Sport on TV: Best laid plans of scheming wives run foul of reality

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So, you're pregnant by the former Earls Park chairman Frank Laslett, whom you murdered in a frenzied act of coitus at the end of the last series. But you want the team captain Conrad Gates, whose wife Amber is also with child, to think it's his. Difficult one. Still, switching the babies shouldn't be too much of a problem. Oh yes: Footballers Wives, still minus the apostrophe, is back.

Tania's scheme hinged on timing her own birth to coincide with Amber's and then switching the babies. So while Amber was screaming in her birthing pool (a sensitive touch from the makers, intercutting it with a rape scene), Tania was next door having a premature elective Caesarian. "You're endangering the safety of her baby," the gynaecologist told her. "And what self-respecting surgeon would allow that?" she replied, fixing him with one of those "we're in this moral cesspit together" stares to which she has had such effective recourse over the years.

The next step involved calling on Nurse Dunkley. She, you'll remember, ravished Frank, who was at the time in a coma thanks to being whacked on the head by Tania in the first episode. She carted the bairns off to the special unit and changed their tags (lucky they were the same sex, then).

Hazel, Frank's magnificent, ball-busting successor as chairman, was the first to spot the gaping flaw in Tania's plan (what, with Amber being Indian and all that). "Got a touch of the old tar brush in you, Tan?" she asked, looking at the little mite. "He's got a nice little suntan, your boy."

Tania panicked. Nurse D suggested lemon juice to bleach the skin. "Sod that," said Tania. "I've bought some stuff for fading blemishes. I've used it myself so I know it works."

Nurse D, belatedly revealed to have a conscience, was horrified. "On the baby's skin?" she gasped. "Oh, don't be such a sap, Jeanette," Tania said, giving her some fake tan for the other one. "Frank Jnr's looking far too pasty, don't you think?"

The boys had been on an R 'n' R trip to Spain. That's "R 'n' R" as in "rape and relaxation", and judging from the voice, my money's on Conrad. Hazel paid off the victim, a girl from the North calling herself "Barbarella", knowing she was telling the truth, then gave the team an epic dressing-down when they thanked her for believing in them.

"You don't want to know what I believe, you bunch of low-life shitheads," she said. "I saw that girl. One of you is a sick bastard, and the rest of you are pathetic cowards for keeping it schtum ... You smile for the cameras when you get home and I'll try and mop up what's left of your stinking reputations. But one day when you're no good at kicking balls any more I hope your own shrivel up in shame and drop off." Fantastic. She turned to the manager, Webbsy, and said, "And you were worried about having a poof in the team."

Ah, yes, the poof. That's Wives for you, always trying to cover all the issues affecting our national game. At the end of the last series the gentleman in question, Noah, whose initiation into the first team was oral sex with Conrad, had been caught with a rent boy on closed circuit at a party, and Hazel was busy stage-managing his coming-out. He was pained, she saw an opportunity.

"That pink pound's going to look mighty good on your bank balance," she told him. She may have got it wrong on this one, football being one of the last bastions of Neanderthal man. Noah, clearly thinking so, had himself baptised into a Christian cult that claimed to be able to put him on the straight and narrow. Straight and narrow? On Footballers Wives? In the trailer for next week, Amber's pug Krishna apparently kills one of the kids, while "Barbarella" dyes her hair and gets a job as a nanny. And where do you think that might be?

"When can you start?" says Conrad.

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