Matt Butler: Please, please, please, can the World Cup start now?

View From the Sofa: World Cup Epic Fails, ITV1

Please, please, please, can the World Cup start now? Not because we don't want to sit through any more tepid friendlies like Friday's effort, but because we have had more than enough of clip shows “celebrating” the tournament.

The BBC have had a good run of it, with compendiums of greatest goals, best moments and (probably) the most pithy commentator comments, but on Saturday night it was the turn of ITV, the other rights-holder, to plumb the depths.

And with World Cup Epic Fails, they plummeted to a televisual Mariana Trench. Aside from the name (more on that later), the whole programme was like a time warp back 30 years.

Angus Deayton was the host – yes, this clip show needed someone in a studio to hold it together – and it quickly became clear why he is still not missed on Have I Got News For You.

His opening monologue was peppered with the kind of casual racism and sexism that we hadn't seen in years – and no, it wasn't done in an ironic manner. “In Brazil the party has already started,” he wryly mused. Cut to scenes of riots. Hilarious. Then as a picture of a toothless man flashed on the screen: “This is the richest man in Brazil, he made his money from the tooth fairy.” The canned laughter went wild.

It possibly would have been excusable if this was a meta-clip show – a clip show of clip shows, including an extended scene from the one produced in the build-up to, say, the 1986 World Cup.

And apart from the stale jokes, it looked as if that is what ITV had done. The studio looked like the one from It Will Be All Right on the night had had a lick of paint and a few neon lights added and Deayton hadn't aged a day since his spectacular fall from grace fuelled by the tabloids (although the drugs and prostitutes probably had something to do with it as well).

But then he cracked gags about the Somerset floods and Jay-Z being hit in a lift and then came the sad realisation that this show was made this year.

There were a few gems in the hour of dross. Like Bobby Robson (in a very non-World Cuppy setting seated in front of Benfica livery) bumbling his way through a press conference with a combination of Spanish, Portuguese and hand gestures. That and a repeated showing of Sepp Blatter falling over.

But the rest was depressingly predictable. And, it bears repeating, the clips were interspersed with jokes that break the Trade Descriptions Act.

Then there was the name. The phrase “epic fail” was coined for YouTube videos of mountain bikers careering into sides of houses mid-jump, not clips of Ron Atkinson clad in a pair of budgie smugglers asking in Spanish for four tequila sunrises.

What was a failure (epic or otherwise) was that this show needed three writers and they still managed to let through with sizzlers like “after that dive, he was booked – for a part in EastEnders”. With that, Brazil v Croatia in the World Cup opener on Thursday week can't come soon enough.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
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

SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

SQL Technical Implementation Consultant (Java, BA, Oracle, VBA)

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Lead C# Developer (.Net, nHibernate, MVC, SQL) Surrey

£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering