Sport on TV: Show gets cancelled for Portugal's prancing pony

"No time now for his smarty-pants tricks!"

In his long and illustrious career, Clive Tyldesley has never been more on the ball (ITV1, Thursday). The Scolari boys were 2-0 down and needed the best player in the world – allegedly – to prove to us all that the allegations are true. "Portugal need the real Ronaldo!" Tyldesley cried.

Some might say the real Cristiano Ronaldo is precisely what they got. The show pony went missing, his allergy to the big occasion flaring up yet again – remember the second half in Moscow last month? As a fan of his present employers I found myself thinking, "Off you go. That'll be 60m quid, please." From the real Ronaldo to the Real Ronaldo.

The Germans, meanwhile, were busy confounding all our prejudices with their sense of adventure. At1-0, Tyldesley read out Joachim Löw's words when he took over as Germany coach: "We must not go back to the days of over-reliance on traditional German values. These days even San Marino can run around and fight, too." Tyldesley pondered: "and how true is that – not only of Germany but of England?"

David Pleat, his colleague in the commentary box, concurred wholeheartedly. "Absolutely right," he said. "It's imagination, it's improvisation, it's creativity, it's rotational, it's being comfortable – we lack it in England. If Germany are true to the principles you've just suggested they won't sit back, they'll go for the second goal."

And so they did. "Germany are in the semi-finals," roared Tyldesley at the end. "Never, ever, ever write them off!"

"You can't write them off," confirmed Gary Neville in the studio. "You can't write them off," said anchorman Matt Smith five seconds later.

Top show pony on BBC's Royal Ascot coverage this week has been the foot-in-mouth fashion critic James Sherwood. His acid tongue provoked a deluge of complaints on Wednesday when he spotted two women walking past dressed in black, and remarked, "They look like war widows" – on the day four British soldiers were killed in Afghanistan. I can't say I made the connection myself. He apologised for that, but then blundered all over again when he was chatting to Carol Kirkwood, the BBC1 breakfast show weather presenter on Ascot duty.

Women racegoers, he said, are "heffers". Kirkwood was scandalised, apparently. "You can't say that!" Later in the day he stood by in distinct discomfort while Clare Balding apologised profusely on his behalf.

I'm not sure she should have bothered. He's a welcome antidote to all that Royal gush. Ascot needs the real James Sherwood!

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor