Sport on TV: 'Mouth Almighty' Jordan sounds off all the way to the bank

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The Independent Online

"No one likes me, I don't care" could be Simon Jordan's theme tune. Crystal Palace fans may be in accord with his apparent mission to take on the world in a head-on shunt, but that's about it.

You cannot argue with Fortune: Million Pound Giveaway (ITV1, Tuesday), though, in which he and four other fat cats listen to supplicants pleading their cases, then stump up the required dosh - or not.

Not, in the case of Grinning Johnny, who wanted £500 to pay back his friends for all the money they've lent him. "I want them to go out and have a good time on my expense," he gurned.

"And a good time would be going out with you, yeah?" Jordan wondered. "I think we should take him round the back and give him a good kicking." The audience liked that one.

A pair of rather more spiritual chancers, Jarvis and Judith, were asking for £79,976 to record a new age album, but made the crucial mistake of performing one of their numbers. "OK, would you take £79,000 not to record an album?" Jordan inquired. "No," they replied, nonplussed. "I would have to be the first British brain donor to back this," he concluded as they blinked back the tears. The others agreed: a big fat resounding no, and don't spare the pan pipes.

They were not all knocked back; a one-armed special needs teacher with four kids, who had taken on her twin nieces after the death of her sister, got money for a loft conversion; a bald bloke received £4,000 for hair implants; and a school in south London was given the funds for a trip to World War One battlefields.

Last up were the fabulous London Wheelchair Rugby Club - packed with Paralympians and European champions for last three years, who needed £88,000 to host the next Europa Cup.

"Who's better than us?" Jordan asked the player-coach, Steve Palmer. "I hate saying this," Palmer grimaced. "The Americans, the Canadians, New Zealand, and Great Britain are fourth in the world."

Jordan continued. "A very pertinent question: can we beat Australia?" Palmer was ready for that. "At the world championships we beat them to get through to the semi-finals." That was enough for Mouth Almighty. "Anyone who can beat Australia at something has my money," he said, and the rest of the panel fell into line, pumped up with admiration.

On pranced the host, Richard Madeley, to tell the rugby boys that £88,000 constituted a series record. "You're really cool dudes," he simpered (shoot him, someone). He asked them if they'd be celebrating. "I think a few beers are in order," Palmer smiled. "Just don't tell the coach."

Madeley guffawed. "Is the coach here?"

Palmer looked up at him. "I am the coach."