Belfast Telegraph

Never mind the Buzzcocks, Top Gear or QI, Dave serves up something new

Billy On The Box

By Billy Weir

There was something unusual on Dave during the week - a programme that wasn't a repeat, and, even more oddly, it was sport. But not as we know it.

Tie Break Tens has returned (pun intended) for another season of smash and grab (I did it again) but, after flitting around various channels in the past couple of years, it has somehow landed on Dave, surrounded by QI, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Top Gear.

That's an eclectic mix, as was the line-up in Madrid, with eight men and eight women seemingly plucked at random making the list - a bit like Take Me Out, but funnier.

With phrases filling the air like 'every point counts' and 'winner takes all', I half expected to see Paul Daniels (that would be magic, I know) and Jimmy Tarbuck lining up, but that would just be silly, what we needed was a host with sporting pedigree.

And so Ore Oduba (right), winner of Strictly Come Dancing, was the man in the hotseat, alongside Andy Murray's old coach, Miles MacLagan, who explained that for the first time women had joined the men in this form of tennis. Perhaps they should have renamed the channel Davina for the night…

"Ohhhh, it's going to be fun," Ore told us as he welcomed us to "tennis on a totally different scale", and if you're not in the know, it's basically a first to 10 tie-break, and on-court interviewer Craig Doyle told the crowd "you may never look at tennis in the same way again".

Indeed, as the umpire reached a bemused Madison Keys a wee bag and asked her to put her hand in and pull out a ball, it was clear that things had changed, and legally I can't continue along these lines without someone finding fault (again).

She was up against Svetlana Kuznetsova, with commentator Sam Smith issuing a stark warning to the Russian as "she has more power this young woman than she knows what to do with". A bit like Nicola Sturgeon in plimsolls.

"Svetlana loves this kind of environment, she's an extrovert, she drives at 100mph around the streets of Moscow, I think they're pleased to have her out of the city right now," Smith added with no evidence whatsoever, although Dave will show the footage tonight at 8.00pm. And at 11, two and all day tomorrow again.

Svetlana motored past Keys and up first for the men was Britain's Dan Evans, who promptly lost and was able to join our presenters for a wee chat that didn't quite go according to plan.

"She went off her head and the other chick, sorry, lady, stayed in the zone," he said as Davina clearly became Dave again, but MacLagan was miles better later on when another chick, sorry, lady, Monica Puig joined them for a chat and asked what she would have spent the €250,000 prize on.

"A new car, a handbag, girls love things like that, what about shoes and handbags and that stuff, oh, I probably shouldn't have said that," she probably shouldn't have said.

In the end, Simona Halep and Grigor Dimitrov were the winners, the latter joining Ore and Miles for a chat only to stick a sweetie in his mouth.

"You beat them all, you took the trophy and all of our Percy Pigs as well," concluded Ore, with Grigor heading off to the sweetie shop for many 10p mix-ups while Simona will probably be buying handbags and shoes and stuff like that.

Belfast Telegraph

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