Sport on TV: Mr Price makes a big booby of himself? Put him back in cage
Sunday 25 April 2010
When a continuity announcer introduces a programme with the words: "The story the press can't stop talking about," you really should just switch off. Alex Reid – The Fight of His Life (Bravo, Monday) was a documentary about someone who was completely unknown until he was seduced by a woman with massive breasts, then won 'Celebrity Big Brother'. Oh, and he's a mixed martial artist, or cage-fighter; from there you are left to wrestle with your conscience.
Apparently Reid was quite good five years ago but has lost his past six fights. Now it's time to make his comeback – or get on the telly, anyway – and he heads off to Bhagur in India to learn some of the local moves. "I wouldn't say it's the biggest thing that's happened here since Gandhi," he says, "but I've caused quite a stir." Well you did say it, and you really shouldn't have.
His reception is down to the fact that he has just married Katie Price in Las Vegas. It's surprising he doesn't have a couple of black eyes. But not surprising that after four days of marriage he's catching a plane to a distant destination.
"There's so much that hasn't been brought out of the jungles of India," says his coach, Daniel Isaac, India's MMA guru and the boss of the Tiger Gym. He teaches Reid elements of kushti and kalari wrestling but his star pupil is incapable of learning new tricks – he should ask his wife about that – and resorts to brute force in the way that British tourists just start shouting when someone doesn't understand English.
Reid was not in good shape after his nuptials, although he shows off his muscles at every opportunity – and keeps taking his pants off too. When he fights, he is assailed by stomach cramps caused by diarrhoea, and has to learn yoga to stretch himself out. Frankly, yoghurt might have been a better idea. And get those pants back on! There's a distinct rumble in the jungle.
Then he has to fight local hero Dungal Singh. They are told not to hit their opponent in the face or groin, so Reid immediately kicks his man in the nether regions. You just know that it doesn't really matter if Reid gets kicked in the head. As he is pursued in the streets by local children, he asks: "Have you heard of the Pied Piper? It's an English tale." That would be ye olde English town of Hamelin? Ali running through the slums of Kinshasa this was not.
It was time for some culture. On Working Space – Michael Vaughan (Sky Arts, Tuesday) the former England cricket captain creates art by smashing paint-soaked balls against a wall with his bat. "I'm quite a colourful bloke and I enjoy that kind of stuff," the man once known as "The Vicar" confides in his dreary monotone. It's all about as likely as Alan Bennett challenging Alex Reid to a fight armed with nothing but a fistful of Jammie Dodgers.
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