James Corrigan: BBC laughing as Shearer says something of interest
View From The Sofa: The Championship, BBC
Monday 10 August 2009
It was as if the BBC had become the first to discover the second tier of English football, this mythical land when one of four might not necessarily lift the silverware, where money talks, but does not have the divine right to win every argument. "Welcome to the Championship," said Gary Lineker, with a knowing wink that was half Jeremy Clarkson, half Thomas Edison. "It's unpredictable, it's intense, it's passionate." And it's cheap, Gary. Don't forget the cheap bit.
Still, the BBC's Eureka moment did go rather well, even if they did rather over do it. Guy Mowbray, their excitable commentator, actually said: "So Shelton Martis becomes the first to score in a live Championship game on the BBC." Well, there's one to tell the grandkids. ("Grandpa, what was the BBC?") Otherwise the coverage was good, the natter was good, even the football was good. It fully deserved its gig as the warm-up act for the National Lottery.
But then, West Brom versus Newcastle on this particular first day of this particular season with Alan Shearer in the studio is as easy a sell as is imaginable Championship-wise. It will be interesting to see how they try to sell, say Scunthorpe v Blackpool in January with, erm, Alan Shearer in the studio. Might be like trying to sell a football club to the Geordies.
On the subject of Shearer, this is clearly an absolute scandal which highlights everything bad about football. The wishes of the faithful supporters are being totally ignored here. I mean, how did we Match of the Day fans end up with him? It's simple. We don't want him. They do. Sort it out. Mike Ashley for BBC director-general, I say. With Mark Thompson going the other way if necessary.
Actually, this is the one and only time this column will applaud the corporation for squeezing in Shearer between Lineker and Lee Dixon (Christmas Twister, notwithstanding). He of the platitude actually said something. Of interest. True, he did fail to advise us of Joey Barton's latest (at the time of going to press) training ground dust-up, but he did tell us that Barton is not the most creative midfielder around (cigars notwithstanding).
Nor, says Al, are any of the Newcastle midfield. Let's just pray that Barton, and for that matter, Alan Smith and Kevin Nolan believe the iPlayer to be a device on the BBC website which allows the user to watch the letter "I" over and over (well in certain Premiership households it would make a change from "me, me, me") and do not tune in to check what their old/prospective gaffer said about the limitations of their talents. Or else poor little Joey might soon be in a bit more bother.
It did make one wonder why Shearer isn't so cruel about other teams he's supposed to be analysing, although he obviously doesn't know them so well. Perhaps he should be given the chance to lead every club for eight games into relegation. Perhaps he will. Gary was certainly touting around his pal's services. After all but establishing the fact that Shearer is waiting for a consortium to take over – "who I can't name for confidentiality reasons" (ie their wives and bank managers don't yet know) – the intrepid presenter quizzed further. "Alan, would you consider another job in football?"
Gary, Alan already has another job in football. Might not be much, but it pays the bills. Still, nice try.
arts + entsThere were towering ideas, some scintillating performances and revelatory grooves... our writers pick out their personal highlights
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
elephant appealPrince William signs up for our charity appeal
peoplePrepare to be entranced by worms as the molecular biologist gets ready to give the Royal Institution science lectures
elephant appealSo says man jailed for cutting off dead elephant's tusks
booksWe examine the best titles for teens
voicesPeople moan that Christmas is too commercial, the spirit lost. But it is a time to over-indulge, and always has been, says DJ Taylor
scienceResearchers teach border collie to understand sentences using more than 1,000 words
booksA Christmas story in six parts
travelWill high-value tourism help the workshops of this Renaissance city?
food + drinkA trifle without custard? Surely not! Nonsense – and here’s three to finish your festive meal that prove it
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
Arts & Ents blogs
Heavy rain and years of 'benign neglect' may have caused Apollo Theatre roof collapse
Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
Justin Bieber isn't retiring from music after all
Nymphomaniac, film review: 'Despite the surreal sex scenes this is a serious drama'
The publisher who played with fire: the battle for control of Larsson's £30m legacy
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
David Cameron takes his biggest gamble yet as he gets tough on Europe over immigration
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
Top PR exec Justine Sacco under fire for sending racist tweet before flying to Africa
- 1 Top PR exec Justine Sacco under fire for sending racist tweet before flying to Africa
- 2 French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 The publisher who played with fire: the battle for control of Larsson's £30m legacy
- 5 Police seize possessions of rough sleepers in crackdown on homelessness
- < Previous
- Next >