TV REVIEW: ITV’s Euro 2024 Coverage Faces Criticism in Scotland for ‘Visit Qatar’ Ads, but Pundits and Intro Shine – BBC, Your Move

TV REVIEW: ITV’s Euro 2024 Coverage Faces Criticism in Scotland for ‘Visit Qatar’ Ads, but Pundits and Intro Shine – BBC, Your Move

ITV love a vibe-setting intro to a tournament and for Euro 2024, they cartooned up a selection of fairy tales by the German storytellers Brothers Grimm. 

We had Cristiano Ronaldo as Little Red Riding Hood, Kylian Mbappe as The Wonderful Musician, Toni Kroos having his boots made by The Elves and the Shoemaker, Kasper Schmeichel watching his dad Peter lift the Euro 1992 trophy in Snow White’s magic mirror, and Harry Kane climbing the hair of Rapunzel. If only Norway had qualified, they could have used the blond locks of Erling Haaland. 

In truth, we’ve been treated to better intros – the ITV version for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil was a belter – but it was nice enough. It won at least one fan in the Gill household because my wife Jemma said, and I quote, ‘I prefer fairy tales to football’. 

Clearly, there was no happy ending for Scotland for ITV’s experts to examine as they were left to commentate on a car crash. The selection of analysts was impressive, Lorraine Kelly aside. 

There was Mark Pougatch, as professional a presenter you could find. Pundits in Ian Wright, Graeme Souness and Roy Keane, experts all who sent their well wishes to Alan Hansen. The likeable Laura Woods with Ally McCoist, both stood in the centre circle as the Germans emerged to warm up to a chorus of Scottish boos. 

The punchy pundits on ITV provided plenty of entertainment as they analysed the action

Ally McCoist, pictured with Laura Woods, encapsulated the mood in the Scotland camp

Ally McCoist, pictured with Laura Woods, encapsulated the mood in the Scotland camp

Mind you, ITV will not have won many friends among Scottish viewers who found themselves watching an analysis of England after the very first ad break, including an interview with Gareth Southgate before hearing from Steve Clarke or Scott McTominay. 

There was also criticism of the constant reminders that ‘this UEFA Euro 2024 programme is sponsored by Visit Qatar’ as ITV happily showed the opening ceremony inside Munich’s Allianz Arena, two years on from British broadcasters snubbing the curtain-raiser to the 2022 World Cup. Bias be damned, McCoist avoided all that singing and dancing as he made his way to the commentary booth alongside Sam Matterface. 

As a proud Scot, the scorer of his nation’s last winning goal at a major tournament against Switzerland at Euro 1996 and one of the game’s most charismatic co-commentators, McCoist was an obvious choice by ITV. Those playing the drinking game where you sip whenever he adds ‘it really is’ to the end of a sentence will have been disappointed as that habit was kept to a minimum. McCoist was here to encapsulate the Scottish excitement, the sorrow after their Wirtz possible start, and did so. 

Keane and Souness were punchy at half-time as expected, while Christina Unkel was a refreshing choice for a refereeing analyst. Ultimately, Scotland could not add to ITV’s fairy tales but from my sofa, this was a solid enough start to a frantic month of football. Your move, BBC. 

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