Belfast Telegraph

To Helen back as Glover is out of depth

By Billy Weir

Questions one: Do we still really need A Question of Sport?

I think we all know the answer but the BBC, who have never knowingly refused to flog an ailing equine to within an inch of its life, are nothing if not loyal, so the 657th series of the panel game for all the family returned on Monday evening.

The only way they could really make it any more annoying is to have the world's most annoying man, Rob Walker, on at the start announcing who was on this week's show. Oh, you're doing that, are you?

I am a child of the DC era, the great David Coleman's stint as question master, with Bill Beaumont and Emyln Hughes the captains, when natty jumpers were compulsory and awkward introductions read nervously by Coleman the expected norm.

We've moved on. Sadly. Now we have Sue Barker and Phil Tufnell in blouses and Matt Dawson in, well, I'm not sure, he's too smug to focus on for long enough to see what he's wearing.

Joining him was Michael Owen and Louis Smith, while Tuffers had Ben Youngs and a woman called Helen Glover.

I'll be honest, I missed her introduction but knew she had done something at the Olympics either on a bike or in a boat.

Onto round one, the picture board, although more garbled and offering less chance for the impromptu chat with Lucinda Prior-Palmer about all things posh and equine. Shout when you know the answer is the way now, but as a rower came up there was silence from Helen. Still no confirmation of bike or boat then.

The Home or Away round would clinch it. She went home (a joke that ceased to be amusing when the now sadly deceased What Happened Next round featured chariot racing) and it was a rowing question. Which she got wrong, listing four rowers and none of them the right answer.

In fairness, she did get a question or two right later on, not on rowing I grant you, but still correct, but had her thunder stolen when cheeky chappy Dawson asked if a True of False question for Tuffers would be handed over to him.

"Does it come over?" Sue seemed to ask the sweetie mice in her head, hilarity ensued amongst an audience who had applied for tickets in 1983 and were wondering where Willie Carson was.

"I'd like to say it has been a long series," she said, and we all agreed. Too long.

Belfast Telegraph


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