Five Live Sporting Century vote in the Evening Standard

 by Martin Belam, 2 December 2003

You may have guessed from my paucity of comment about it recently that I am no longer working on the search project within the BBC. I am currently producing / project managing a disparate group of products that I haven't felt comfortable writing about. Until now.

One of the projects I have been working on - the Radio Five Live Sporting Century - made a full-page splash in the Evening Standard today as they managed to blow the embargo on announcing the final results - which were meant to be under wraps until Christmas Day. [I've shrunk the image to reduce the amount of 'spoilers']

Scan of Evening Standard article about the Five Live Sporting Century

In truth it was the Assistant Producer who got much of the difficult work done, since the vote actually launched whilst I was away on holiday, but it feels like a relief to actually be able to write about work again - even if it is only because someone else leaked the details first! The main thrust of the article focussed on something that had vexed us as well - the vote closed on 21st November, the day before England's Rugby World Cup triumph, which consequently doesn't feature in the list.

[added 3/12/03]...of course, I was so concerned about giving away spoilers for the final result I failed to notice the glaring error in the Evening Standard article. we spent a lot of time and effort validating the voting data we received, but one thing I wasn't involved with was an editorial sense check of the results. To be honest, I don't actually know what the final result was.

But I'm sure it wasn't what was printed in the Standard - I think it is unlikely the Great British public voted for their top twenty events in strict alphabetical order. You would have thought even a junior hack at the Standard might sense check that and give the text of the BBC press release another look...

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