Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Billy on the Box: Words and bees, but no joy of six for Beeb

Isn’t it good to see the BBC serving their local communities with the return of Late Kick Off on Monday evenings.

Obviously that’s the BBC who work on the other side of the Irish Sea as once again we have to look on like an abandoned chubby child with his cheeks pressed up against the bun shop window.

Yes, from Exeter to Carlisle, fans the length and breadth of Britain can watch their favourite teams in action with a bit of analysis and chat thrown in for good measure.

Scotland and Wales have their own programmes, as any link to London would be seen as kowtowing of the highest order.

Alex Salmond would be given a hefty kick in the Trossachs, while Ruth Madoc would march on Westminster demanding the compulsory wearing of yellow blazers and an increase in phlegm quotas.

And what do we hit back with on Monday?

Jarlath Burns talking to bees in Irish.

I’m not joking, the former Armagh star turned commentator is now with us on Lui na Talun guiding us through the wonders of nature, a fauna Gael if ever there was one.

In the interests of fairness in these politically correct times surely Nelson McCausland will turn up next week trying to entice a curious badger out of his sett with tales of the Plantation?

I have no problem with Jarlath talking to bees, although they didn’t seem to have a grasp of the lingo as all I heard was a whining drone, but that may have been Martin McHugh protesting that honey standards just aren’t what they were in his day.

Given some of the rubbish that is churned out at Broadcasting House (any comedy programme should be all the evidence I need), and there is no shortage, surely they could free Austin O’Callaghan from the shackles of the Newsline couch or let Gavin Andrews out of that wee news cupboard he’s been locked in to do half an hour of a football/sport show of a Monday?

Of course two words spring to mind as a word of warning. They are ‘final’ and ‘score’ and put together they strike fear into the hearts of unsuspecting sports fans.

Saturday left you wishing that Jarlath would bring some bees round for a chat or Nelson would nip over with Brock and a few lambeg tapes.

The pained Thomas Niblock, a man who sounds like his underpants are perpetually plagued by bees, guided us through the ‘action’ but the main thrust was the live Irish Cup draw from Windsor Park.

No shortage of Ulster Scots on view, oor Jackie Fullerton joined by Ballymena’s very own Braidheart Robert Cupples, but spare a thought for the winners of the Warrenpoint Town v Cliftonville tie as they have to play Crusaders and Dungannon Swifts.

It turns out that the six we all saw flashed up as a 10 in Robert’s head and when 10 was drawn again later on widespread panic ensued.

Jackie was unflappable, conceding that “I think there was a little glitch there,” while Nortel’s big moment had gone, making it through to round six (or 10) and cruelly cast aside.

Perhaps they could bring manager Jamesie Kirk on to Late Kick Off to make amends?

Oh no, they can’t, maybe Jarlath will take him to the Gaeltacht to chat with a gregarious goat instead.

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