Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Podcast Review - World Football (BBC)

Subscribing to this podcast gets you two podcasts for the price of one. The first, the World Football Program, which is originally broadcast on the World Service is presented by Alan Green. Now I hate Alan Green - his pompous level challeneges Andy Gray's at the best of times - but loathe as I am to admit it, he's very good on this. His knowledge as passion for the game come through as he links interviews and reports on diverse subjects - it genuinely is a World Football Show, with it's reports coming from BBC reporters based across the globe. It's perhaps a little on the dry side, but very interesting, and refreshing to get a much more global perspective, especially with the incredibly English-centric media in this country.

The second part of the podcast is edited highlights from the World Football Phone in, which is broadcast in the middle of the night on Radio 5 Live. Now, being in the middle of the night limits the audience somewhat, so listen for more than a couple of episodes and you'll start to become familiar with the listeners. It can be an aquired taste - such regular contact between presenter and listener allows them to build up more of a relationship than perhaps a "normal" football phone in would allow, and personally I find the in-jokes and the nicknames they have for each other cringeworthy, but move beyond that and it can be a very interesting broadcast.

With it being listener driven, by questions asked to the pundits by either phone or email, the quality depends on what's being asked this week, but there is no denying the pundits know their stuff. Stand-out pundit is Tim Vickery (the Vikipedia), representing South American football, and this man's knowledge is vast. Other pundits cover Australasian football, European Football, African Football, and there are two or three pundits each week. Many of the questions are centred on reports of players who may be heading to the UK to ply their trade, but there is also a variety similar to the other part of the podcast. I've only ever listened to the 40 or so minutes highlights show, I've never considered staying up to listen to it live, but if you want to keep up with more of what's going on in the world, it's a very worthwhile listen.

1 comment:

Jonathan @ Just-Football said...

For me the World Football phone-in is probably the best football podcast out there. Varied, interesting, and a break from the humdrum 'the Premier League is everything' norm. By and large the guests are also incredibly clued up as you point out.

I look forward to reading more of FootballWatcher :-)