Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Billy on the Box: Oprah refuses to allow Lance Armstrong to let it lie

You probably didn’t notice but Lance Armstrong was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in a two and a half hour special shown on the Discovery channel this week.



Two and a half hours of my life I’m never getting back when the show could have been over after the following exchange right at the start — “Yes or no, did you ever take banned substances?,” asked Oprah. “Yes,” came the response from the fallen American idol.

“Goodnight,” should have been the reply at this stage but no we persisted in a scene that resembled Pinocchio being interviewed by Rolff the piano-playing dog from The Muppet Show.

It really should have been Jeremy Kyle doing the questioning given it was largely about lying and drug-taking — the only thing Armstrong wasn’t accused of was fathering Bradley Wiggins. Then again, a blood test wouldn’t be the done thing.

There were some interesting moments, mainly Armstrong’s horror as he watched clips of himself denying that he had ever done anything wrong and especially footage of his indignation at the doubters after his seventh Tour de France ‘win’.

“To the cynics and the sceptics — I feel sorry for you that you can’t dream big — and I’m sorry you can’t believe in miracles,” he whined as Errol Brown sat at home smug that he was the only one allowed to do that.

“I’m not the most believable guy in the world now,” was another unnecessary line from Lance while I nearly kicked the TV in when he admitted 'the truth isn't what I said. (It was a) mythic perfect story' and that he 'helped paint the picture — a lot of people did'. Akin to saying he’d either (a) forgotten his homework or (b) the dog had eaten it. And not a piano-playing one.

Still, he feels that he deserves a second chance (technically, that would be an eighth chance, but do continue) and that ‘if there was a truth and reconciliation commission and I’m invited, I’ll be first man through the door.’ Just a shame that your nose wouldn’t allow you to get in.

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