The past year has been low on outstanding performances but high on major pitch events. A change in the categories is reflected in this third annual Pitchcoach awards.
Outstanding pitches of the year.
The Pope was not in any direct competition but he did have much to lose. Hostile coverage , negative reports on its cost and the risk of protest made this a challenging occasion. In the event it passed much better than anticipated and this was not a function of the ceremonial but the quiet certainty, clarity and compelling authority of his communication.
In ridiculous contrast we had the pompous self-serving FIFA running their farcical pitch to see which country was worthy of their trust to bring the FIFA/God given gift of football to the world. It was ridiculous from the outset and the England bid, which should never have been, was a lost cause two years ago. The William, Dave and Becks charm offensive was an embarassing waste of time
The much heralded live Television debates even outperformed the X-Factor. Months of media build up and speculation. Three candidates, two of them with everything to lose, one who could only gain -assuming no Nixon moment. The tension was real. The debates were the essence of competitive pitching.
And the results really did matter. They influenced voting patterns less than might have been expected. However Clegg’s outstanding performance in the first debate was pivotal to enabling a workable Coalition. His was the stand-out performance in the outstanding pitch of 2010.
This has been a year dominated by David Cameron. In the final phases as leader of the Opposition and in the debates he was strong and consistent but he truly came into his own forcing the Coalition through and then keeping it, and seemingly, the entire country, going . This was not through inspired oratory or even basic speech and interview skills. It was the supreme confidence and aura of leadership as someone born to lead. Remarkable.
In broadcast, there were few surprises. More and more programmes revolved around a subject- cooking, art, property, nature, history-where the key differentiator was the quality of the presenter rather than the subject matter. Amid the predictable Nigels, Nigellas, Simons and Waldermars one who stood out was an Amanda. Her engaging spontaneity, ready wit and ease made Amanda Vickery’s ‘At Home with the Georgians’ a delight.
THE POPES VISIT
FIFA 2018 B