Mark Kermode has a famous maxim that what he knows about sport wouldn't fill the back of a postage stamp. Which actually makes certain films more Wendy Lloyd Apollo 13-tense for him than perhaps much of the general cinema-going public - Senna, Rush, Borg Vs McEnroe and Invictus all being films Mark felt thoroughly gripped by through not knowing how they would work out.
These have included:
- The 2006 World Cup
- The 2008 Beijing Olympics
- The British Grand Prix (2004)
- The Ashes (2005 and 2009) and various other Test matches
- The Open (2007)
Other events that can be covered with a quick update, usually cricket and horse racing, see injections of live coverage into the programme - hence the occasional chats with Pat Murphy and Cornelius Lysaght respectively. (The commentary itself is of course removed from the podcast). At other times, Wittertainment is moved in order to make room for live commentaries. This is most often Racing from Chilcot, but has also historically happened for the Open golf - although as noted, not in 2007, when Carnoustie was the scene of Simon Mayo's side of the Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End Kermodian rant.
The combination of sport and Wittertainment has on two occasions had a major impact in the real world. One was the bet between Simon and Paul Greengrass that if Spurs finished in the top four, a new Bourne film would have to be made. The second was when Oh Danny Boyle met up with Seb Coe when Coe had been on Simon Mayo's programme directly before the Film Review segment. As this happened not long after the opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics - during which there had been a long, listener-contributed discussion about who should direct the London version in 2012 (and a listener called David had suggested "the guy who directed Trainspotting and 28 Days Later"). Simon therefore put Boyle's name to Coe, and the two of them were seen in intense discussion afterwards.