Rob Walker, master of ceremonies at all BBC snooker events, will replace Ray Stubbs as the corporation's face of darts.

Walker makes his debut at the World Masters this weekend and will also present coverage of the Lakeside World Championship in January.

Stubbs jumped ship to join ESPN after it won live rights to Premier League football games.

Walker will also be part of the BBC team at next February's Winter Olympics and must surely be favourite to replace Stubbs on the BBC snooker output as well, although whether he could MC in such a scenario remains to be seen.


Anonymous said...

"must surely be favourite to replace Stubbs on the BBC snooker output as well,"

hope to dear god youre wrong.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

It's also good to note, that the BBC have extended their contract with World Championship Dart's - of the BDO kind - staying on the Beeb until at least 2013. This will also give hope to extending Snooker contract's at the BBC.

I have no absolutely nothing about Rob Walker, so I can only say, how the hell did he manage to get this position. He doesn't seem to do Snooker commentary all that well on 110 and I've seen his 'jovial' personality on some channel 4 show to do with the Olympics. What kind of CV does he hold to sway people to take him on. At least Stubbs was an ex-sportsman.

Just a final point on the ITV inroad to Snooker, Dave. Going back a decade it seems funny now that, the matches had to shoe-horned in to a 3 hour finish. All to get the Children's schedule in.

Now there isn't a schedule for the kids, there's more ITV channels (and an ITV+1 to come very soon,) and just think if the 6 red Snooker had been around then...it would've made a perfect tournament for a short-scheduling space and advertising.

What a shame.

Thanks, Joe

Greg said...

Rob Walker, Master of Cringes.

Dave H said...

Rob's primarily a broadcaster, just as Ray was primarily a producer before moving in front of the cameras.

celt147 said...

Hmmmm, the BBC very recently updated this page about their snooker coverage for the 2009/2010 season: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/snooker/6129894.stm

It says that Richie Persad will partner Hazel, this would seem more plausable. I too don't have a huge problem with Rob Walker either, but once you just see him at the intro's to the matches and maybe the odd interview, any more can be overkill. :-)

As with the football, Ray will be missed in the Snooker and Darts world.


Anonymous said...

on another matter dave now that the BBC has despensed with Clive's services is he going to join you as part of Eurosport comentary team ?

George said...

God Dave, I hope you are wrong about him replacing Ray Stubbs on the Snooker team. Thats just a surefire way for ratings to plummet further.

Anonymous said...

Let's get the boys to the board!!!

I read earlier in the week that Rob Walker was fronting this weekends World Masters Darts on the BBC. I think he'll make a good team alongside Bobby George.

I wasn't a big fan of Ray Stubbs so have been happy the last couple of seasons that the face of BBC Bowls Rishi Persad has joined the taem covering for Ray and Hazel Irvine. I was rather hoping that it would of been him at the helm of the covearge this season with Hazel.

While the British Darts Organization received good news earlier in the week from the BBC surrounding covearge of the Lakeside World Championship, the World Bowls Tour learnt they were dropping the International Open from the schedules, the second biggest event of the year. As a result there will be only three world ranking events to be played, the Scottish Open in November, the World Championship in January and the Welsh Open in February. Only one will receive national TV covearge of the latter stages.

Snooker is in a poor state with only six world ranking events this season, two of which are in China, let's hope we don't end up down the same road as the Bowls. After all only 20 years ago Bowls received as much covearge on the BBC as Snooker...

Anonymous said...

I hope the darts players eat him for breakfast. An absolutely shocking appointment, almost as bad as Colin Jackson on the athletics.That Rishi bloke is poor as well.

Mat Wilson

Anonymous said...

Walker will be abominably awful at presenting the snooker, and it will be an insult to the sport when he starts presenting it, which seems depressingly inevitable at some stage.

However, the standard of BBC's coverage has become so awful in recent years anyway, with all its forced jokiness, and Hazel Irvine's apparent difficulty in getting through a sentence without laughing for no reason, that it won't make a great deal of difference at this stage who they get.

Anonymous said...

It isn't just Hazel Irvine's forced joviality, it's every sports programme on the BBC. John Inverdale is the only one I can abide. Walker is more suited to 'Sunday Night at the London Palladium' than BBC sport.

Anonymous said...

"forced joviality" - well put. That hits the nail on the head as to why I find so many BBC presenters so annoying!

Anonymous said...

I watched Walker at the Olympics last year, he was covering the sailing and yachting and so on. I expected him to be like a fish out of water, pardon the pun, and that his over-exuberant style simply would not work in what should be an under-stated correspondent's role. To be fair to the bloke, I thought he did well. He played it straight, was perfectly restrained, and was just what you would expect from a typical BBC roving reporter/presenter. If the job is his, at least give him a chance before condemning him.

jamie brannon said...

Ray Stubbs was never an ex player he was rejected by Tranmere. Walker has the right personality for Darts, but I would question whether he can replicate the chemistry that George and Stubbs had. The International Open decision was a poor one, I think it was snobbery on behalf of the BBC. Persad is favourite surely as Walker is a snooker mc so how could he?

Dave H said...

I was thinking about the presenters the BBC have had over the years

These are the ones I can remember (just about):

Alan Weeks (Pot Black)
David Vine
David Icke
Tony Gubba
Eamonn Holmes
Dougie Donnelly
Hazel Irvine
Garry Richardson
Matt Smith
Jane Hoffen
Ray Stubbs
Rishi Persad

plus Steve Davis and JP have done a bit of presenting

Anonymous said...

Snooker The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared.
Dear Dave
It is a sad state of affairs that with so much unemployment and youngsters homeless with snooker clubs closing down that we can’t find a snooker buff to fill such an attractive job in sport.

There are so many eligible "Snooker People" that should be tried out; like Phil Yates to mention just one, a stanch snooker man: but Phil may not have the approval of the clique in Hazels Corner.

The BBC is wrong Dave to crowd Hazel’s corner with only World Champions. Mr Ebden would probable have been next except for the gambling “Faux Pas”

Big John and Steve have held that prime job only on the strength of the past Tobacco and BBC money. The exact same patter on coaching has been said to the present youngsters, there dads and there granddads; almost word for ward, using the “Watch Me” and I’ll show you again method.

It was time for Clive to go as well Dave. Nothing has changed in snooker for almost one hundred years. It was the great man Albert Einstein that said: To do the same thing repeatedly and expect change is a sign of madness. Mr hey you.

Dave H said...

'It was the great man Albert Einstein that said: To do the same thing repeatedly and expect change is a sign of madness.'

The irony of this statement is almost beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I'll give it a couple of year's of whoever the BBC throw into the mix.

If the contract gets extended, Colin Murray will take over the reigns....eventually.

Anonymous said...

Dougie Donnelly was different class but for some reason he was dropped. Then again, it was probably for the same reason the BBC gave G.Logan the final score slot!

Anonymous said...

After making 3 centuries in a row at the opening match of the Premier snooker league on Thursday night, Ronnie O'Sullivan was at the finale of Big Brother last night, giving his views on the channel four reality show.

He compared one of the contestants (David) to Mark King.

Anonymous said...

O'Sullivan at Big Brother, lowest common denominator television. Why does 6-red snooker spring to mind?

Mat Wilson

Anonymous said...

come on people -be fair -let's give Rob a chance -he just might have the right personality to bring snooker forward TV wise

Claus Christensen said...

Dave's last comment, if I take it correctly, is very funny indeed!

Nice one.

Anonymous said...

I think they should give mr hey you a stab at presenting, he has to be a match for Hazel.

Dougie was by far and away the best, isn't he working in America now? I'd like them to give Richi a chance, he seems like a decent enough bloke and seems keen to learn.

And leave Rob alone, he's ace.

Anonymous said...

"O'Sullivan at Big Brother, lowest common denominator television. Why does 6-red snooker spring to mind?"

that said it all Ronnie would rather be at Big Brother than any super six rubbish.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad someone (nay, two people) have mentioned the BBC axing their coverage of the International Open bowls event, for the sake of putting on an extra two days at Potters.

This could have serious ramifications for the World Bowls Tour – they have precious few events as it is and the suspension of the second-biggest tournament is a disaster. They have difficulty attracting coverage and sponsorship as it is, and this could be a real hammer blow.

And the players get little enough opportunity to pick up some decent prize money from their sport and I bet they are raging about this decision.

Meredith(GTBJ) said...

I can't stand Darts but I happened to see Walker on it this weekend and wondered if he ditched Snooker for the sport. Glad to hear he's sticking around for Snooker as his style is positive to say the least. Can't imagine feeling ready for Snooker matches with a monotone and completely boring announcer.