Ruby Wax is not the kind of person to make way for anyone, but tomorrow she has been forced off the nation's television screens by Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski. And should their Australian Open third-round match go to five sets, Bill, Ben and Little Weed had better look out as well.
The meeting between the British Nos 1 and 2 will be shown live on BBC1 at 9.30am. The BBC has cleared its morning schedules in order to show the match, which is the first time the two have met in a Grand Slam tournament.
Should organisers schedule the match for an afternoon start in Australia, which would be the middle of the night in Britain, it will be shown as live in the same morning slot. However, with Henman the highest seed left in the tournament, the match looks more likely to be played during the Australian evening on a packed Rod Laver Arena.
As a result, Wax's talk show Ruby, as well as Garden Invaders and House Invaders, are all off the schedule, while Wipeout has been wiped out.
If the match does start at 9.30 GMT and goes to a fifth set, the coverage will switch to BBC2 at 1pm – which will probably cause a wave of resentment from the nation's toddlers, as Bill and Ben is scheduled for then.
For all their sneering at British sport, Australians may well tune in, too, given that Rusedski's victory over Mark Philippoussis left them without a player left in the men's singles draw – the first time no Australian man has reached the third round of the Australian Open since the Open era began in 1968 and the first time since the 1989 US Open that there has been no Australian man in the third round of a Grand Slam.
Rusedski blunted Philippoussis' booming serve while asserting his own, for a 7-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory in just over two hours. Henman, who beat Vladimir Voltchkov, of Belarus, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3, will start favourite after taking his unbeaten start in 2002 to seven matches .Reuse content