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.

Sport
premier leagueLive: All the latest news and scores from today's matches
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
News
politics
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker