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
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living