View From The Sofa: Professor Lamps leads the way for Chelsea's very own 'Horrible Histories'
The British/Road to Glory, Sky
Monday 24 September 2012
It is not difficult to see why the Peasants' Revolt strikes such a chord within the Chelsea dressing room. Frank Lampard believes that at its heart was the natural, native distrust the people of Essex hold for anyone in authority. Ashley Cole readily identified with its driving purpose – a fair day's work for a fair day's pay. And John Terry, of course, was there.
The latter two clearly have strong cases to make as the go-to-guys to act as talking heads on the revolt of 1381. Instead the producers of The British, Sky's shiny new seminal (in their dreams) series about the history of these islands, turned to Lamps. There you go – class-ridden Britain, the privately educated get the nod as usual.
Lampard has only popped up once so far – he trails well behind Russell Brand (who knew the West Ham enthusiast was such an avid admirer of Francis Drake?), Terry Wogan (ditto the printing press) Helen Mirren and Ken Follett – but hopefully he will not be the last footballer to let us know how we got where we are today, and it is surely obligatory to have an Olympian somewhere in the mix.
I believe Paul Scholes comes later in the series, on how the Industrial Revolution transformed the North-west, plus there's an erratic cameo from Alan Hutton identifying the role sugar played in Glasgow's rapid expansion and, best of all, Terry on his time as a suffragette.
Sky is due a degree of credit for at least spending money, and this series cannot have come cheap, on new programmes, especially a series that is not an obvious ratings winner. Which no doubt explains the lowest common denominator decision not to trust the subject matter and use celebrity to reassure us that, hey, history can be fun. It treats its prospective audience with contempt and is a drainingly depressing snapshot of today's media culture.
A much better offering from Sky comes in Road to Glory. Clearly, setting up your own team is going to bring with it impressive access, but nonetheless this is an eye-opening series that follows Bradley Wiggins and Co through a year British cycling will never better.
For the wannabe cycling aficionado it is the perfect in-depth introduction to the sport. Last week we finally arrived in France for the Tour and Wiggins' moment of history, but the moment of this episode came not in Paris but halfway up a mountain somewhere to the south of the capital.
Chris Froome, effectively Wiggins' butler on wheels, suddenly broke away during one of the race's crippling climbs. In the Sky support car there was a look of utter bafflement on the faces of Dave Brailsford and Sean Yates, the brains behind the team. This was not according to the script and if there is one thing this series shows it is how much Team Sky stick to their lines – and successfully so.
It didn't last – Froome soon remembered himself – but there was obvious tension in the camp afterwards and Brailsford's team talk the next morning offered Froome several reminders of his expected place in their race.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news: Atletico Madrid closing in on Santi Cazorla - reports
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger set to cancel moves for Sami Khedira and Morgan Schneiderlin in favour of Jack Wilshere - reports
Arturo Vidal: Manchester United bid £39m for Juventus midfielder
Chelsea transfer news: Jose Mourinho wants both Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech to stay at Stamford Bridge
Malaysian cyclist could face disciplinary action after 'Save Gaza' gloves protest
- 1 Malaysian cyclist could face disciplinary action after 'Save Gaza' gloves protest
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Fifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage from US parenting groups
- 4 McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
- 5 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...
£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...