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#3: RISHI “I’ll definitely be watching that” PERSAD

Rishi Persad was introduced into the BBC’s horse racing team at some point last year. Ever since, he’s been a somewhat awkward, hapless presence, plunged in amongst a field of ‘sons of’ and ‘daughters of’ and ‘former riders and trainers of’ and desperately trying to look a bit credible, without much success. He always seems to know what he’s talking about, but just seems that touch peripheral or surplus to requirements. However, seeing him on screen is infinitely preferable to seeing, say, Angus Loughran or any of the Channel 4 Racing presenters.

Unfortunately, poor old Rishi’s just been lobbed into a situation that finds him even further out of his depth – co-anchoring the BBC’s Olympic coverage. This afternoon-to-early-evening found him sat, sweating like a bastard, next to Sue Barker in the BBC’s studio in Athens, and looking utterly hopeless. Now, some people can get away with sounding somewhat stilted when reading off autocues. Steve Rider, for instance, sounds exactly the same, all the time, regardless of what he’s saying. You get used to it after a while. Some people can even make a decent fist of sounding like they could give two shits about the table tennis.

Rishi Persad sounds like he’s reading off the autocue. He sounds utterly disconnected from the action, like he’s going entirely on what he read in the David Mellor column of the Evening Standard. He’s just sort of there, reeling off a list of things and occasionally inserting an “I’ll definitely be watching that” as though the man at the other end of his earpiece has told him to. Sue Barker looks a bit sorry for him. You know how she feels. 3/10