Sport on TV: Gazza's dislocated idea of a romantic evening

OSCAR WILDE remarked that it is a shallow person who does not judge by first impressions. He didn't say you had to be right, though.

No one ever accused Geoff Boycott of shallowness, and on Thursday morning, at around 10.30am South African time, the Sky commentator was confident. "I've not seen much to trouble the England batsmen," he said. About 10 minutes later, four of those batsmen had departed for two whole runs. It was enough to give you the runs.

Similarly, when she met that nice Paul Gascoigne, Sheryl Kyle must have taken Wilde's words to heart, if her account to Martin Bashir on Tonight (ITV, Wednesday) is anything to go by.

"He was charming, he was funny, he was a gentleman... literally, he was an angel," she said, raising some interesting theological questions in the process.

She followed the angel to Italy, where things went quickly sour. They were on their way home from an evening out. "Something must have upset him in the evening, and there was a song on in the car and I'd gone quiet," she said. "He said: `Why've you gone quiet?' We pulled off the motorway... he said: `We're not getting out of this car till you tell me why you've gone quiet.' We must have sat there for an hour." You'd have thought the idea of having to spend an hour with Gazza would have been a big enough incentive for her to have stayed at home in England.

Eventually they got home, where the swearing started. "[He called me] an effing slut, and effing slag - one of his favourites was `busy bitch'. I was always `busy' if I talked to anyone."

"Busy". The very blandness of the word sets your teeth on edge. It's like "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" from The Shining.

After more ranting and raving, he threw a metal sofa through the villa wall, while Sheryl hid in the garden: "I didn't want to breathe, I didn't want to move." He found her, though. "He'd been pulling and shoving me around the whole time, and I was crying, and he was saying: `Go on, yeah, cry, just cry - what are you crying for?' "

So naturally, dear reader, she married him. And more of his exceeding strangeness rose to the surface like a body in a lake. They were enjoying a romantic weekend at Gleneagles, when "something triggered him off... I was called all the names under the sun, and he dragged up all kinds of things from my past, which he loved to do."

And of all the things that might bother an unhinged woman-beater about his partner's past - previous romantic associations, perhaps - what was Gascoigne's chosen object of ire? "I used to push a pushchair - that was one of his favourites." This man is clearly dangerous.

Back in their room, he knocked her about and threw her on the floor until two of her fingers dislocated. So what did the old romantic do? "He snapped them back into place." Sweet.

A strange thing has happened on They Think It's All Over (BBC1, Thursday). Either common sense has prevailed or someone's had a word, because they seem to have decided to put out a programme that doesn't depend on bad language for laughs.

And even weirder, Nick Hancock was actually funny. Alan Shearer is the Premiership's most-fouled player, apparently (can't think why). "Every week," Hancock said, "he has to endure a flood of players assaulting his elbow with their faces."

There's still the requisite layer of laddishness, of course - and scatology works better used sparingly, anyway. Andrei Medvedev's girlfriend is fellow tennis professional Anke Huber, and the programme quoted him: "She inspires me. I write her music. I write her poems."

"Still," Hancock said, "You have to be careful writing poems to a girlfriend called Anke."

The one other outbreak of foul mouths was there to serve a story. Gary Lineker was describing the experience of eating octopus not long after he had arrived in Japan. It was brought to the table still conscious - well, at least as conscious as Manchester United looked on Tuesday night. "Right," Lineker thought, "They'll take it off and cook it now." Instead, they hacked off a tentacle and stuck it in front of him. He described how it wriggled in his mouth as he tried to force it down.

"And as you were walking out of the restaurant," said Jonathan Ross, "they were saying: `That'll get rid of the boring bastard.' "

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea