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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face
books
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' is based on historical events
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
filmSir Ian McKellen will play retired detective in new film
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
tv
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager

£36000 - £38000 per annum: Charter Selection: Charter Selection are working wi...

Accounts Assistant, Hammersmith

£25000 per annum: Charter Selection: Exciting sports company with a strong bra...

Financial Accountant-IFRS-Gloucester-£300/day

£250 - £295 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Financial Accountant - IFRS - Glouc...

Technical Support Engineer - Central London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer - Central London...

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil