Leading article: Hurrah for Tea-Tray Shelley

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The Independent Online

Would it be overdoing it to call for a royal commission? Or at least a joint investigation by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee and the Royal College of Psychiatrists? It is one of the great mysteries of the age. What is it about ski jumping, the luge and the bob skeleton? To quote that great analyst of spectacle, Buzz Lightyear, it is only "falling - with style".

Ah, but that is the clue. Freud knew all about the fear of falling and its recurrence in our dreams. For a nation of rubberised playgrounds in which fun is against health and safety legislation, what can be more exhilarating than the whoops factor? The knowledge that the tiniest error might really, really hurt. What makes people dancing about on skates in sequinned costumes to indistinct classical music such compulsive viewing is not knowing whether they are about to fall over.

So that is what it is about. But do not analyse it too much. And please, Mrs Jowell, forget about setting a target for the number of medals Britain must win in 2012.

Hurrah for Shelley of the Tea Tray. Sit back. Enjoy.

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