Sport on TV: Dancing off with the 2006 awards are...
Saturday 30 December 2006
So who did what on the box in 2006? Who was a success and who was a Garth Crooks? The inaugural Golden Ball-Gag goes to Jose Mourinho. When he arrived at Stamford Bridge a whirlwind of fresh air blew through English football. A couple of years on, the hair's grizzled, the glint in the eye has faded and an incessant litany of insults emanates from him on a daily basis like the whine of a doodlebug. Can't we do a compulsory Manager Swap and send him to Darlington for a season? That might shut him up.
Most Perceptive Remark By An Ex-Sportsperson on Reality TV goes to Dennis Rodman, who entered Celebrity Big Brother in January with the words, "Shit, these cameras are going to be on us 24 hours. These people are perverts. They have no life."
Still in the "reality" category, Most Pathetic and Annoying Appearance goes to Rodman's housemate Faria Alam, who is to dignity what Vinnie Jones was to cultured football. Best Line: Peter Reid to former Verve singer Richard Ashcroft in the England v Germany: The Legends charity match: "I like that song, 'The drugs aren't very good'." Best Performance in a Charity Match saw Kev from Shameless - Dean Lennox Kelly - beating the ex-pros in Soccer Aid (ITV1, May). As pundit Peter Drury put it, "Which is better, playing from memory or according to your dreams?"
Worst Sports-Related Drama: All in the Game (C4, May), with Ray Winstone's out-of-control Premiership gaffer besmirching an otherwise impeccable acting CV, you slag.
There are a few awards to be divvied up from the World Cup. Most Fatuous Remark: Gabby Logan, over shots of fans during Portugal v Angola: "The Angolans obviously haven't passed on their dancing skills to their colonial rulers..." Best Use Of The Word "Literally": Andy Townsend on Theo Walcott - "he's literally got the whole nation on his shoulders." Runner-up: Townsend during Germany v Italy: "David Odonkor literally handed him the ball on a plate!". Best Pundit: the straight-talking Mick McCarthy.
Best Pundit, overall: a toss-up between McCarthy, party monster Graham Bell at the Winter Olympics and the unexpectedly amusing Nick Faldo at the Ryder Cup.
There were fewer documentaries than ever, the best being the thoughtful My Childhood with Nigel Benn (BBC3, February). Most Astounding Event in a Documentary was Posh Spice quoting Nietzsche - "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" - in David Beckham: A Footballer's Story (ITV1, May). Most Grotesque Doc was The Man Whose Arms Exploded (Five, August). The title says it all.
As for the Big Fat Festering Maggot Award, inaugurated last year for the sheer odiousness of John McCririck's Celebrity Big Brother slobfest, there can be only one winner. Sorry, two winners. McMaggot is jostled on the podium by his toxic nemesis in Celebrity Wife Swap (C4, October), Edwina Currie.
And Man of the Year? It can only be Mark Ramprakash, TV's new Mr Sex, with whom the nation fell in love during Strictly Come Dancing. There, you see, English cricketers can win something.
As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”
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