Brief mention for TdF triggers Beeb backlash

Gabby Logan presents Sports Personality of the Year
Gabby Logan presents Sports Personality of the Year
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THE BBC has come under fire for the way it covered Yorkshire’s hosting of the Tour de France in its Sports Personality of the Year programme.

Despite being one of the biggest sporting events to be held in the UK this year, the BBC thought it was only worth devoting around one minute of its two-and-a-half hour review of the sporting year to the Tour.

And it was not just the limited time given to the event, which saw thousands of people line the streets of Leeds in July, that led to criticism of the BBC yesterday.

The hosting of the Grand Depart was shown in a video package featuring the Last of the Summer Wine theme, images of grazing sheep and ended with the caption “by ‘eck it were good” triggering accusations that the corporation was indulging in outdated Yorkshire stereotypes.

The brief segment ended with Leeds-born presenter Gabby Logan saying “by ‘eck it certainly was, Dickie” to former cricket umpire Harold “Dickie” Bird.

Tom Bridges, chief economic development officer at Leeds City Council, wrote on Twitter: “World’s largest annual sporting event comes to UK. BBC features it for less than 2 mins on #SPOTY & perpetuate patronising view of Yorkshire.”

He was not alone in his criticsm.

Greg Marah, from Huddersfield, wrote: “What a terrible and stereotypical segment on the tour de Yorkshire.”

Graham Lake, from Otley, said: “Blinked and missed the Tour de France bit. You know, that little bike race in the summer?”

The Harrogate Preserves Company said: “Oh #spoty that’s it then for Le Tour Yorkshire? Could the footage be any shorter?!”

A BBC spokesman said: “With such a huge amount of events happening in 2014, and centre stage always given to the nominees and awards, it inevitably means that other events may be covered in a shorter time to fit everything from this great sporting year in.”