Sport on TV: Life's a beach for the pundits even if it isn't for the locals

 

When he ventured into the Amazon jungle in David Beckham into the Unknown (BBC1, Monday), the former pride and joy of England's three lions looked a lot like Dennis Hopper's deranged groupie in Apocalypse Now with his tattoos and bristly chin and bandana. Sadly he would never be mistaken for Marlon Brando's Colonel Kurtz as he revealed that Victoria wouldn't let him back in the house before he had showered. But then Kurtz probably never had a woman like Posh Spice behind him, unless that was why he disappeared in the first place.

As the build-up to the World Cup carried on with Lineker in Brazil: The Beautiful Game (BBC1, Tuesday), the presenter stuck to Copacabana beach and settled for rolling up his trouser legs when it came to going native. Lineker stopped short of putting a hanky on his head, at least, but he did try to grow some facial hair, though it was an embarrassing effort that made him look even more shifty than Gary Neville.

Lineker was speaking to some of the greatest purveyors of fantasy football. As a player who specialised in knocking the ball into the net from about two yards out, perhaps this was a voyage of discovery for him, too: the wide world outside the penalty area. This involved talking to Fernanda Lima, the stunning Brazilian TV presenter, though it was hard to fathom why (in footballing terms anyway).

The one he really wanted to meet was Ronaldo, presumably not only because he also possesses a very dodgy goatee but because he is so chubby now that he actually looks like a football – and makes our Gary look good.

There was a predictable cast of characters here, including John Barnes, the closest we have to a Zico or a Socrates, who scored a wondrous Brazilian goal against the selecao in a friendly but admitted: "If the match had meant anything, someone would have tackled me. The Brazilians were on holiday – or drunk." Pah, that's nothing; England's football supporters can do both of those at once.

The pick of the interviewees had to be Graeme Souness, Alan Hansen and Kenny Dalglish sitting in a posh restaurant discussing Scotland's dismantling by the Brazilians in 1982. It is hard to imagine a less congenial dinner party. Kenny was staring in disbelief at the proxy little starter in front of him. Clearly that defeat in Seville still leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.

If that was possibly the most miserable meeting of minds in the world, then Lineker's programme kept hammering home the point that Brazilians just love their life so much, even though they seem to spend their whole time getting upset and rioting.

One of the talking heads we will have to get used to over the next month is Tim Vickery, a journalist who has lived out there for 20 years. On the highlights after Brazil beat Croatia in the opening game (Match of the Day, BBC1, Thursday) he bemoaned the fact that everyone else in the world thought "ah, Brazil: carnival, sex, Pele", adding: "All the cheap stereotypes about this happy country full of happy, dancing, happy people, happy all the time – well, the reality is more complicated". One would hope so, but thanks for that enlightening revelation. Perhaps he's been living out there too long.

You could tell that all was not well in Brazil by the fact that there were about a hundred police cars in the background by Copacabana beach with all their sirens flashing. It looked as if Colonel Kurtz had got fed up with the jungle and had come to town. And the fact that locals were throwing rocks at the windows of the ITV studio.

However, judging by the sight of Alan Shearer and Danny Mills sitting side by side in the Beeb's beachside bunker, their bald domes looking like a couple of pebbles washed up on the shore, it might actually have been them trying to sabotage their broadcasting rivals.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez missed a penalty before scoring the opening goal with a header at the back post
footballLive! Sanchez makes up for penalty miss to put Arsenal ahead
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
Rooney celebrates with striker-partner Radamel Falcao after the pair combine to put United ahead
footballManchester United vs Newcastle match report
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Brand Marketing Manager - Essex - £45,000 + £5000 car allowance

£40000 - £45000 per annum + car allowance: Ashdown Group: Senior Brand Manager...

Guru Careers: .NET Developer /.NET Software Developer

£26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a .NET Developer /.NET Software ...

Guru Careers: Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing Exec (SEO / PPC)

£18 - 24k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing...

Guru Careers: Technical Operations Manager

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Technical Ope...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all