamped.

Out went the stu­dio au­di­ence and a more regular run­ning or­der, ie: Cham­pi­onship, then League One and Two, re­turned.

Ri­ley and Cates sat on a sofa with two pun­dits, or a pun­dit and a player or man­ager, and gath­ered their opin­ions of the day’s event.

That for­mat con­tin­ued last sea­son, though Lynsey Hip­grave re­placed Cates.The pro­gramme was wor­thy, if dull.

Now for sea­son three, Chan­nel 5 have re­jigged it again.This time,Colin Mur­ray has been brought in to host it on his own.

In­stead of be­ing a sofa spe­cial, it’s be­come a bit more magazine style. Mur­ray is one of those pre­sen­ters that peo­ple tend to ei­ther love or hate, but you can’t crit­i­cise him for a lack of en­thu­si­asm.

The cam­eras showed him at Ful­ham v Nor­wich on open­ing day, plus he in­ter­viewed

Point­less star and Whites fan Richard Os­man at the game. He then re­turned to the stu­dio, where he teamed up with pun­dit Michael Gray. Greater use was made of the video screen to show high­lights while Mur­ray and Gray talked about the games. It worked well.

I’m not usu­ally a fan of Gray – or his at­tire – but the fact there was just one pun­dit al­lowed him more time to make his points and show his knowl­edge.

Go­ing with two pun­dits, as in the past, cuts down their talk­ing time and you of­ten end up with bland com­ments about ‘the man­ager de­serves that vic­tory be­cause he’s a great guy and works re­ally hard’.

Get­ting a cou­ple of fans’ views also added to the show and, cru­cially, did not take up too much time. Af­ter all, ev­ery­one wants to see the ac­tion and goals.

Suits are clearly now out, jumpers are in and the show’s got a more in­for­mal, busier edge to it.

Foot­ball on 5:The Cham­pi­onship and Foot­ball on 5: Goal Rush, as they’re now known, look in good nick.

HOST: Foot­ball on 5’s Colin Mur­ray

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