Robin Scott-Elliot: So far outside the box that it moves the goalposts, in a post-ironic way

View From The Sofa: The Euros' Most Shocking Moments, BBC 3 / Test Cricket Highlights, Channel 5

I've clearly not been watching my zeitgeist tapes closely enough. As is the norm for these best/worst/ most shockingest programmes, a succession of comedians, actors, TV types and so on pretend to have seen the Czech Republic and Faroe Islands play a European Championship qualifier in the fog as well as the usual England penalty debacles. It was easier to identify the Czech players through Faroese fog than it was most of those making post-ironic – BBC 3 is, I believe, the home of post-ironism – remarks about the football.

Chris Martin, it turned out, was not only not Paltrow's other half, not the Norwich City player, not the New Zealand cricketer and not the former Port Vale goalkeeper, but a comedian who has also contributed to The Most Annoying People of 2009, The Most Annoying People of 2010 and The World Cup's Most Shocking Moments. They were all on BBC 3, ironically.

It is cheap TV, which isn't necessarily a bad thing but this was: a tired formula, poorly done and so bad it's a shoo-in for the No 2 slot (nothing beats In a League of Their Own – because it is) in BBC 3's recently commissioned Most Shockingly Bad TV Programmes of 2012. The commissioning editor's idea is to push the envelope so far outside the box that it would ironically take post-irony to a new staging post.

The Euros' etc etc compilation had jokes, in the sense that the intent was there, about bottoms, benders, farts, pulling off and schlongs. A knob gag was always within reach. The 15th most shocking moment was Zinedine Zidane's penis peaking out of his shorts during Euro 2000. At No 11 was the Spanish player Miguel Nadal getting hit in the groin during Euro 96. And, of course, there was Stefan Kuntz, purely for the name.

For the record, the most shocking moment was Paul Gascoigne failing to score a golden goal against Germany in Euro '96, a chance that Geoffrey Boycott's mother would have tucked away with aplomb, simultaneously berating Geoffrey for not clearing his plate and whisking the batter for Sunday's Yorkshire puddings.

Geoffrey's matriarchy has long played a key role in his commentary. Usually it is his grandmother's name called upon but on Saturday it was his mother who was held up as fancying Marlon Samuels' gentle off-spin. Which raises the question, who was the better cricketer in Geoffrey's family, his mother or his grandmother? If a player is judged to be worse than Geoff's granny, is that more of a slap down than being worse than his mum? Or perhaps, like all cricketers, they had their own areas of specialism: mum a handy slip fielder, hard-hitting lower-order batswoman and medium-pacer; granny an opening bat with a lethal arm.

Boycott's take on the game remains ever worth listening to, although he is better suited to radio than TV. Packaging a cricket highlights show to prevent it becoming a succession of wickets and boundaries is a challenge that Channel 5 does its best to overcome. It also means that Boycott becomes at times a straight commentator, a role for which he is not ideal, not least because his voice is too strident. Test Match Special is his ideal home, not least to hear how long it takes Jonathan Agnew's gentle stirring to provoke a reaction, which, when it comes from Geoffrey, is never anything other than pre-ironic.

Voices
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
News
Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
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

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn