Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Britain really has gone to the dogs

Saturday evening used to be about light entertainment, a whimsical way to while away the night when the only two Geordies you ever had to worry about were Terry and Bob from the Likely Lads.

Now though the best Britain has to offer is Ant and Dec losing their best double act crown to Ashleigh and a dog called Pudsey.

But at least it stopped former sports stars from completely filling the schedule as this worrying pre-Olympic trend shows no signs of abating. Latest culprit was The Cube with Denise Lewis introducing herself to Phillip Schofield as ‘I’m Denise Lewis, Olympic Heptathlon champion’.

I’ll stop you there before any angry letter arrives at ITV Light Entertainment’s door from Nataliya Dobrynska, who is indeed the Olympic Heptathlon champion.

I mean, Dame Mary Peters doesn’t still turn up in a pair of gutties claiming to still be the Olympic Pentathlon champion.

The FORMER champ had assembled a motley crew in her quest for glory: “Gail Emms — badminton player; Mark Foster — legendary swimmer; the wonderful Colin Jackson — amazing hurdler and the big man himself, a big presence, big laugh, my inspiration as a kid — Kriss Akabusi.” How could she fail?

We then had some monumental tasks such as throwing a ball onto a table, lifting things out of a rack quickly and the sheer hell that is counting, but the hurling a ball through a window was a step too far.

She then made way for Sally Gunnell but I had to turn off by this stage as she introduced the injury-prone Dean Macey as one of her entourage and I couldn’t bear to watch the carnage. This is a man who could dislocate his wrist doing a Rubik Cube.

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