Sport on TV: Coddled Delia, caustic Kev and vacuous Vinnie

THE JOHN INVERDALE experience is not to everyone's taste but you have to hand it to him, he gets the big names. And this week he had the ultimate biggie, the interview which the Glendas on the middle-market tabloids would give up their next two facelifts to secure. Forget the first guest up, Kev something (he manages England, apparently). He did not even figure next to the star attraction on On Side (BBC1) which was Delia Smith, football fan, major shareholder in Norwich City, and part- time egg-boiler.

Delia gives interviews almost as often as Norwich win the Cup, which must mean that the prospect of being tackled by Inverdale was either too significant to refuse, or too comfy to pass up. The bookies make option two the firm favourite, although Delia did not like being reminded of her estimated worth in the latest Rich List. Twenty-four million pounds they reckon which, as Inverdale helpfully pointed out, could have taken Nicolas Anelka to Carrow Road with maybe a bit left over for his first week's salary.

"We really need a striker," she said, which is probably not what Iwan Roberts was waiting to hear. "If I had pounds 24m we might get one, but it's fiction. I don't know where they get it from." Which, by the by, is pretty much what everyone else says when they try to get hold of the latest exotic root vegetable Delia is turning into soup.

The observation that Dion Dublin, a fellow guest, had slipped through the Canaries' grasp did not slip down too smoothly either. And then there was a rather shifty answer when Inverdale asked if she ever told Bruce Rioch that "I don't think you ought to be playing him".

"No, but I do say, `why aren't you playing him?'," Delia replied. Beside her on the sofa Kevin Keegan and Dion Dublin seemed to wince at the thought of yet another director sticking in an oar or, in this case, a balloon whisk. "I'm a fan first and foremost," she went on. "I happen to be a director and major shareholder, but number one I'm a fan. Fans have their opinions, sometimes they're not always technically right, but I have said sometimes, `are you going to play such-and-such?' "

This is, of course, exactly what we would all do if our team needed us like Norwich need Delia, and she probably cares more about the success of the side than any of the paid employees. But it would still be fascinating to see Delia's reaction if Rioch were to appear at the French windows the next time she is cooking, and tell her to go easy on the flour.

Keegan got a little ratty, too, when it was suggested that he had said he would stay with Fulham "for the rest of your life". "No, hold on, let's correct that," he said, waggling a finger as people tend to do when their rag has been got. "I said I wanted to honour my contract. My contract was three years and I had a year left. Get it right."

The precise details of his Fulham contract are not important. The real point is that this edginess was a running feature of the interview. Keegan looked as if he expected a toothsome predator to leap out from behind every question, even though Inverdale's approach is about as veggie as could be. Paranoia - it seems to get all the England managers in the end. In fact, it seems to get them all in less than three months.

One of the more poignant moments of the week was Bob Wilson's appearance as anchorman on ITV's coverage of Chelsea in the Champions' League qualifier. Des will probably duck the return leg too, now that Chelsea are as good as through, but after that, presumably, it will be bye bye Bob.

So what, you have to wonder, will happen to him then? Will ITV release him on a free, or will they try to get some money for him? If an offer comes in from, say, a minor cable station in southern Italy, should he go immediately, or see out the season with his current side and hope to do much better under Bosman? Or will he find himself marooned in the reserves, with just the occasional run out on a local news bulletin?

There are no such worries about the future for Vinnie Jones, which makes you wonder why he felt the need to do Star Secrets (BBC1). This, in case you are lucky enough to have missed it, is the show which brings minor celebrities into contact with a stranger from their past who knows their "secret", although sadly, this never seems to be that "I knew all along you were carrying on with 'er at No 49".

Vinnie's stranger was an old man called Jimmy. It turned out that at the age of six, Jones had stolen Jimmy's herd of cows and parked them in a field by his house. This bombshell having been duly dropped, Vinnie tried to lasso a pantomime cow.

And that was that: early-evening, public service broadcasting in the late 20th Century. Please feel free to weep.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Beverley James: Accounts Payable

£22,000 - £23,000: Beverley James: Are you looking for the opportunity to work...

Beverley James: Accounts Assistant

£30,000: Beverley James: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a person looki...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower