It's so difficult to decide where you want the next Olympics – especially if you're in TV production. Part of me always gets into a Bond/Tintin mindset – where haven't they been? Bond for instance never did Australia (nor did Tintin for that matter, apart from leaving Sydney on Flight 714 at the beginning of the book). I longed for a Bond in Australia with exploding boomerangs and a rocket launcher in a kangaroo's pouch ... but I digress. Wherever the Olympics go dictates where a huge amount of television will be headed as well. Let's look at who was up for the 2016 gig and think about what epic TV moments we have missed in three of the losers' cases.
First up, Madrid. Fairly boring to be honest. There would be a spike in Spanish-themed cookery shows, some nod to Flamenco on "Strictly Come Dancing" (presented by a fresh from rehab Peaches Geldof) and bull-fighting would be a hotly contested exhibition sport. Other entries for this honour such as throwing donkeys off church steeples and 24 hour Ibiza drinkathons were considered a little inappropriate. On the plus side, there would be huge ratings for coverage of the Spanish basketball team. The motley bunch that pretended to be mentally challenged to enter the Seoul Olympics would this time have to play in the "normal" category and would be beaten 195-0 by Zambia.
Second up, Tokyo. No surprises here, do I smell martial arts or is that just old sushi? Suggested exhibition sports would include the "Takeshi's Castle" challenge and the assault course on "Ninja Warrior". If you've never seen either of these shows then you are already missing out but think "It's A Knockout" crossed with a Japanese prisoner of war camp and you're nearly there. Ratings for these new Olympic events are huge but Tony Blair, the disgraced former President of Europe and now head of the International Olympic Committee fumes that the whole thing is very "Un-Olympian." The first gold medal for Sumo would go to Rik Waller from "Pop Idol" who now competes in this most ancient Japanese sport under the name "Eatyo Tumucho." Waller becomes a huge hit for TV viewers and returns to the UK to host a new TV show called "Eat My Pie" in which celebrities vie to finish off the contents of a pie shop before the other team.
Third, Rio de Janeiro. This is the one that TV really wants. Firstly it means that everyone can head off to Rio for a month on expenses. Secondly, there is no amount of TV featuring scantily clad beauties playing volleyball on the Copacabana or close up-shots of dancers in the carnival that is considered too much. Exhibition sports include Mojito drinking and urban paintball in the favellas. A British team lead by Sir Ross Kemp takes gold after Sir Ross switches to live ammo in the final against an experienced Afghani team. Ronnie Biggs, still on his deathbed, manages to light the Olympic flame by firing a sawn-off shotgun into a large bowl of petrol. As he is wheeled off back to hospital he is heard to say that "it was much safer back in my day, we all had our doors unlocked...."
Finally, Chicago. TV is happy with this because at least everyone gets to go to the States for a while and that feels very glamorous if you work in the UK. It feels like you're playing with the big boys for a while.
Former President Obama will be there in his role as life coach to the US basketball team and manages to patch up the long running feud with his successors the Bush twins. They open the Games with a rousing rendition of the National Anthem performed with a noticeably overweight Kanye West. He interrupts proceedings to grab the mike and rant on about how Tokyo should have won the Games 'cos they had the best "booty" and that he fancies a cheeseburger...
Sadly for us TV viewers only the fleshy pleasures of Rio de Janeiro await our viewing. It was a bit of a no-brainer really. Firstly, South America had never had an Olympics and secondly ... well, Rio is just so much more glam and exciting than the others. You just know that they're going to make it a party to remember. Ronnie Biggs and I are booking our tickets as we speak. Ay caramba...
Not the jab but gift of the gab that elevates Audley
I could listen to an interview with Audley Harrison all day. The man is so deluded that he definitely has a future in politics when he finally hangs up the gloves. It's a toss-up between the Monster Raving Loony party and the Lib Dems methinks; mind you the Lib Dems already have Lembit Opik.