Wimbledon Uncovered: A Blue Peter Special Blue Peter

Wimbledon Uncovered: A Blue Peter Special

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It's fast, it's mean, and it is hugely competitive. It's the most


famous tennis championship in the It's that time when the UK goes


tennis crazy. We are here at Wimbledon to give you a very


special look behind-the-scenes. Coming up on today's show: Barney


meets a special Wimbledon worker with a rather unusual job. That's


just about big enough. I check out the strawberry farm that supplies


all two million strawberries to the tournament and we give you a sneaky


peak at what broadcasting is like at the championships. Hello. This


year's championships is particularly special. It is the


125th anniversary of Wimbledon. The crowds have queued in their


thousands, the tennis has not disappointed and it is raining.


little bit of wet weather does not spoil the mood here. You know, such


a massive championships like this doesn't happen overnight.


Preparations take place all year- round. I have been to meet a very


special employee who has a very unusual job, to make sure that play


on Centre Court isn't interrupted with any unwanted intruders, like


these guys. Birds, that is! In 1989 two tennis greats were disturbed


mid-match by two sparrows. sparrow won't go away. In 2007, a


family of ducks invaded an outside court. Wimbledon's biggest


reoccurring animal problem came to a head in 1999. Such fun with the


pigeons this year on this court and Court One. Amongst many others, Tim


Henman and Pete Sampras were not amused when pigeons interrupted


their match. It was after an incident like that one, that


Wimbledon decided to do something. I'm off to find out how. Meet a


Harris Hawk, who has been employed to combat this problem. He does


really have his own ID card. Rufus. Right here is Rufus. Hello. This is


Wayne. Talk to us about Rufus? works for the Lawn Tennis Club and


he scares the pigeons off. We used to have a terrible problem with


them roosting and interrupting play. They would be swiping them off the


baseline. If you are a pigeon, you take one look at Rufus, he is a


predator. So are you going to show everyone what you can do? That was


That's totally the response we want. As soon as he saw them... If the


pigeons hadn't seen him, he is letting everyone know there a


predator about. How often do you do this? Once a week throughout the


year and during the championships we come in every day at 5.00,


before the public get here. Has he ever flown off? Yes, now and again.


He will go up on to the roof and he has a favourite place which is a


lake down the back. If he does catch a rabbit or something, it can


be a day or two before I get him back. He is not going to be hungry


any more and therefore doesn't need you? That's it. He will find a nice


tree and roost there. I have put a radio transmitter on Rufus in case


he disappears. We have this to counteract that. It has a


directional aerial so it beeps as we try to find the hawk. We can


check the signal and it points to where the hawk is. Saves me a lot


of work. He is there on the roof. So it is perfect. He has his own


sat-nav fitted? He has. Better than my car! If we get a bit of meat out


for him, would he come back to us? Yes, we will see if we can call him


back with some quail. See if he is interested. He's seen it. He is


away. Rufus. Right on cue. Well done, mate. If you put your hand


up... He's off. He's gone. Better get the tracker back out again!


There should be no pigeons disrupting play at Wimbledon this


year, thanks to Rufus - if he ever comes back that is! Every year at


Wimbledon, fans camp out overnight and queue for hours in the hope


they will see the best tennis match that day. That is what the


Wimbledon experience is all about. Tennis - a game that dates back to


the 12th Century over 800 years ago. The ancient game was called "game


of the hand or palm". It was called this because the game was hit with


the palm of the hand. It was played by French monks but they didn't use


a net, it was played against a wall. It became tennis but it is a


mystery. The name might come from "tenai" which means "hold" or


"look-out". By the turn of the 16th Century it was played like this,


known as real tennis or Royal Tennis because it was popular in


Royal households. The racket had been introduced by this time.


was still very different to the game we know today. You could hit


the ball against the wall as well as over the net. The rackets were


made of wood, the strings of animal gut and balls hardly bounced.


court at the Queen's Tennis Club, which is a cross between a squash


court and a tennis court, is one of 50 left in the world. Real tennis


is still played competitively even today. Shot! It is from this game


that lawn tennis was born. It took another 300 years to get from


this... To grass, or lawn tennis, which is played on grass courts. It


was finally invented by a Brit in 1874. It was called "ball game"


which comes from Greece. Then finally in 1877, the first lawn


tennis championship was introduced. Its name? Wimbledon. While


Wimbledon was the first and still is the most prestigious tennis


event in the world, some players prefer in a most unusual location.


These are our top three weird ones. Normally the last thing you want is


for rain to stop play, but in this clash, a flooded court was


unavoidable as Nadal and Federer played on a floating platform in


Two, described as the fastest tennis match in the world, these


two played a match on a high-speed train travelling at a speed of


At the number one spot, it is the world's highest tennis court. This


match between Roger Federer and Andre Agassi toork place on a hotel


-- took place on a hotel helipad in Dubai. In championship matches ball


boys and girls play a crucial role in the smooth running of the


tournament. They have to make sure the ball is in the right place at


the right time and they have to make sure the player has a town or


a banana. Blue Peter has been given access to find out what life is


really like for a BBG. I'm 14 and I'm training to be a ball girl at


Wimbledon. This is what it is like being me. I live in Wimbledon with


my family. Here is my mum. Hi. is my dad. Hi. And my two dogs,


Pippy and Dippy. This is my sister, Lucy. And my brother, Joe. Hi.


have both been BBGs at Wimbledon before so it runs in the family. We


all go to a local school and this year my PE teacher put me forward


to be a ball girl at Wimbledon. All of the ball girls and ball boys


live in the local area. I love playing tennis. I'm pretty much


sport mad. In fact, that is why I wanted to become a ball girl in the


first place. I have to pass written and fitness tests. Once I got


through that, I started to come to training sessions here once a week


where the final ball boys and girls They start with 600 of us but end


up with 250 for the championships so it is really tough to get chosen.


I do find it scary because you are being watched constantly and you


can be cut at any point. It is also very exciting. We don't find out if


we get in until a week before the tournament but I want to get in.


First we do drills like ball rolling and then we practice on


court. We work in teams of six, two at the net cord and four at the


back. I'm a centre so I'm always at the net. Blue Peter viewers wanted


to know more about your life as a ball girl. Have you ever got hit by


the ball? No, I haven't but last year Lucy got hit by Federer's


serve. It really hurt! How long can you be a ball girl for? Is it for


2011 or can you come back for a few years? It is not just for that one


year, you can come back for a maximum of four years. What if one


of the players got injured, and there was no-one else to play,


would you volunteer? Yes, I would definitely volunteer. In fact a


girl at my school had to do that last year. Is it scary when you run


to get the ball? Yes. If I fall over, it will be caught on camera


and everyone will see. My uniform has arrived which means I have made


it into the team and I am so excited. Bye. Bye. Have a good day,


girls. We are walking to the coach stop now. There are 15 coach stops


and you choose the one which is nearest to you. Then it takes you


into the grounds of Wimbledon. you excited? I am. Do you know what


court you will be on today? don't find out until the day. The


captain goes to the board about 20 minutes before and tells the whole


team which court they are on. We will have to wait and see. I


arrived at the ball girl complex at 10.30. Time for me to get ready to


go on court. On Monday, I was lucky enough to go on Centre Court with


Nadal and Murray. Teams rotate one hour off court and one hour on


court all day. My favourite part is being on court. The atmosphere is


fantastic and you get to see some good tennis. I can't believe I got


so close to such amazing players and on my first day as well. It's


been such an amazing week so far. I hope you have enjoyed seeing what


it is like being a ball girl. This is what it is like being me.


make sure you look out for Rebecca. Wimbledon is not just famous for


tennis, it's also famous for something else - the umbrellas


should give you a clue. # Why does it always rain on me...


1991 was by far the wettest first week ever. After four days, only 52


of 240 matches were completed. By contrast, a completely rainless


Wimbledon fortnight happens on average once every 20 years, but it


wouldn't be Wimbledon without rain and without rain this wouldn't have


happened in 1996. # We're all going on a summer


holiday # No more... #


Sir Cliff Richard performed an impromptu performance to all the


fans in Centre Court who had been sitting in the rain waiting for the


tennis to start. I bet he never thought he would get to play Centre


Court! APPLAUSE Nice jacket! Since 2009, they have had a solution,


this huge retractable roof. It weighs 3,000 tonnes and it covers


the same area as 7,500 Wimbledon umbrellas. It opens and closes in


ten minutes and once it is shut, it means no amount of rain or bad


light can affect the play so they can play the tennis matches much


later into the evening. Which is what Andy Murray did when he played


against Wawrinka. They were the first to play an entire match


underneath it and they carried on late into the evening. It didn't


finish until after 10.30. There is an 11.00 curfew here. The latest is


10.58! When the roof is on, it does feel totally different. It is more


like being inside a Sports Hall. I want one! Whether it is rainy or


sunny, there is always one summer fruit on the menu. They serve all


sorts here, but the most iconic is strawberries and cream. Delicious!


8,615 pun nets are eaten every day which means 28 tonnes are eaten


over the whole tournament. They have to come from somewhere. I have


come to Kent where every single Wimbledon strawberry is grown. That


is over two million individual berries. Producing this many


strawberries is a big ask. So this place is run like a military


operation with 400 people working here leading up to and during the


championships. That's good. Marion runs the farm and is in charge of


getting those strawberries to Wimbledon on time. I'm here to find


out how. You are my strawberry guru, what am I looking for when it comes


to the perfect strawberry? You need to be looking for ones that are red


all the way around. They need to be of a certain size and they need to


be free from any marks or damage. Let's get picking. You pick them


like that, so that you are holding them by the stalk. If you pick them


by the fruit, you can bruise them. This one's perfect but it's too


small. That's just about big enough. 25 millimetres they have to be for


Wimbledon. You don't measure them? We don't get out a ruler but you do


learn what the size is. She relies on her pickers to be accurate. But


they also have to be quick to get enough strawberries to Wimbledon


and the more they pick, the more they are paid. Is it competitive


then? It could well be, yes. I think there's a lot of competition


involved. I am probably the most competitive person there is but I


can safely say this is one competition that I would happily


lose. If you don't win, it is because you have eaten too many


strawberries! It doesn't end there. The next step is weighing and


packing them and taking out any berries that aren't good enough so


we take one and put it on there. That needs a bit more on it. We put


another... We are looking for the green light because that says it is


the exact weight. Absolutely. Then you move it on. OK. How far in


advance are the strawberries picked before they are sent to Wimbledon?


They are picked the day before. So they are at their freshest when


people eat them. There you have it. A tray full of strawberries fit for


Wimbledon. It's not quite the two million that the championships


require, but at least I helped a bit and I'm sure I will be telling


anybody who will listen I have been to the farm where those


strawberries are grown! Oh, yes! But it's not just strawberries


Wimbledon's been serving up, oh no. Over the past years, it's been


serving up some impressive stats. Here are our top three: Three, a


loud grunt as the ball is whacked down the court has become as common


at Wimbledon as strawberries and cream. The most famous grunter is


Maria Sharapova who at 101 decibels is almost as loud as a lion's roar.


Two, one of the key weapons a tennis player must have is a fast


serve. In 2010, Taylor Dent produced the fastest ever serve to


be played at Wimbledon - a whopping Our number one stat also happened


last year when a first-round match between Is snrks er and Mahut


became the longest tennis match - Johniser and Nicolas Mahut became


the longest tennis match. When Wimbledon first started in 1877


this is what the players would have worn, all in white. Men practically


wore suits, trousers, shoes and a white shirt. When women joined the


tournament they wore long dresses like this. I am sure I look very


elegant but I do not feel ready to prance around a tennis court. As


impractical as it might be, though, this outfit is the height of


fashion. Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam which still enforces the


players wear mainly white so over the years players have had to come


up with inventive ways of expressing their own style. In 1919


Suzanne Lenglen won Wimbledon in a kneeth dress. In 1985 Ann White


pushed the fashion boundaries a bit far by wearing this white catsuit.


Not surprisingly, she was asked to dress more traditionally the next


day. Spoilsports! More recently, Roger Federer made front-page


headlines with his RF-branded jacket and waistcoat combo. He has


style! Players from all over the world come to Wimbledon so there's


a huge team of international broadcasters recording what is


going on, who wins what and how they win it? I'm joining the radio


team at Five Live this year. That means I get a pass with a few


privileges. Wimbledon's broadcast coverage averages 11,000 hours over


the fortnight. It takes a lot of organising and a lot of cameras.


There are 14 on Centre Court alone. Also sitting on Centre Court


watching the action is the commentator. Returns with a


backhand, wonderful cross court shot... Mr Tennis is Jonathan


Overend. Do you run out of things to say? The idea is that I don't.


Sometimes - when it used to rain we had to fill a lot of time chatting


about tennis. Now we have the roof, we are OK. We can play all day on


Centre Court. I think one of the best tips you ever gave me, last


year you said talk about what you can see, their outfits or their


You have to remember the listeners can't see so we have to describe


everything we can see, the lush green turf of the court and what


the spectators are doing as well as the players. The atmosphere in here


is intense. It is. We can't jump out of our seat too much. I'm 6ft


3in and very close to the ceiling. If Andy Murray is on, we are all


desperate for him to win so there is a lot of excitement. While the


commentary is left to the experts, my job is to be on hand to give


live scores and updates of other matches going on. At the minute, it


is one set all. What about the TV side of things? So this is the BBC


TV studios so at night when you watch the highlights, this is the


set that you will be looking at. Sue Barker will sit up there, Tim


Henman might be there. They have a stunning view so they can see the


matches that are running on late into the evening. This truck is a


vital part of the jigsaw, it is very technical. Come and have a


look. We have to be quiet. When we were at Centre Court we saw all the


cameras which are picking up the pictures of the action and all of


those cameras send their pictures here so that is why we have so many


different TV screens. The director sitting in here says I want that


one, I want that one and the shots that he picks are the shots that


you see on TV. Outside the studio I grab a quick chat with Tim Henman.


Has the broadcasting side of things changed a lot since your day?


think it has... Not saying you are old! Not too old. It is changing


all the time. You look at this year, we are going to be covering the


semifinals and the final in 3D. Hence the big camera. That is a 3D


camera. Look at them pretending to be busy. We are! They are experts.


Back to some actual work with the five live podcast team. My mission


is to discover what's fashionable this Wimbledon season and get an


entire new outfit from fans or players. I'm going to put the lime


Greenside on. That is just fit! Thanks. Would you mind if I borrow


your hat? No. OK. Can I borrow the jacket? You can borrow my jacket.


The lining is spectacular. Have a look at this. Helen! All in a day's


work. You are pretending to work hard but you love it. It is such


hard work. Do you see who that is? Nadal! That is game, set and match


on our behind-the-scenes at Wimbledon. You can follow the


coverage on the BBC. Watch tomorrow because it is our last show of the


series. We will be trying to break a world record and Diversity will


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