Andy Gray and Richard Keys, talksport, 10am

2.00

'Smash It and Nasty' on their best behaviour

It was the return to the airwaves of Smash It and Nasty, the two most controversial football broadcasters of the season, turning out on a station that encourages its presenters to speak their minds. "Sensational" was the word chosen by TalkSport to promote the debut of Andy Gray and Richard Keys, less than three weeks after they were fired from Sky Sports for sexist behaviour.

But the result was the radio equivalent of "parking the bus" – to use one of their own less misogynistic expressions. Over three hours, the pair played it safe, anxious to avoid further gaffes. Given that they have recently introduced into the national conversation such delightful phrases as "Would you smash it?", "Hanging out the back of it" and "Charlotte, will you tuck this in for me, love?", their caution was understandable, if tame, for an audience which has come to expect contentious debate.

TalkSport billed its "big signings" as the media transfer of the year and could not have been pleased by a BBC announcement, an hour before the new show went on air, that Mike Parry (whom Gray and Keys are replacing) would be getting a slot on BBC Radio 5 Live from this Saturday. "I feel like I've just had a call from the manager of Real Madrid," Parry said, pointedly.

Gray and Keys have appeared short of friends of late, and they endeavoured to make up for it in a single programme, by inviting a string of their old Sky Sports contributor pals (former player Dion Dublin, manager Peter Reid and presenter Sam Matterface) to appear as guests. Keys, relentlessly referring to them as "buddy" or "mate", had never seemed so popular. "Reidy, you know what I am saying here, a big, big thank you. Thanks, son."

At the weekend, Keys had faced further allegations concerning alleged racist comments he made off-air. To back up his earlier denial, the radio show revealed that he has black buddies, too: on the line after Dublin was the Notts County manager, Paul Ince.

The audience wasn't so impressed. "How long can you just interview your old mates for? Boring!" observed Carole Gomez, one of many Twitter users to vent her feelings at the account set up to provide the pair with listener feedback. The presenters did little to dispel their reputation for not having emerged from the Jurassic period, expressing surprise that digital communication could come from Japan. "We've arrived, old son!" Keys quipped. "We're on Twitter!"

The show reached its highest points when the pair brought on Liverpool's Jamie Carragher to discuss recent upheavals at Anfield and then Ray Wilkins to speak about his old clubs Chelsea and AC Milan. Gray had an opportunity to show his undoubted tactical insight. Some listeners were impressed, with one tweeting that "football people still back them both".

But despite Keys' claims of "floods of emails", the presenters shunned the risk of interaction with the public. For once, these boys wanted to keep their sheet clean. It was 80 minutes into the programme before an email was finally read out, an observation on Wayne Rooney's spectacular goal in the weekend's Manchester derby.

The shunning of social media was, perhaps, because so much of it was disparaging. "My sister's kid dropped my car keys into a v expensive Chinese vase. My question for you guys is: Would you smash it?" was one of the less vitriolic.

One thing Keys did read out was the presenter-delivered adverts. "Get down to Wickes, where you can get ceramic floor tiles for only £8.99 per pack," he implored, not feeling the need to comment on their smashability.

Arts and Entertainment
Tate Modern chief Chris Dercon, who will be leaving to run a Berlin theatre company
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Tasos: 'I rarely refuse an offer to be photographed'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Girls on the verge of a nervous breakdown: Florence Pugh and Maisie Williams star in 'The Falling'
Film
Arts and Entertainment
Legendary charm: Clive Owen and Keira Knightley in 2004’s ‘King Arthur’
FilmGuy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle the legend
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury

music

Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars creator George Lucas

film

Arts and Entertainment

music

Arts and Entertainment
A shot from the forthcoming Fast and Furious 7

film

Arts and Entertainment
The new-look Top of the Pops could see Fearne Cotton returns as a host alongside Dermot O'Leary

TV

Arts and Entertainment
The leader of the Church of Scientology David Miscavige

TV

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
    Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

    Confessions of a former PR man

    The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

    Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

    Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
    London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

    The mother of all goodbyes

    Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
    Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

    Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

    The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions