Sport on TV: Nazi-provoking naffness meets Nembutal Naz in an orgy of utter obnoxiousness

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People used to say of the double album The Beatles that it would have made a great single LP (a load of rubbish in my opinion, but that's by the by). I was forcibly reminded of this several times during Sports Review of the Year (BBC1), a two-hour slog which should have been cut in half and had all the showbiz rubbish sliced out of its tacky, tawdry heart.

Things got off to a predictably silly start when Seve Ballesteros entered on a golf buggy. Why? Why? (He then had to go and sit in the audience next to Big Colin Montgomerie, which is akin to sharing a phone booth with the Two Fat Ladies.)

Later, Ballesteros refused to take the bait when Steve Ryder questioned him about being an interfering git as Ryder Cup captain (those weren't his actual words, but it was what he meant - at Valderrama, if you remember, Seve appeared to be perpetually on the verge of wrenching clubs from hands, dumping golfers in bunkers and taking on the Americans by himself). Monty, his most voluble critic, wasn't going to be led into indiscretions either, saying to Seve, "I know I said `Stay in your buggy', but

Ian Wright, who has seldom been accused of eloquence or silence, provided a bit of up to date material. The previous day he had brought his entire repository of dignity to bear on Arsenal's home defeat to Blackburn, yelling at his own fans from the dressing-room window, and he was asked about his oratorical display. "It was nothing, really," he said. "Controversy's following me round - he's just gone to the bar to get a drink." His explanation? "I'm that kind of guy." Oh, that's all right then.

It's probably to do with my failings as a human being, but I have to say I find the chumminess of occasions like these utterly obnoxious. After a clip from the 1983 programme (done on a set that looked cheaper than something from an old Blake's Seven scene), Sue Barker purred, "Des - just like a vintage wine." Now I know the remark was partly tongue in cheek, but it partly wasn't, and it was that part that made me want to throw up.

The worst insult, though, are the set-ups. First, poor Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski were dragged on for a game of table tennis. "I can hardly contain myself," said Lynam, who has an inimitable way of dissociating himself from his employers' worst excesses.

Even worse was the drop-kick competition (inspired by Jeremy Guscott's last-minute piece of glory for the Lions). As Denise Lewis (a veteran of these set-ups, poor woman), Nasser Hussain, Roger Black, Lee Westwood and Matthew Pinsent managed one successful attempt out of 10 between them, I found myself yelling "Naff! Naff! Naff! Naff! Naff!" at the screen like a cross between a Dalek and a demented Nazi. It was the highlight of the night for me, I can tell you.

As for the alleged comedy sequence, featuring the impressionist, Alistair McGowan, I have to confess almost total ignorance. After the first 20 seconds, I just couldn't watch any more (my mysterious friend who keeps me up to date with trash TV can report, though, that MacGowan was good value on Des O'Connor Tonight (ITV) in midweek, especially a quite brilliant conflation of Trevor Brooking and David Helfgott).

The camera alighted briefly on Chris Eubank and my heart leapt - "It's Dickhead Time!" - but he was thoroughly upstaged by the upstart pretender who has based himself almost entirely on the Brighton Bruiser (apart from being a fantastic boxer).

The interview from New York with Naseem Hamed made virtually the best TV of 1997. He appeared to have been at the curare-tipped darts again, as he seemed to be suffering from almost total paralysis. There he stood, arms folded, one shoulder hunched up towards the camera, face fixed in that pre-adolescent glare we're presumably supposed to find intimidating (as opposed to pants-wettingly hilarious). Back in London, you could hear the studio audience tittering. And yes, Naz, they were laughing at you, not with you.

"I'm the wicked prince," he began. "Oh, I thought it was a still picture," said Lynam. It's at times like that you want to have his babies. Lennox Lewis had just been on, and Des said to Hamed, "I bet you wish you were as big as him." "In what way?" demanded Hamed, exhibiting more muscular activity, his glare widening perceptibly. "Think of the money you could earn," Des suggested. "Let's not forget the money I'm earning now," Hamed countered - and indeed, how could we forget, when no northern roundabout is safe when you're out for a spin in your latest grotesquely expensive penis extension?

As the interview wound down, there was a flicker round Hamed's lips. "You've got to stop smiling, Naseem," said Des. "You're supposed to be cool." Cool? Miles Davis was cool. Keith Richards is cool. Hamed may be many things, but cool is not one of them.

Eventually, we got to the climax, the Sports Personality of the Year award, which, according to Peter O'Sullevan as he handed him the trophy, went to Greg Radetzky (insert your own "March" jokes here, please). If memory serves me, when Daley Thompson won, he strolled up in a scruffy old shell suit and said, "I feel like shit." A sentiment which for two long hours it was all too easy to identify with.

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