Big, unexpected news out of the BBC on Friday when, in an illuminatingly terse email, staff were informed that Radio 5 Live Sport editor Mike Carr had left the building.
Executioner-in-chief Carr was heavily involved in the ludicrous dumbing down of content as part of an obsession with targeting a younger audience, leading to the departures of Cornelius Lysaght, Mark Pougatch and the failure to revive Sportsweek after the exit of Garry Richardson.
Head of radio and digital Ben Gallop said Carr was leaving to ‘pursue an opportunity outside the BBC’ and that to ‘avoid any potential conflict of interest we have agreed that it is best for Mike to leave with immediate effect’.
BBC staff were informed on Friday that Radio 5 Live Sport editor Mike Carr had left the building
Gallop added that while Carr will be missed, the current lack of live sport ‘gives us the chance to draw some breath and properly review where we are for the longer term’.
Rumour has it that Carr, known as ‘Carrsy’ to staff and branded ‘Khazi’ by Private Eye, is setting up a rival company and that when BBC bosses found out, they were less than impressed.
It is to be hoped that Carr’s replacement pulls back from the purge of veteran talent.
A BBC spokesperson, who insisted claims the long-serving Carr had been marched off the premises were not true, said simply: ‘Mike has decided to leave the BBC. We wish him well.’
MORI’S COMMENTS RAISES EYEBROWS
Comments from the Tokyo 2020 president this week — that the Olympics cannot be pushed back further than next summer and would instead be cancelled — raised plenty of eyebrows.
Insiders believe the remarks from Yoshiro Mori may have been a dig back at the International Olympic Committee after they suggested who would meet the costs of postponement in a passage subsequently removed from a Q&A on their website.
‘It was a most “un-Japanese” thing to do,’ one source explained. ‘There’s a belief that the IOC’s remarks were enough to cause anger in Japan and a feeling they had been backed into a corner.
‘I think it is safe to say this was a return volley from Japan.’
MO’S THEORY DOESN’T RING ANY BELLS
Sir Mo Farah’s answer to a question in a new interview has left readers scratching their heads.
Asked by Athletics Weekly which was his favourite event or distance, the double Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m champion responded that the 1,500m was his preferred race ‘because when you hit the bell you’ve only got one lap to go’.
As Mo should know, the bell goes a lap from the end of every race on the track.
Sir Mo Farah’s (pictured) answer to a question has left readers scratching their heads
BREARLEY LAID BARE
A revealing insight into former England cricket captain Mike Brearley is due to be released a week on Monday. While the ex-Middlesex man has put pen to paper on many occasions, Mark Peel’s biography, Cricketing Caesar, is the first written about him.
Brearley is well known for his skilful captaincy but the book shines a light on other areas of his character, exploring his relationships with the likes of Phil Edmonds and Geoffrey Boycott.
One tale tells how in 1980, Simon Hughes, a bright young fast bowler, was asked to bowl at Edmonds in the nets. Hughes promptly delivered a bouncer, which caused Edmonds to swear at him.
Out of Edmonds’ hearing, Brearley — who had issues with Edmonds — quipped ‘well bowled’.
That same year, Brearley was abused by an overweight Sussex fan after an on-field altercation with Imran Khan.
‘Not only do I think you are very rude,’ responded Brearley, ‘but you are also very ugly.’
FA PITTED AGAINST A FAMILIAR FACE
The FA could not have foreseen it, but their decision to charge Atletico Madrid and England defender Kieran Trippier with a breach of betting rules will see them pitted against a former director.
Sport and media consultant Adrian Bevington, formerly FA communications director and Club England MD, is providing the 29-year-old with PR advice and made a solid start, helping Trippier draft a statement which struck the right tone when the news broke on Friday.
Kieran Trippier’s been accused of betting offences in relation to his £20m move to Atletico
SALARY CAP REVIEW TAKES A BACKSEAT
Premiership Rugby’s salary cap review, launched on the back of Sportsmail’s revelations which resulted in Saracens being relegated, has been delayed.
The probe, led by former Government minister Lord Myners CBE, is set to publish recommendations for implementation ahead of the 2020-21 season.
Its findings were expected to be published this month but not any more.
MILNER RARING TO GO
If the Premier League season does resume, champions-in-waiting Liverpool will be ready to go. That’s if James Milner’s recent appearance on Sky’s The Football Show is anything to go by.
The Yorkshireman shunned his civvies and appeared from home dressed in training kit last week, when he was grilled by Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville.
KITMEN’S HEADS LEFT SPINNING
Last week, Sportsmail revealed the staggering overspend by certain clubs in the EFL when we published wages of players, chief executives and fitness coaches from the competition’s confidential staff salary benchmarking report.
It was disclosed that one Championship kitman was on £56,000 a year, along with a tongue-in-cheek observation that this seemed a lot of money for sticking dirty underpants in the washing machine.
Your Sports Agenda columnist braced himself for whinges from club officials which were, with one exception, blessedly not forthcoming.
However, he was inundated with moans from kitmen at clubs up and down the country. It would appear kitmen are among the more sensitive souls. Who knew?
Sportsmail revealed one Championship kitman was on £56,000 a year in last week’s report
KEEPING CLEAN IN QUARANTINE
UK Anti-Doping have retained their sense of humour during the pandemic. The body’s Twitter account posted advice last week on ‘keeping clean in the quarantine’ by using pictures of the most infamous drug lord in history, Colombia’s ‘king of cocaine’ Pablo Escobar.
Judging by some of the responses, not everyone saw the funny side.
Contributor: Matt Hughes