Sport on TV: My awards span surrealistic spectrum from 'Heroes' to Beckett - More Sports - Sport - The Independent

Sport on TV: My awards span surrealistic spectrum from 'Heroes' to Beckett

As an old git living in the past I've made a great discovery this year, and it's the highlight of my annual awards beano. In the Newcomer of the Year stakes, Setanta's extravagant Premier League launch is trumped by the retrospective glories of ESPN Classic, a channel devoted to old stuff, often tied to what's happening currently. Objections that it launched in 2006 and is therefore ineligible are rejected.

If I had to pick a single Desert Island moment from the year's output, I'd reluctantly sidestep Cliff Morgan's description of the great Barbarians try for another rugby commentary. It was subtitled and anonymous, from a France-England game in the Fifties, shown in the run-up to the World Cup semis: "Lacroix, this is wonderful! Albadejo! Bouquet! Saux, and Domenech! Gentlemen, that was an historic try! Crauste scores probably the most beautiful try that France have ever scored! Oh, I've no voice left! This is really very, very great rugby! Oh la la! After that we can die happy!"

Honourable newcomer mentions: the commentator Jacqui Oatley, who had the girlie cheek to get herself on Match of the Day. A special bravery award goes to civilisation for not falling, despite predictions from the caveman community. And Inside Sport (BBC1), a proper magazine programme, exactly the kind of thing the BBC should be doing.

The Skippy Award for Bounciest Newcomer goes to Will Greenwood, who's bouncier than a testing session in a bouncy castle factory. Treating the Rugby World Cup like a soft-play area divided opinion, and the antis were vicious, but for me he's a find. A very bouncy find.

The Donald Rumsfeld Award for services to the English language goes to Jamie Redknapp, whose manglings on Sky add hugely to the gaiety of the nation. He's especially strong in the "literally" department: Evra's literally left for dead, time literally stands still for Chopra. It's like an episode of Heroes.

Best WAG Appearance in a reality TV series: Danielle Lloyd, who kept us entertained and appalled as she fell under Jade Goody's, er, spell in Celebrity Big Brother (C4, January). Teddy Sheringham, thinking a couple of passes ahead as always, had dumped her by the time she was out.

Best Commentary was Motty and Lawro during the Croatia car crash last month. Almost lost for words, they were boys from Beckett, surveying the bleakness of existence as hope drained away. I imagine Alan Green, for one, was thundering away on Radio 5 Live, but without trying, Vladimir and Estragon caught the mood perfectly.

The Golden Steering Wheel for getting me watching Formula One, even the qualifying: Fernando Alonso. Only kidding (stop hitting me).

Finally, the annual John McCririck Great Fat Festering Maggot Award goes to Pete Burns' lip implants. The former human being did well to access Neil Ruddock's soft centre in Celebrity Wife Swap (C4, October), but the lips were a vision from a sleazy, druggy nightmare smeared across the screen. Horrifying. Oh, and have a Happy New Year.

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

History Teacher

£110 - £160 per day + Mileage & Expenses: Randstad Education Leeds: Required i...

Nursery Nurse

£7 - £8 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Nursery Nurse jobs in South Glouc...

English Teacher needed for long term cover

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay TBA: Randstad Education Reading...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply special needs assistants Jobs i...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week