Belfast Telegraph

Billy on the Box: A League of Their Own hasn’t gone away

First it was Sinn Fein reading my column, and now there’s an even more frightening coincidence as Jamie Redknapp clearly has been too.



Summing up England’s draw with Montenegro, he said ‘it was the good, the bad and the ugly’. Now, this was not a ‘describe the Rooney family in three words’ competition, although Wayne’s playful kick at a Montenegrin accounted for the latter.

The home side came back to draw 2-2 after Roo saw red and afterwards Redknapp was full of republican zeal.

“It was more than a goal, it was almost a country creating its identity,” and I waited for him to stick his finger in his ear, pull out an Arran jumper and launch into Balkan version of A Nation Once Again.

A dangerous thing to do with Glenn Hoddle in such close proximity, as he has a bit of previous when it comes to duets with former Spurs’ players, but thankfully there was no Diamond Lights reprise.

“Why on earth has he got involved in something that was so not worth getting involved with,” he said, and how timely as A League of Their Own returned.

Incredibly, this is now the fourth series, bringing it level with Sporting Triangles, but I don’t remember Dickie Davies and Emlyn Hughes swearing as much.

The usual suspects have returned, but the headline act was Andy Murray or ‘tennis legend Andy Murray’ as James Corden introduced him. I’ll stop you right there, James.

I’ll give you the ‘tennis’ part but ‘legend’? That’s reserved for people who win big tournaments. Lots of them and not spending half his life on Twitter.

Fellow guest, Jason Manford, famous for not being Peter Kay, also has some experience on this medium but we’ll draw a discreet veil over that one.

The thrust of the programme was a penalty kick competition in which Corden joined Andrew Flintoff and John Bishop at Wembley trying to score, or as Georgie Thompson explained ‘it’s every single boy’s dream’. Hmm, not when you’re in the dream, I would wager, Georgie.

And on and on it went, lame joke after lame joke interspersed with some naughty language and occasionally a question, but suddenly there was redemption.

A special challenge where Murray had to try and knock a bottle off Corden’s head by serving at him. Quite a relief for him then that the original guest booked, Britain’s top ranked clay pigeon shooter, cried off at the last minute.

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