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Saturday, August 04, 2012

Why the Olympics on TV is making us cry

The truest thing I ever heard about TV came from a senior broadcasting executive. TV, he told me, is all about the human face going through a moment of disclosure.

It's obviously the case with the traditional TV favourites. From Mastermind to The X-Factor, the camera is ravenous for the face of a person undergoing triumph or disaster. All successful TV formats revolve around a basic money shot like this.

The interesting thing is it's also the case with televised sport. Match Of The Day is nothing without the close-ups of the player who's either scored or missed. The action is great in its own way but the drama comes from the narrative and the narrative depends on the close-up.

Jude Rogers has been at the rowing today and she reports it was exciting. I've been watching it on the telly box and the temptation to cry has been almost irresistible. That's what telly wants you to do.