Matthew Norman on Monday: If Andy got his Serb right he'd knock them all out

Matthew Norman
Sunday 15 July 2012 22:48
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At the society event of the season, what a joy to meet Andy Murray. This lover of the sweet science was ringside at Upton Park on Saturday night for David Haye's fifth-round destruction of Derek Chisora. "Hi, I'm Andy," said the modest Wimbledon finalist at the proffering of a Diary hand.

Fans of Murray, who posed for countless mobile-phone snaps with bewildering good humour, will rejoice to learn that he is entirely over the Federer defeat. Although clearly encouraged by the feeling in my bones that insists he will end the major title drought at next month's US Open, he seemed unwilling to take advice as to how to make this inevitable. He was non-committal, at best, when urged to have Paul McKenna hypnotise him into believing he is a Serb. And apparently there is some pedantic rule that would oblige the umpire to intone, "Code violation, Tasering Mr Nadal, warning Mr Murray" if he acted on our other suggestion. For all that, a rare exception to the iron rule about never meeting your heroes.

Hunt for reassurance amid 2012 panic

Yet hark, while still with national idols called Andy, who was this cropping up on Superinjunctor Marr's Sabbath telly show? Blow me, it was only Jeremy *unt! If No 10 reckons him the Cabinet Minister best equipped, thanks to that peerless reputation for quiet competence, to assuage Olympic security concerns, who'd pick a fight with that?

"It's completely normal," he explained, "to find contractors on a project of this size who aren't able to deliver on their promises." Isn't it, though? It's as tediously normal as Jeremy hiding behind a tree in the vain hope of avoiding being spotted on his way to dinner with the Murdochs.

Mike Read for Mayor!

Mike Read seizes on Chris Moyles's departure from Radio 1's breakfast show to flaunt his credentials as a champion of the musically outré. "I felt rather fraudulent presenting the programme to begin with," confides the Stephen Sondheim du jour (when will that revival of his Wildean musical Oscar come to pass?) of his own stint as Britain's breakfast favourite.

"The seat surely belonged to the likes of Tony Blackburn and Noel Edmonds ... I argued about the music, only to be told that the music I'd played before John Peel was not suitable for the daytime output."

Renaissance man Read, whose Peel-esque commitment to the musically daring led to the blacklisting of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Relax", was shamefully ill used – and not only by Wonderful Radio 1. If only the Tories had picked him over Boris as their candidate for London Mayor, we could all relax about the smooth running of the Games.

How a former Bully turned the corner

Hats off to The Mail On Sunday for unearthing a new Bullingdon Club photo featuring George Osborne. Hair seductively tousled, torso clad in a gold waistcoat, hands insouciantly on hips as he stares soulfully up at the sky ... how not to love such a creature? David Cameron isn't in this snap, but fellow Tory MP Jo Johnson is. Jo is known to us as Eidur after the Icelandic footballer – Boris and Rachel's brother is the Good Johnson – so we'll let the Bully thing pass without comment.

Looking down from Olympus

Tremendous to hear Cherie Blair nattering on Radio 4's Broadcasting House about her role in securing the Olympics. The sexy-voiced hybrid from Greek myth (half woman, half supermarket trolley) recalled how she reassured IOC members, as a top lawyer, that her old man would legislate to safeguard copyrights attached to the Games.

Given the delight about small businesses being banned from using such recherché terms as "2012" and "games" – and in the case of a Dorset butcher, from fashioning sausages into porcine Olympic rings – her pride in this confirms that her instinctive feel for the public mood survives. Well done, Cherie!

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