Arise Sir Andy? Cameron calls for Murray to be knighted for 'lifting country's spirits'
And he's now regarded as favourite to become BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year
After ending Britain’s 77-year Wimbledon men’s singles drought, Britain’s all-conquering sporting hero at least deserved a lie-in.
But a weary-looking Andy Murray instead dispatched volleys from John Humphrys and Holly Willoughby before taking tea with the Prime Minister during a dizzying day in the media glare which confirmed to the Scotsman that he is very much now public property.
Roused from little more than an hour’s sleep following a late night at the Wimbledon Champion’s Ball, Murray graciously relived the nerve-shredding climax of his victory over Novan Djokovic in six BBC interviews alone before 9am.
Tony Blair was bumped down the Today programme running order so that Humphrys could ask Murray to confirm that he preferred smooth over fluffy balls, in the centrepiece 8.10am interview slot.
By midday, Murray, 26, had been variously married off, knighted, sparked a political row over Scottish independence and tasked with sprinkling his gold dust over the England football team.
“You’re ours now, you belong to us,” Willoughby told Murray, during the most awkward of his media encounters. Invited to propose live on ITV’s This Morning to Kim Sears, his long-term girlfriend, Murray declined, on the basis that he’d rather not confide in a presenter he had met barely 10 minutes ago.
David Cameron, an unshakeable Murray groupie who cheered the champion on from the Royal Box and then invited him to tea at Downing Street, short-circuited the Honours process by promising his hero a Knighthood.
Asked about the possibility of Murray becoming Sir Andy, the Prime Minister said: “Honours are decided independently but, frankly, I can't think of anyone who deserves one more.” Murray said: “I don’t know whether winning Wimbledon deserves a Knighthood.”
A proxy battle over Scottish independence raged whilst Murray attended to his duties. Alex Salmond shrugged off criticism for waving a Saltire behind Mr Cameron’s head at Murray’s moment of triumph.
“It is not something that happens very often so I think a few Saltires hoisted over Wimbledon does not do any harm at all,” argued Salmond.
Michael Gove, Education Secretary, slapped down Salmond for behaving as if he was attending a Scotland football match at Hampden. “My advice to Alex would just be ‘Put it away dear’,” he told LBC.
Mr Cameron carved a middle ground, reminding Scottish voters that he had ordered the blue-and-white flag of St Andrew to be raised over Number 10 before the match began.
Murray, who avoids politics but has warned Scots to consider the economic implications of separation in next year’s independence referendum, yesterday said he would offer a view on the great debate “when the time is right.”
The Scottish National Party’s Westminster leader Angus Robertson jostled for a position close to Murray alongside Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg at the Downing Street reception.
There was also time for a spot of tennis during his victory tour. Murray rallied with a clergyman, a police community support officer and a three-year-old boy during a whistle-stop visit to a sports centre in south London, organised by his sponsors, Adidas.
Told by Chris Evans on Radio 2 that his stunning victory could earn him £200 million, Murray stressed that he would “keep my eye focused on what happens on the tennis court”.
However Murray did not immediately respond to a plea from David Bernstein, FA Chairman, who wrote to Murray saying that the England football team “have a lot to learn from the dedicated and professional way you have approached your challenges.”
The BBC said Sunday’s final was watched by a record 17 million viewers whilst a trip to Leeds beckons for Murray in December for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year coronation. The nation’s joy will be acknowledged in a specially-filmed addition to Tuesday night’s EastEnders.
His media obligations concluded, Murray revealed that he would be going out for a proper celebration on Monday night and then, if it was alright with Holly and her fellow inquisitors, he would take a well-deserved break. “I want to go away on holiday and try and get rest because the last few weeks have been pretty stressful for me,” said the exhausted Champion.
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