BBC launches record breaking Olympic coverage for London 2012
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
May 15 - The BBC has launched its coverage of this summer's Olympics here on the site where, 104 years ago, the first Games in London were held.
Among the leading names who will be fronting the BBC's coverage of the Games are Britain's 1988 Olympic 110 metres hurdles silver medallist Colin Jackson and American quadruple Olympic gold medallist Michael Johnson.
It is the 15th Games the BBC will have covered, dating back to the last Olympics in London in 1948.
Approximately 2,500 hours of live Olympic action will be screened on the BBC, with footage available on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC HD, BBC One HD and on the BBC Red Button around the clock.
As part of its coverage, the BBC is launching Radio 5 live Olympics extra, a brand new 24-hour radio station devoted to delivering extra coverage of the Games.
The BBC will provide a record number of broadcast hours for a sports event, and, as well as Jackson and Johnson, its pundits will include a range of British Olympians, such as sprinter and Sydney 2000 400m bronze medallist Katharine Merry, double gold medal winning rower James Cracknell (pictured below) and Darren Campbell, a member of the British squad that won the 4x100m relay at Athens in 2004.
Veteran news reader Huw Edwards will be joined by Hazel Irvine and Trevor Nelson for the Opening Ceremony of London 2012 on July 27 in the Olympic Stadium.
Irvine will also join the BBC One breakfast team, while former England striker Gary Lineker, Gabby Logan, Clare Balding, Jonathan Edwards and John Inverdale will be among the presenters.
Another of the presenters, the BBC's face of Formula One Jake Humphrey, told insidethegames: "It is completely by luck that we have had the chance to work on the biggest Olympics in our lifetime.
"Being given the opportunity to work on the Games, coinciding with it being in London...we've schlepped around to various Olympics, but it is simply the fact this is in London, that is what I am most excited about."
The BBC is also scheduling a host of Olympic and London related programming in the build up to and during London 2012.
This will include a portrait of Jamaican 100 metres sensation Usain Bolt, Olympics Most Amazing Moments and a three part series called British Olympic Dreams.
"The London 2012 Olympic Games is likely to be the biggest sporting event in the United Kingdom in our lifetimes and the BBC's coverage will ensure that our audiences never miss a moment," said Roger Mosey, the BBC's London 2012 director.
"As the nation's broadcaster we are committed to ensuring that viewers get the most from their Olympic experience and our comprehensive coverage will deliver on that promise.
"Alongside our sport offering, our news services will be providing impartial news coverage on all the big Olympic stories for the duration of the Games."
"BBC has a history of innovation," added BBC Sport director Barbara Slater, herself a former gymnast who competed for Britain at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.
"In 2004 in Athens it was the first interactive Games, in Beijing the first HD Games and 2012 will be the most comprehensive coverage ever of an Olympic Games.
"We will be covering every session of every sport of every venue."