Out? BBC’s Today At Wimbledon tennis highlights programme ‘faces the axe this summer’ for the first time in 60 years
- BBC bosses may cancel the show due to rising number of late-running matches
- The long-running programme first hit TV screens in 1964 before a 1990 rebrand
It has been a mainstay of the BBC’s daily Wimbledon tennis coverage for decades, beaming all the thrills and upsets of play at SW19 to fans at home.
But the broadcaster is reportedly considering axing its popular Today at Wimbledon highlights programme from its schedule this summer for the first time in 60 years.
Corporation bosses may cancel the daily show due to the rising number of late-running matches during the Grand Slam tournament, the Times newspaper reported last night.
The long-running programme, which has been hosted by Clare Balding since 2015, first hit TV screens in 1964 as Wimbledon: Match of the Day, before being rebranded as Today at Wimbledon in 1990.
It was first presented by Jack Kramer on BBC Two, before moving to BBC One in 1984 with Des Lynam and Gerald Williams at the helm.
The long-running programme, which has been hosted by Clare Balding since 2015, first hit TV screens in 1964 as Wimbledon: Match of the Day, before being rebranded as Today at Wimbledon in 1990
It switched back to BBC Two in 1997. In recent years, the programme has routinely been axed or shortened due to matches running late into the evening on Centre Court and No 1 Court.
In the first year of last year’s championships, just two full-length programmes were broadcast.
BBC bosses are now reported to have decided a set highlights slot is no longer viable.
Going forward, if the live action has finished before the main coverage is set to end, a short round-up with some footage and analysis could be shown, with longer highlight clips available online.
In 2015, the broadcaster was forced to ditch a disastrous rebrand of the daily highlights show to Wimbledon 2day after fans blasted its change of location to the Gatsby Club, a private members club in Wimbledon, in south-west London.
The rebrand saw Clare Balding speak about the day’s play from a bar stool in an informal chat-show style format that failed to win over viewers.
After a week, the show returned to its traditional format and the studio moved back on site.
A BBC spokeswoman said: ‘We are not cancelling the highlights programme. Our full broadcast plans will be revealed in due course.’