Sport on TV: Heart sinks as soppy Robson goes green around the gills
Sunday 13 December 2009
He's letting down the Geordie nation. At the start of Robson Green's Wild Swimming Adventure (ITV1, Tuesday) he decided to take a dip in the Tyne and had to be fished out almost immediately. "My body shut down after 200 yards," he admitted before asking his rescuers when was the last time someone had gone in the river. "Friday night" was the answer, "and they were off their heads." Obviously Green should have had a few Newcastle Brown Ales before he jumped in the drink.
His plan of this two-parter is to swim across a stretch of the North Sea to Holy Island, in honour of his recently deceased father, a miner who would swim for miles in the ocean off the North-east coast. After such an inauspicious start, he settles for building up his resistance to cold water by visiting the lovely Tinside Lido in Plymouth Hoe, then a picturesque tidal pool in Porthtowan Tidal Pool in Cornwall, then a posh lake in Henley, then a gentle float in the Thames by moonlight followed by a glass of wine in a hot tub. It's not very wild.
The temptation was to scream at the screen: "Just get in the sea, you bloody wimp!" Surely that's what his dad would have said. Either that or just wait until the tide has gone out and drive to Holy Island along the causeway, thereby saving us all from wasting our time watching this. As the programme meandered along like a stagnant stream, the distinct impression was that the whole escapade was a lot more gruelling for the viewer than it was for Green.
His task did give him the chance to keep up one great Geordie tradition, that of taking his shirt off at every opportunity. His other current TV show, 'Extreme Fishing with Robson Green', allows him to do the same, though without the endless preening and flirting. Gnarled old fishermen are presumably not as susceptible to his dubious charms as old ladies dangling their toes in Henley Lake.
But there is one problem in his bid to make the nation's swimmers swoon. He was wearing the type of absurdly tight trunks that Daniel Craig sported as James Bond, but when it comes to properly cold water, the bulges become significantly smaller.
Jenson Button appeared on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross (BBC1, Friday) apparently to put the finishing touches to his status as favourite to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award tonight. But his "personality" rather paled in comparison to that of another guest, Andre Agassi, who revealed that the bullying father he wrote about in his brutally honest autobiography 'Open', "was raised on the streets of Tehran and his mother would make him wear girls' clothes at school as punishment when he did something wrong". That's the sort of character-building you just don't get in Frome.
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 5 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
Bad luck, One Direction: Paul McCartney doubts success of The Beatles will ever be matched again
This is surely the best way to watch Jaws
Game of Thrones season 6: Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke says '50/50 chance' Jon Snow is alive
Guillaume Tell's gang-rape scene caused uproar at the Royal Opera House – but the portrayal of extreme sex and violence on stage is nothing new
The last decade has produced just four UK festival headline acts
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture