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?
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
News
i100
Life and Style
fashion
News
videoJapanese prepare for the afterlife by testing out coffins
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford attends Blade Runner at Target Presents AFI's Night at the Movies at ArcLight Cinemas on 24 April, 2013 in Hollywood, California
film... but Ridley Scott won't direct
Sport
Hughes is hit by a bouncer from Sean Abbott
cricketStephen Brenkley on batsman's tragic flaw that led to critical injury
Sport
Dejected England players applaud the fans following their team's 3-0 defeat
football

News
people

Actress isn't a fan of Ed Miliband

News
The Bounceway, designed by Architecture for Humanity
newsLondon to add 'The Bounceway' to commuting options
Life and Style
Stefan Gates with some mince flies
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rooney Mara plays a white Tiger Lily in forthcoming film Pan
filmFirst look at Rooney Mara in Pan
Life and Style
Customers browse through Vinyl Junkies record shop in Berwick Street, Soho, London
tech
Life and Style
health

Do you qualify – and how do you get it?

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

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - IT Outsourcing - £70,000 OTE

£30000 - £40000 per annum + £70,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Reading , Sou...

Recruitment Genius: Kitchen / Interiors Designer - Maternity Cover

£21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company with a fast ...

Recruitment Genius: Trade Sales Counter Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This Market Leading Kitchen and joinery suppli...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Carpenter / Carpentry

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Junior Carpenter / Carpentry ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital