Belfast Telegraph

Billy on the box: One to forget

BBC takes gold medal - for hypocrisy

Right, let's get this cleared up right from the start; Christine Ohuruogu has done nothing wrong but something stinks in Osaka.

No, I'm not talking about a dodgy dish of sushi, something even more slimy and distasteful, the BBC athletics commentators conveniently forgetting that this is the woman who has been banned for a year.

Seems this absent mindedness is catching, the new British heroine being talked about as the face for 2012, but given her past record there's no guarantee she'll remember to turn up.

When someone misses one test you can give them a by-ball, two makes you a bit dim but three makes Rio Ferdinand look like Stephen Hawking.

After she won gold in the 400 metres we were immediately reminded by the Beeb that she was guilty of 'forgetfulness', ecstatic that the most licence money used in connection with Japan since Tenko, was suddenly worth it.

I wonder if that would work when I have to pay my TV licence next year? 'Sorry, I was going to pay for it, but I forgot - three times'.

It was a fairytale story, funny I don't remember Rapunzel nipping out from the tower to forget to give a urine sample but this was a fairytale of a different kind. Usually the high and mighty Beeb are so anti-drugs that you expect Zammo from Grange Hill to be presenting - Just Say No (more simpering Sue Barker please).

Whenever someone Chinese or vaguely eastern European wins there's a lot of nudging and winking, with the obligatory shot of Ben Johnson, and suggesting that there's more drugs than at a Pete Doherty tribute party.

It didn't help that the commentators seemed obsessed by using more drugs-based phrases, the sweat still dripping off Christine's nose when Steve Cram muttered the immortal - 'this will be such an injection in the arm of British athletics.' Steve, engage brain, speak.

Back to the studio and Hazel Irvine and Colin Jackson weren't helping, with Colin hoping 'she can produce the goods' and Hazel saying the 'relief must be indescribable', while Michael Johnson felt there were 'so many positives' from this. Is it me or were there just too many toilet gags in there for comfort?

Of course, this was just a random sample (ho-ho) of the red, white and blues specs worn by the Beeb, but Britain still a world force in athletics?

Now they really are extracting the orange liquid.

Getting a little shirty

I get occasional feedback on my ramblings on this page, usually from irate Andy Murray and F1 fans who take their anoraks off long enough to have a dig.

I have broad shoulders, in fact, I'm broad in most areas, but I felt for the rather rotund West Ham fan who was shown on last week's MOTD 2, a man who clearly didn't head west when ham was on offer.

It did bring me much mirth though to hear of a local schoolteacher, who shall remain nameless, but whose pupils have great delight in colouring in the 'funny looking wee man' during art class, getting a tad mixed up.

It seems she was watching MOTD2 when the wobbly West Ham fan came on and said it wasn't fair that he had a shirt with a big XL on it.

And they let these people teach our children?

Not the sharpest blade in the box, and revenge is indeed sweet!

We're all left open for more Maria

I can cope with Tim Henman's glorious final Grand Slam failure, I can get over Andy Murray being sent homeward to sulk again, but the loss of Maria Sharapova is one step too far.

I was hoping for the dream final of her and Ana Ivanovic, and I may still have that dream, but there will probably be very little tennis played in it.

In the interests of sport, I've kept a close eye on the progresss of Ana, who played Nakamura in the first round. I wondered why he'd been a bit quiet for Celtic this season.

It was worth it though for a moment of comedy gold from Sam Smith, who informed us that 'she adds her right hand up the butt.' It's amazing she can run, never mind play tennis!

Mark Petchey and Sam Smith spent most of their time talking about her Maria's red dress, and Annabel Croft had one too but it was hidden by a shocking white glare - Greg Rujetski's teeth.

She was dressed like Minnie Mouse, with Montreal's finest in a cheery undertaker outfit, which was suitable as we watched Tiger Tim's demise.

What chances of a Henman v Murray final, he was asked. Maybe UFOs landing in Britain was the answer.

Petchey, an old pal of Tim's, was sent to interview him about his impending retirement, who argued that it was wrong that he was judged on his performance at Wimbledon and that he's proudest of his 'overall consistency.'

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Pete Sampras and Roger Federer have been pretty consistent too, only they had a lot of shiny things on the mantelpiece.

And talking of golden oldies, have you seen John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg racing through Tesco in their new advert? Could be a new market for Tim and Greg to exploit, although Tim will be on the brink of victory only for the wheel to come off his trolley and Greg gets to the counter only to find dollars in his purse.

A lash of brilliance

With the waft of petrol fumes replaced by the more normal agricultural aroma accustomed to the cow-strewn fields of Dundrod it could only mean Bikes finally got round to showing the Ulster Grand Prix.

As always Stephen Watson was our genial host but given most talk was about the weather, perhaps it would have been better to have had Angie Phillips, a woman guaranteed to lift the depression and, dare I say it, certainly gives me a warm front.

The action, what there was of it, was more mad than usual, more water than a log flume and meaning the waving of the 'diminished adhesion flag.' No, I don't know either.

Quote of the day though belonged to a man just there to watch, Jonny Rea, when asked by Winker as to who would win.

"It's about who's got the big ones downstairs and leaves the brains in the toolbox," he said. Hard to argue.

The final word

You get the feeling that Jim White wets himself every morning when he's pouring the milk on to his cornflakes but the Sky Sports News presenter was all of a tizz as the transfer window closed on Friday night. "13 minutes to go, less than that, how exciting is this?" he wailed, as news of Shefki Kuqi's transfer filtered through. Indeed, I hardly slept a wink all night with the sheer excitement of it all.

Belfast Telegraph


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