Robin Scott-Elliot: How Corden curse stops Britain's girls making a splash
View From The Sofa: Olympic Dreams, BBC
Monday 26 April 2010
It is currently impossible to watch TV for any length of time without the ubiquitous James Corden looming into shot. The only broadcast that he has not featured in of late is the election debate, but there is still one to go and Smithy knows better than anyone how to build a better Britain having overseen Pam and Mick's conservatory construction project.
He appeared in Olympic Dreams last week because he is to be the centrepiece of the opening ceremony as well as the Games mascot and the Olympic Village before being converted into affordable homes for local people once the rest of the world has gone home (volcanoes allowing). He's not actually, not yet anyway, though popping up in a programme about synchronised swimming might seem even more unlikely.
He is, it turned out, part of the reason why Britain struggles to make an impact in the sport. In this country synchronised swimming is not taken seriously – like Craig Bellamy's analysis of the dollarisation of Central America, Alan Shearer's analysis on Match of the Day and Boris Johnson. Because we laugh at it, the powers that be in synchro apparently always mark our girls down, or so the programme seemed to imply. So Corden splashing around in a swimsuit and make-up is grist to those who want to wipe the fixed grin off the faces of Team GB.
But the bubbly pairing of Jenna Randall and Olivia Allison plugged on, and even broke into the world top 10 by the end of the half hour, having survived a bomb scare, performed in front of a group of bemused soldiers and slapped on enough make-up to make Quentin Crisp look fresh faced while all the time smiling in and out of the water, and under it too.
Whether they are any good or not, who knows, but what Olympic Dreams made plain is the commitment that anyone who wants to make it anywhere near London (Watford?) requires. Peter Reed and Andy Triggs Hodge already have one Olympic gold on their mantelpieces from the coxless four in Beijing, although judging by the chaotic nature of Triggs Hodge's life his is probably propping up the wobbly leg under the kitchen table.
They made an odd couple; Reed, meticulous in everything he did, was filmed by a giggling Triggs Hodge as he unpacked in yet another hotel room. So organised was Reed that he may well have had days of the week pants. If Triggs Hodge did he would have ended up with five Sundays, a Thursday, two sloganed, "you don't have to be mad to work here but it helps" and one thong.
Reed celebrated his birthday in training camp somewhere bleak and wet in Austria, as he had done for the previous few years. His present was to be shouted at by Jurgen Grobler, the mastermind behind Britain's success on the water and a man, with his villainous East German accent, who was born to play a Bond baddie, although since the latest film has been put on hold he has clearly taken the sensible career path.
The other athlete on the programme was Zoe Smith, a slender schoolgirl from east London who lifts weights. Her gymnastics coach was struck by her strength and suggested she switch sports – now she's on course to compete in 2012. Hers was the most diverting of the story strands thanks to her wide-eyed enthusiasm and struggles with pre-event nerves as she begins to make a name for herself in the frankly scary world of women's weightlifting, and all without a sign of Corden. As yet.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
Latest in Sport
Germany vs Argentina World Cup final 2014: Five reasons why Argentina will win the World Cup
World Cup Final 2014: Choosing between Germany and Argentina is an impossible choice
Luke Shaw arrives a week early for Manchester United pre-season training after cutting short post-World Cup holiday
PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Luis Suarez joins Barcelona: Wilfried Bony, Karim Benzema and the other transfer targets Liverpool should look to replace Suarez with
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...