Sport On TV: Frankie Dettori leaves David Beckham in his shadow. That's no small feat

 

Channel 4 News seems to be losing its sense of perspective. Last week Fergie's retirement booted the Queen's Speech into touch, and this Thursday's bulletin led with Jon Snow declaring: "We are in the midst of racing's horrifying perfect storm."

Suddenly we were listening to a little chap who rides horses and stuck some cocaine up his nose (just the once, mind). Meanwhile, a truly global event was relegated to the nether regions: David Beckham was retiring.

Unlike with Sir Alex, the tributes paid to Becks (he's always being paid something) were more mixed. "No more Goldenballs," said Channel 4 pithily, while the BBC's Dan Rowan said: "This was a player whose fame arguably outweighed his talent." Fergie himself would have done plenty of arguing over that point.

The Beeb also said that Becks "transcends sport", which were the exact words used by Clare Balding in her interview with Frankie Dettori. The jockey's drug use has "shattered the image of one of the best-known and most exuberant personalities". Ah, personality. Sportsmen can't just be sportsmen any more, can they? And who do we have to thank for that? There are so many personalities coming and going at the moment that you need performance-enhancing drugs to keep up with them all.

Dettori blamed his fall – from grace, not off a pony – on the way he was sidelined by the Godolphin stable, who were subsequently disgraced in turn for their use of anabolic steroids. "My head was wrecked, absolutely wrecked," he added, so it must have been some good stuff. Then he ill-advisedly compared himself to sport's ultimate bad boy: "I feel like Lance Armstrong. They'll be knocking on my door every day." In fact it was the paparazzi, not the drug testers, who were camped outside his house. "I managed to smuggle my way into the house by hiding underneath the car seat," he said. Is he really so tiny that he can actually get under the seat rather than hide behind it? A useful piece of information for next time you're searching for loose change in the car park: take a jockey with you.

Meanwhile Snow was still storming ahead with his white- powder fixation. He told Paul Bittar of the British Horseracing Authority: "You go to the taxi ranks and they all talk about it. They say recreational drugs are rife in Newmarket." Well, you've got to fill your evenings somehow in deepest, darkest East Anglia. And thanks to Channel 4 News you know where to go now for your fix.

Sol Campbell emerged from the relative obscurity of his retirement to investigate an altogether sadder case of people with too much time on their hands. Panorama: Jobs for the Boys (BBC1, Monday) informed us that 49 per cent of black men between 16 and 24 are "classed as unemployed" and the former Spurs and Arsenal defender wanted to find out why.

One convicted drug dealer who wanted to be a rap star made him splutter, "I believe he should think about getting an ordinary job", which seemed a bit rich coming from a very rich former footballer.

He added: "The idea of musicians and footballers being role models makes me feel uncomfortable." Which is a real shame, because the solution to the problems of these men, apparently, is that "82 per cent would like to hear from a role model with their own background".

Campbell has a decent televisual presence and perhaps we should see more of him. But who, of all the retiring legends, will replace Alan Hansen on Match of the Day? Beckham would make the "tired" old show more "fashionable". But while everyone used to moan about how much the dour Scot was paid, it would be a pittance compared to what Becks would want.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Thomas carried Lady Edith over the flames in her bedroom in Downton Abbey series five

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, seated next to a picture of his missing wife Amy, played by Rosamund Pike

film
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene

Friends 20th anniversary
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham

books
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey

There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
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.

    Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

    Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

    ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
    Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

    Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

    Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
    'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
    BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

    BBC Television Centre

    A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
    Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

    My George!

    Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
    10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world