Sport on TV: Surreal tale of Sven, the witch doctor and a fake Becks

Click to follow
The Independent Football

So, you're a temp, working for a day in the office of the man you believe to be the England football manager. He's a plant, though you're not to know that. And why should you suspect anything, when his day appears to consist of sacking his captain, consulting a witch doctor to put the hex on forthcoming opponents and forming a flat back four with a call-girl called Gloria?

The Lookey Likey Show (ITV2, Thursday) is labouring under the worst programme title since Open University Module 13.8A: Developments in Fluid Dynamics or The Man Whose Penis Dropped Off (I may have imagined both those, but then again I may not). But the set-up was faultless.

Young Scott, the stooge in question, found himself privy to "Sven's" meeting with a Football Association "official" as they discussed taking the captain's armband away from David Beckham, though in this case giving it to Frank Lampard. Scott looked furtively on from his desk as they talked about how best to news-manage the handover (that should have got the alarm bells ringing in Scott's head, the notion of the FA news-managing anything). "Shall I get Lampsy?" the official asked, before bringing in a Lampard impersonator.

The deal done, and Lampard's silence secured until the 6pm news, the official asked Scott what he thought. "Personally I've never been a big Beckham fan," he replied. He was told to call Becks' mobile and cancel his scheduled afternoon meeting with "Sven", but to give no reason.

"He's never done that before. Have you any idea why?" the Beckham voice double asked Scott, who straight-batted admirably, suggesting it might be rescheduled for later in the day. "Oh, I've got to go to Victoria's wretched fashion thing," moaned "Becks".

At which point, Scott, who seemed a bright lad, should have begun to suspect something. "Wretched"?

Even more on the ball would have been a faux tapping-up conversation with a fake Fake Sheikh, but the next set-up was all too believable. "Gloria" turned up, ready to give the England coach a massage. "Do you have massages?" she asked Scott while she waited. "You should try one of mine, 'cause I create my own oils."

Out came Sven in his England kit to usher her into his private office. A few minutes later she reappeared in a referee's kit plus stockings and suspenders, rummaged in her bag, took out a red card and disappeared back inside. Scott's eyes widened, then widened some more.

Next up was "Dr Samendi", a witch doctor not thought to be related to Bill Beswick. He enlisted Scott's help for a ceremony that involved drinking ox blood and dancing round the room sticking pins into juju dolls. As Sven ushered the good doctor out afterwards, Scott shook his head and whispered to himself, "What the fuck are they doing?"

Meanwhile, Mark Ramprakash continued to rule the floor in Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1, Saturday), despite a microphone-related accident mid-routine. "You turned meltdown into a triumph hot enough to cause global warming," said judge Bruno Tognoni.

Matt Dawson, on the other hand, was told off by Arlene Phillips for keeping everything cooped up inside. "You have the sensuality but you just don't explode," she admonished. Dawson took it in good part. "I have to come out," he said.

That got a titter.