Outside the Box: Ferguson talks to the Beeb again? You're having a laugh

With Sam Allardyce and Harry Redknapp both embracing the BBC again after a two-year boycott, and Redknapp's assistant at Tottenham, Kevin Bond, understood to be prepared to forgive and forget, is it time for Sir Alex Ferguson, the one remaining refusenik, to follow suit? Don't hold your breath, or, if you are a Beeb reporter, your microphone. Since a BBC3 programme in May 2004 about his son Jason's activities as an agent, Sir Alex has spoken to the corporation only three times, showing his warmer side by contributing to special Sports Personality of the Year tributes. Consider, however, the karma that has followed Allardyce and Redknapp since letting bygones be bygones. Both were upset by allegations made in a 2006 'Panorama' programme on corruption in football and agreed a joint pact. But after Portsmouth's FA Cup tie at Ipswich last January, Redknapp suddenly asked: "Where's the BBC?" He gave their man an interview rather than a smack in the mouth, and four months later was at Wembley winning his first trophy in 25 years of management. Similarly, no sooner had Allardyce agreed to break his silence after being appointed at Blackburn than they scored three in his first half an hour back in football.

Pundits play it safe again

Meanwhile, after a cautious couple of weeks declining to make any of their famously premature predictions about which Premier League clubs will be safe from relegation, the 'Match Of The Day' pundits were back with a bang, saving three teams at a stroke in one programme. No danger of Hull plunging that far downwards, Mark Lawrenson assured us in the time-honoured phrase: "They'll be fine". Great news too from his mate Alan Hansen for any Tottenham fans worried by winning only five of their first 19 games: "Harry Redknapp... an absolute certainty to get them out of trouble." And the Beeb is clearly dear old pals now with Big Sam, whose Blackburn had lost 10 of their first 17 games: "Sam will get them out of trouble," Hansen said confidently. So, with Bolton (three points from the relegation zone) and Fulham (five clear) declared safe weeks ago, and the top half-dozen presumably beyond consideration, that leaves West Bromwich, Man-chester City, West Ham, Stoke, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Newcastle, Wigan and Portsmouth to receive MOTD's blessing. Watch this space. Or BBC1 on a Saturday night.

The drinks are on Hansen

For women of a certain age who cannot get enough of the delectable Hansen, he can also be heard, oddly, in Setanta's football coverage, albeit in the half-time adverts, where it's not the defending that's "unbelievable", it's the price of Famous Grouse Whisky at Morrison's. This brings to mind a true story from the early days of LBC radio, when a very correct presenter introducing an item about some show- jumping sponsored by FGW considered the cue too excitable and rewrote it: "An event sponsored by the well-known Grouse Whisky." We all make mistakes. As did Setanta immediately after last Monday's game at Everton, rather embarrassingly putting up a caption with Chelsea top of the table for Christmas, having apparently been awarded two points for a goalless draw. And then introducing referee Graham Poll as "Graeme Sharp". It must have been office party day.

s.tongue@independent.co.uk

Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again say analysts

News
A Brazilian wandering spider
news

World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

Life and Style
fashion

British supermodel and hitmaker join forces to launch a 'huge song'

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually a challenging and nuanced title

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
News
people
Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
i100
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Sport
Fans of Palmeiras looks dejected during the match between Palmeiras and Santos
footballPalmeiras fan killed trying to 'ambush' bus full of opposition supporters
Arts and Entertainment
filmsIt's nearly a wrap on Star Wars: Episode 7, producer reveals
Life and Style
fashion
News
i100
News
<p>Jonathan Ross</p>
<p>Jonathan Ross (or Wossy, as he’s affectionately known) has been on television and radio for an extraordinarily long time, working on a seat in the pantheon of British presenters. Hosting Friday Night with Jonathan Ross for nine years, Ross has been in everything from the video game Fable to Phineas and Ferb. So it’s probably not so surprising that Ross studied at Southampton College of Art (since rebranded Southampton Solent), a university known nowadays for its media production courses.</p>
<p>However, after leaving Solent, Ross studied History at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, now part of the UCL, a move that was somewhat out of keeping with the rest of his career. Ross was made a fellow of the school in 2006 in recognition of his services to broadcasting.</p>
TV

Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new

News
i100
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

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past