Robin Scott-Elliot: Greig's a tasty addition to Sky team but Beefy is a crusty curmudgeon

View From The Sofa: Cricket, Sky / TwentyTwelve, BBC 2

Brian Blessed, I discovered last week while watching the 786th repeat of QI on Dave, once sparred with the Dalai Lama, apparently a keen pugilist. The two met after one of the actor's failed attempts to climb Everest. According to Blessed, the Brian one, they swapped numbers and have stayed in touch, conjuring images of a bruised Blessed leaving his new friend's mountain retreat, bunching his hand into the shape of a phone and yelling: "Dalai, call me." The second most rewarding pairing of the week came in Galle where Tony Greig and Ian Botham were rostered together in the Sky commentary box.

Is there room in the one box for two former England all-rounders who are to self-confidence what Blessed is to gusto? Greig is usually to be found squeezed into an Australian commentary box where it's necessary to shout to be heard. Unlike Sky, who are happily not afraid of silence, the Australians like to have three former Test players on mic at once, which ensures there is never dead air. Greig has always been a shouty commentator, and has always been up in the box since I started watching cricket. His cry, in a guttural Aussie-South African-English, of "got 'im" resonated over many dismissed Englishmen as they trudged back to Australian pavilions during the dark days of Baggy Green domination.

Botham has become the on-sight curmudgeon now that Bob Willis is consigned to the studio (seemingly condemned forever to sit hawkishly in a chair that is too small for him). But there's no harm in that (in Botham being a curmudgeon – there is potential harm in squeezing Willis into a little seat). Greig's addition worked because he is different again to the rest. There was one key player sadly missing. Ian Ward lacks the warmth, charm and class of David Gower. He does, though, manage to ask questions of his guests or make points in less than 1,000 words, which gives more time for Willis to make observations such as Andrew Strauss gave up the one-day captaincy because he was "henpecked at home".

That's not a problem Ian Fletcher, the head of the Olympic Deliverance Commission, suffers with as his wife has thrown him out. Twenty Twelve, the (just about) fictional take on London 2012, returned last week with the first of a two-parter on a brewing row over the Shared Belief Centre at the Olympic Park. Algeria and Morocco are threatening to boycott the Games unless a mosque is built, with the French threatening a counter-boycott if any mosque-type concessions are made. "Multi-culturality is the centre pole in the 2012 tent, which we think is a pretty impressive tent in its own right, but also of London's tent and some would say it's what keeps Britain's tent up today, in fact without that pole, it could be argued, there would not be a centre at all. So that's all good and we take that thought going forward in consultation with our belief partners as we tension the last few guy ropes and tighten the canvas of our plans," said Fletcher. Roll on part two.

Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm actor was just 68
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices