Matt Butler: Robbie Savage is not poking fun at 606 callers – he's playing cliché bingo

View From the Sofa: 606 BBC Radio 5 Live

Here is a theory: Robbie Savage is a huge bingo fan. He may even play it while on air during 606, BBC Radio 5 Live's Saturday evening football phone-in. Except instead of playing with numbers, he is eyes-down on a sheet of paper full of football-related clichés while simultaneously contradicting every caller with schoolboy-style taunts of "no he didn't, no he didn't, no he didn't".

There was a clue to this hypothesis just before the seven o'clock news on Saturday. A West Bromwich Albion fan was talking about Steve Clarke not being to blame for their failure to take their chances against Aston Villa a couple of weeks ago. "You can't legislate for that," the caller said. There was a brief pause. A rustle of paper. A barely audible "yes" from Savage. He had quite clearly completed a line.

Then all went back to normal. Darren Fletcher, Saturday's host, carried on saying that he didn't think Clarke would go, while asking Arsenal and West Ham fans respectively whether they "feared" for the rest of the season. Whatever the hosts said is clearly secondary to the real stars of the show – the callers. And while it may seem unfair to poke fun at members of the public, they do put themselves in the firing line by calling in.

As far as the Hammers fans were concerned, it seemed that for every claret-and-blue Cockney who phoned to say Sam Allardyce hasn't got a Scooby about how to get out of trouble, there were others, like Len for example, who ranted that people "should engage their brain before opening their maaf", and how "it really amazes me these days that people go off on one"... while going off on one for 10 minutes.

They were the highlights of the first half-hour of Saturday's episode – which in turn is the best part of 606. The emotions of the game are still running high and the post-match drinks haven't had too much of an effect on callers' verbal diarrhoea.

Savage the cliché-bingo fan would have been like a pig in the proverbial in the opening 30 minutes of Saturday's show. Before the first news break we'd had a "box to box", a "knee-jerk reaction" and a "downward spiral". And to his credit, he let the callers speak without butting in with "why? why? who says?", as he is wont to do later on.

Then there was Dean, the Arsenal fan, who tried to justify his side's 6-3 loss to Manchester City with rhetorical questions such as: "Who are top of the league?"

His arguments had merit, but they all tumbled down like a house of cards when he came out with what should be top of the tautology tree for ever more: "The team with the most points will win the league." The bombshell was met with cackles from Fletcher and Savage and the caller himself admitted he wished he hadn't said it.

But the best moment came in the first five minutes, from Christian, a Sunderland fan. He was pleased with the goalless draw at West Ham and declared that before Gus Poyet arrived, the team had been "Marmite". Whatever did he mean? A team that divides opinion? Viscous and brown? Salty? It was none of the above. "We were all over the place," Christian revealed. The hosts glossed over it, preferring to wax lyrical about West Ham's plight. But you can bet the word wouldn't have been on Savage's bingo card.

twitter.com/@mattbutler503

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee