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BBC: we won't change Commonwealth Games approach because of indyref

Broadcasters at this summer's Commonwealth Games say they will not change their approach due to the independence referendum.

Scots will go to the polls about seven weeks after the closing ceremony of Glasgow 2014, during which the home nations will be competing against one another rather than as part of Team GB.

The BBC unveiled its coverage for the event today with a host of high-profile broadcasters including Clare Balding, Gary Lineker, Hazel Irvine and Gabby Logan set to be joined by former sports starts such as Rebecca Adlington, Katherine Grainger and Sir Chris Hoy.

With about 30 hours of live TV coverage every day, some presenters were asked if they were aware of the heightened sensitivities around the referendum and if they would need to take extra care to avoid any potential controversy during programmes.

Balding said: "I've watched a lot of sports coverage in other countries and in America I think they are incredibly jingoistic, they will basically not cover a medal ceremony if an American is only winning a bronze.

"The BBC has never been like that, the Usain Bolt story, for example, has been followed from way back and now he's one of the biggest stars in the world.

"We cover political issues, as we did in Russia (Sochi), but sport has its own identity and we will always tell the story, so whether it's someone from Wales, the Channel Islands or England, Scotland or Northern Ireland their story will be told, I think it's more cheering sport and performances rather than nations."

There have been accusations from both sides of the independence debate about perceived bias in some media coverage of the referendum.

As a Scot, Irvine was asked if she will be warning colleagues during the Games to avoid any potential referendum slip-ups.

She said: "No, I think they're all big enough, professional enough and ugly enough to get on with it really. We'll just do out jobs as we've always done our jobs.

"There's been political sensitivities around many events I've worked at, not least Sochi, but you just get on with it, it's about the sport. I'm a mere mouthpiece for the sport."

During the Games the main BBC team will broadcast from a "portable flatpack studio" near the corporation's Scottish headquarters on the banks of the River Clyde.

As well as the sporting action, programmes such as Blue Peter and the One Show will come from Glasgow during the Games.

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