Striking back

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The Independent Online

Desperate times, indeed: how on earth are we to survive if the current wrangle over payments leads to the absence of soccer from our television screens? What to do without the colour and the thrust, the grace and the excitement, the drama and the analysis? And that's only the after-match interviews.

Desperate times, indeed: how on earth are we to survive if the current wrangle over payments leads to the absence of soccer from our television screens? What to do without the colour and the thrust, the grace and the excitement, the drama and the analysis? And that's only the after-match interviews.

Well, they could always put something else on. Chat shows are very big at the moment. How about a Chat Show Hosts XI versus a Home Improvers and Celebrity Chefs outfit? Even Gordon Ramsay and Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen might struggle upfront against a defensive line-up featuring Richard, Judy and Graham Norton. Rolf Harris, too, is a man who could do with some more exposure. Already renowned for his way with injured animals, he is presently tackling the Impressionists. Time, we should say, for him to take up that big paintbrush and helped us all understand cold fission.

No? Another history programme? One of those locked-house affairs involving a selection of sensitive striking midfielders, Sir Alex Ferguson, and that Welsh girl who came second last time? No? Better, perhaps, to pray for a swift resolution (although we understand Desmond Lynam is a fine light tenor).

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