Conflicting information has been provided by the BBC about the future of controversial Welsh rugby ‘pundit’ Jonathan Davies for the coverage of the Six Nations rugby tournament, after he faced a storm of criticism following statements which have included calling an MP a “knob”, and whose broadcast style has been condemned by a fan for ‘ruining‘ the game, The Eye can reveal.
There is no mention of Mr Davies (whose nickname is ‘Jiffy’) in coverage on the BBC Sport rugby union website, meanwhile on the Radio Today website he is described as a ‘pundit’ with BBC Radio 5 Live.
But in response to a query from The Eye, the BBC ‘media centre’ offered rather different details.
Our Editor Phil Parry asked the BBC: “Could you please give me a statement in relation to the status of commentator Jonathan Davies alongside Eddie Butler in the BBC TV coverage of the Six Nations?”.
The reply from the corporation’s ‘media centre’ was: “Jonathan is doing commentary for TV…”.
Yet Mr Davies has been no stranger to difficult headlines in the past.
He used Twitter to brand Rhondda MP Chris Bryant a “knob” for asking about childcare during a highly-unusual debate in the commons on the ‘deal’ with the European Union (EU), and said Mr Bryant was “not in touch with reality” with his question in the Houses of Parliament.
One of his detractors said in a Tweet that Mr Davies was “tedious”, and that he should be removed from The BBC’s rugby league team.
It has been claimed that Mr Davies “ruins” the game, while another fan pleaded that he should “shut up”, and he has featured in the UK press for all the wrong reasons.
Despite this it seems The BBC have stood by their man, and in 2019 Mr Davies was in the £150,000-£199,999 salary bracket at the corporation.
But the Daily Express reported scathingly: “When they (France) scored (a) try, Wales hero Davies erupted on the BBC’s commentary, much to the frustration of fans at home.
‘When you’re commentating for the BBC you’re being paid to commentate not to be a fan…..
‘I know it’s very hard for you to do your job professionally but please try. #6nations2019’.
Another added: ‘When oh when will the BBC retire Jonathan Davies?!?!
‘I’m sick to death of his whiney “Wales are brilliant”, everyone else are lucky commentary’.
‘So the secret to watching rugby on the BBC is to mute the sound and listen to 5Live (not now it seems) on your DAB radio, no Jonathan Davies! #6nations2019,’ another added.
He stated too on live television before an international rugby game that the referee was French so “anything could happen”.
In the past the fury of Mr Davies has also been directed at journalist Marcus Stead who had criticised what he views as the Welsh establishment.
He engaged in an extraordinary spat with him on social media in which he branded Mr Stead, an “attention seeking nobody”, a “sad pathetic waste of time” and ‘hashtagged’ the words “absolute bell end”.
A Welsh newspaper columnist and broadcaster who saw the tweets said it was a “badge of Welsh honour” to be blocked by Mr Stead, although he has never blocked Mr Davies.
Mr Davies represented Wales in rugby league as well as union and has been described as the greatest player of his generation.
But clearly it will not be ‘great’ news for him if conflicting information about his future is provided by The BBC for its coverage of the Six Nations rugby after he called an MP a “knob” and has been condemned by a fan for ‘ruining’ the game…