Clinton's been shot . . . but first, the final score at Stoke

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The Independent Online
HELLO there, and welcome to Radio 5's new service of rolling news 'n' sport, in which we keep you, the listener, in touch with what's happening out there in the big world as it happens] Or, to put it another way, in which we keep you, the listener, in touch with what we, the broadcasters, think you should know at any particular time. Brian?

Thanks, Barry, and I think it's going very well so far. Radio 5's new rolling sport 'n' news service is playing a very sensible game in the opening few minutes of broadcasting, they're easing their way in, they're not going mad, they're just testing the pitch, testing the opposition, and this is how we thought they'd start, but we'll keep you in touch with things as they go along. Barry?

Thanks, Brian, and if Radio 5 does score any goals, we'll be right back there just after they've happened, meanwhile, of course, the big fixture of the evening is the big one, that's Michael Howard against the legal profession. Simon, you've been following this one closely in the build-up stages, how do you think the opposition is matched here?

Yes, Barry, well, this is the big one all right, if you are to believe the hype merchants who have been building up Michael Howard as a champion of law and order, but you've got to remember that Howard has never met anyone with a serious ranking. So far he has been signed up only to meet minor opposition, politicians who were ageing and on the way out, so his progress to the top has been very suspect, and the title he's been given, the Tory Champion of Law and Order, well, frankly, that's not recognised throughout the world, and not a lot respected elsewhere, so we have to ask ourselves, is this the big one or is it not?

Of course it's the big one, Simon, otherwise Radio 5 wouldn't be covering it, see what I mean, just a joke, Simon, and we'll be going back to Simon just as soon as anything interesting happens. Meanwhile, many of you listening to Radio 5's new news 'n' sport service for the first time may be wondering how it works, well, here's how it works, as soon as something really big happens in the world, like Clinton being shot, we will interrupt our rolling sports coverage to bring you that news flash, so you can be really up to date. Brian?

Right, Barry, and what you're probably asking yourself is: unless I already know about Clinton getting shot, what will make me switch on Radio 5 to learn about it? And if I did know about it beforehand, who did I learn it from if it wasn't Radio 5? And if someone is getting the news faster than Radio 5, shouldn't I be listening to that? And if I am already listening to Radio 5 when the news flash comes on to interrupt the sport, won't I say: I'm not the slightest bit interested in American politics - I want my sport back]

Right, Brian, and we interrupt you there to bring you a news flash from that all-important clash, Michael Howard against the legal profession, and there's an important development there. Simon?

Yes, Barry, sensational news in the first round of Michael Howard against the legal profession, originally billed as Michael Howard against the Howard League for Penal Reform, or Howard vs Howard, anyway the news is that Michael Howard has announced he is going to build new prisons overseas in any country where the England football team is due to play so that the foreign authorities can put English supporters into prison as soon as they arrive and release them when they're dead. That way, he says, they can cause no trouble. Well, this is sensational. We all know that this is how Howard likes to fight. His slogan has always been: 'Prison works]' When asked to elaborate on this, let's face it, meaningless and discredited slogan, he says: 'When people are locked up, they can't commit crimes.' Every time he says this, a prison erupts into riot and the inmates commit millions of pounds' worth of criminal damage, which suggests either that Michael Howard has a very wicked sense of humour, or that he is seriously brain-damaged by the sport, but as I say, this decision to build prisons in other countries for our football fans has definitely surprised his opponents, now back to you, Barry.

Brian, actually, and here's a half-time score from Doncaster. Doncaster, nil. That seems to be it. No mention of the opposition. Well, as soon as we learn who Doncaster is playing and how many they have scored, we'll interrupt our report of Clinton's assassination, or whatever it happens to be, to bring it to you. So, Barry, how do you think this new sport 'n' news service on Radio 5 is doing? Or, to put it another way, if news and sport are combined on the same wavelength, will people increasingly come to regard them as the same thing?

Thanks, Barry . . . (continued on MW 909)