Home > Uncategorized > Like father, like son

Like father, like son

Until a year or so back, BBCtv employed a sports reporter named Kevin Gearey. He used to annoy the hell out of me, mainly because he didn’t seem to know the difference between reporting and commentary. He was never able simply to describe what had happened, everything had to be underlined by his opinion. Since he covered mainly English material, he rarely had too much good news to report; the rest, the failures, however gallant they might have been, were always dismissed with sarcasm, cynicism and sneering.

I was so bloody glad when he retired. Imagine my surprise,therefore, when a few months ago, I was watching TV sports news, when I heard another voice, younger, different, but delivering the same pontifications with the same unmistakeable acidity. He signed himself off, ‘Patrick Gearey, BBCtv Sport’, but I’d guessed as much already.

My brother-in-law has spent the latter part of a distinguished career lecturing to students of broadcast journalism. Since nepotism, an old-established tradition within the BBC, seems still to flourish there, given that a mid-ranking reporter can pass on his job to his son, I feel for his students and for him. 

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Sarah Nyakazingo
    August 1, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    I beg to disagree. I like Patrick’s reporting and think he deserves to be a bbc sports reporter and more.

  2. Kate
    September 14, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    I don’t think you fully appreciate the lengths that any reporter has to go to in order to get in front of the camera. Paddy had to work unbelievably hard to get to where he is, none of which was to do with his father and all of which was to do with fighting to get any experience he could reporting, writing, and finally ending up on the air.

    • September 14, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      I don’t care how hard ‘Paddy’ had to work. I didn’t like his old man’s style of reporting and I was happy when he retired. I don’t like nepotism either, and knowing how the BBC is, when his son slotted into his place I was a little irked. FWIW, recently ‘Paddy’ seems to have developed a style of his own; I may come to like that.

      Finally, ‘Kate’, (Why do on-line critics always hide behind pseudonyms?) I must point out to you, firmly, that there is a difference between opinion and abuse. The firmly held views I expressed about Geareys and the BBC were, and still are, the former; the pathetic crap that I edited out of your post was the latter. I could have trashed it all but I didn’t, I let you have your five minutes.

      As for my ‘research’, for the record I’ve been interacting with the BBC in various ways since before ‘Paddy’ was a twinkle. I’ve met some great people within its maw, but I’ve crossed swords with others who could straighten your hair with a glance, and I’ve never come off second best.

  3. David Greenwod
    December 28, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Spot on about the Gearys – just heard the Younger Sneerer pontificating about England in South Africa. It always seemed that the Elder Sneerer was dispatched to sports events where it was very possible a UK team would lose so he could opine and sneer – as opposed to report -and he always seemed so pleased with his bitter little items

  4. January 30, 2018 at 9:25 am

    I’m with Sarah (and Kate). Plus his ability to write to pictures is quality.

    I detect a touch of jealousy and not inconsiderable amounts of bitterness here.

  5. January 30, 2018 at 9:56 am

    As I am entitled to my opinion, so Jamie you are entitled to yours, even though you decline to offer it under your full name. However, when it comes to jealousy, I have never harboured the slightest desire to be a BBC sports reporter, so Jealousy cannot apply. When it comes to bitterness; I’m a moderately successful man in my own field, and happy with my life. I don’t have a bitter bone in my body. Ergo, when it comes to detection, it seems to me you couldn’t detect your arse with both hands and a map.

    I say again, I hated Kevin Gearey’s style of reporting, and initially that aversion transferred to Paddy’s work. I am not talking about them as individuals; I am sure they were conscientious. It may also be that they are charming men and great company around the dinner table. Many years ago there was a Scottish football referee named Tom ‘Tiny’ Wharton. He was an absolute pantomime villain, and I booed him as lustily as did everyone else. Years later, I was introduced to him socially. He was one of the nicest men I ever met in my life.

    However that’s not the main issue I raised in my post. Nepotism is nothing new at the BBC; David Dimbleby was eased in to his dad’s well-polished seat, just as Dan Snow has taken over Pater Peter’s airtime, albeit in a different area. When it appeared that one Gearey had seamlessly succeeded another in a public corporation which should champion open selection and equal opportunities, I felt that was a point worth making. I still do.

    All that said, in the five years since I posted the above comments, I have observed the developing career of Gearey junior as a TV sports reporter. It does seem to me that his style has altered, and that he has come to realise that his job is to describe what the viewer is seeing without colouring the scene with his own opinions. That is the job of the commentator and the analyst, not, the reporter.

  6. Richard
    January 27, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    Excellent points sbout the Geareys – agree years k later

  7. Murray Evans
    January 16, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    Interesting stuff, Quintin. I’ve known the Geareys for decades and Kevin’s wife (also a journalist) used to work for me on one of the local papers. Personally, I usually enjoyed Kevin’s on-air contributions. I did think the nepotism situation was a bit questionable but, as you say, it’s not unusual at the BBC. However, I honestly believe that Patrick is a talented and often witty sports broadcaster and worth his place. But everyone has opinions about the BBC and they are all equally valid. All the best.

    • January 16, 2020 at 2:13 pm

      I hear you. The BBC is built on nepotism but I agree that Patrick has a style of his own, one that lacks his dad’s cynicism. I am old-fashioned, and don’t want to hear a reporter’s opinions. That’s what pundits are for.

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