Sport on TV: Ol' Zeppelin-lips romances the edge off macho Razor
Saturday 06 October 2007
Neil "Razor" Ruddock was last seen in I'm An Otherwise Unemployable Ex-Footballer Get Me Out Of Here! or whatever it was called. He made a charity record with fellow jungle-dwellers Mike Read and Lord Brocket. On the snakes and ladders board of reality-TV awfulness it should be a few rungs up from that to Celebrity Wife Swap (Channel 4, Sunday). But not when your guest for the week is ol' Zeppelin-lips, Pete Burns.
Ruddock has become Andy Capp, gravitating between sofa and pub while his partner Leah, a former Page Three girl, cleans up after him and raises their baby Pebbles (dear God). And for the first part of the week, while Burns swallows his pride and plays housewife, life's fine.
But when the tables are turned the hard man can't hack it, throwing hissy fits and being sick when he has to clean up the pets' poo. "You're such a girl," says Burns. "You're a delicate daisy under that big macho exterior, aren't you?"
The legendary hard man cracks when Burns asks a simple question: "What do you do for Leah that's romantic?"
He splutters, but won't discuss it, knowing Burns will always be able to nutmeg him verbally. "If I go to Tenerife, you go to Elevenerife!" he shouts.
Burns does get through to him, remarkably, and Ruddock starts reading out a poem he's written to Leah, but has to stop. "I don't want to read any more because it's upsetting me," he says.
"I'm shocked," says Burns. "I hope you put it into practice and open your heart."
Leah, meanwhile, has spent the week being pampered by Pete's partner Michael and reviving her modelling career. When the two couples meet to discuss their experiences, Ruddock's in for it.
"Living that life I felt a tremendous sense of isolation," Burns says. "I felt completely imprisoned." And Leah needs no encouragement.
"I wake up, I do the baby, then I'm at home all day, you'll have a sleep on the sofa, then you'll go to the pub," she tells him.
Ruddock, to his credit, takes it mostly on the chin.
He thanks Burns for locating his sensitive side. "I've been hiding it for years, 'cause I'm this big macho prick."
Burns is pleased with himself. "I think you've learnt a lot this week - 'cause it's been hammered into you."
Back home, Leah reads Pete's commands to Ruddock on the fridge door. "'Romance me, wine and dine me, no pub' - good rules." Whether they survive the return to the status quo is another matter. Ruddock stretches and yawns. "Tonight I'm gonna be a shagging machine," he says. She slaps him in the stomach. "For a couple of minutes," he finishes.
Then it was back to Burns, whose lips swelled to the size of prize marrows and exploded, covering the room and everyone present in a fine film of implant goo. I must stop taking hallucinogenic drugs when I'm working.
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
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