Tim Henman loses - D-Day coverage saved!

 by Martin Belam, 5 June 2004

There were astonishing scenes in Bush House today during Tim Henman's losing semi-final performance at Roland Garros in The French Open. Whilst the rest of the country that was interested in tennis may have been supporting "our plucky Tim", within my office a cheer went up when he lost.

This may have something to do with the fact that on Friday we bed down exactly what is going to appear on the bbc.co.uk homepage and a lot of ancillary pages (the TV page, the BBC One page, the BBC Two page etc) over the weekend.

Tim reaching the final was going to give us a headache - not least because it was hard to second guess what the TV schedulers would do. Bearing in mind the plethora of news stories today about people failing to show proper respect to the D-Day anniversary, can you imagine the fuss if the BBC had been forced to either reschedule its D-Day coverage, or failed to show Tim's final?

I'll be doing something to remember D-Day this weekend anyway. My gran is currently being visited by her friend Joyce. Joyce has lived in Canada since 1946, but has known my gran since they were both 4 - that's a mind-boggling friendship lasting 76 years. On Sunday I am giving NotCon a skip in order to visit them whilst they are together to record their joint memories for the People's War project at the BBC.

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