Belfast Telegraph

Billy on the Box: Sports stars please give us a break

So, it’s less than 100 days to go now to the start of the London Olympics and I’m already fed up.

You can’t turn on the telly without an athlete or a cyclist trying to sell you something during an ad break, usually Jessica Ennis, who has more products to flog than a mobile shop.

Britain’s golden girl (ironic seeing she’s won silver in her last two major events) is trying to shift everything from petrol to Oil of Olay, and I know the Games are taking place in the east end but once Seb Coe turns up in a yellow, three-wheeled van it has gone too far.

We’ve had Usain Bolt for Virgin and Visa (he only advertises things beginning with V. His next assignment is for Veda), Sir Chris Hoy eating Bran Flakes while shaving, Victoria Pendelton et al for Adidas, Christine Ohuruogu for Aviva (and the Amnesia Society), Shanaze Read (girl on BMX) for the Holiday Inn and now Michael Phelps for Head and Shoulders.

It wasn’t always like this or was it? Daley Thompson advertised Lucozade, I vaguely remember Steve Cram wolfing down a bowl of Kelloggs Start and Zola Budd brought out an exclusive Mary Decker edition of Twister, but they were the exception rather than the rule.

There were others and I’m sure there will be many more as the countdown continues but once Dwain Chambers comes on for Boots then let that be an end of it.

Belfast Telegraph

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