For those watching erstwhile Brighton and Hove Albion manager Gus Poyet being told he was being given the ol’ heave ho from the club while live on air on Sunday evening, the first comparison was a yellow one.
Namely the immortal scene in The Simpsons’ episode “I Love Lisa” when Lisa dumps Ralph Wiggum live on TV and Bart pauses the video to show her that you “can actually pinpoint the second when his heart rips in half”. Soon, Gus had been cut with Ralph and on YouTube.
It wasn’t quite that bad with Poyet – he was handed a note during Spain versus Nigeria – and handled being asked about it at half-time (he was a pundit) with notable (or resigned) restraint.
Others haven’t responded to an on-air ditching with quite the same sentiment. National treasure Danny Baker famously responded to being told in November, minutes before going on air, that his much-loved BBC London show was being canned with two hours of furious raging. Baker fumed at the BBC’s management: “I hope whoever was responsible, their abacus comes undone and they choke on the beads.”
While Baker had already been sent to the dumper before going on air, no such luck for Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic. Having strained every sinew to get Chelsea into the 2012 Champions’ League final, Sky Sports’ Geoff Shreeves informed him that a booking meant he’d be suspended for the final. Cheers Geoff.
Best of all the live sackings, perhaps, was the September 2010 defenestration of mixed martial arts agent Malki Kawa by his client Matt “Meathead” Mitrione, which took place in the middle of the UFC ring. After beating Joey Beltran, Mitrione ended his victory speech by yelling: “Malki, you’re fired.”
In an interview a few minutes later, the fighter explained that his agent had only earned him £5,000 for the fight and accused Kawa of insulting his wife. Mitrione ended their partnership with a Sir Alan-like eye for the grand termination: “He was out of line in a lot of ways, so I think it’s appropriate that I fire you on live TV. You’re fired.” Which is how you do it, Brighton.