Just when should we get excited about the summer of sport
21:46 GMT, 3 June 2012
I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it quite difficult not to peak too early. I mean to say, at what point am I meant to get REALLY excited about this summer’s events Should I have gone for it on the Jubilee Will that leave me enough for Euro 2012 Or do I hold some back for The Olympics Oh, and there’s the Test matches!
Or perhaps I just have a nice long lie down and wait for the start of the new football season
As I say, this weekend hasn’t helped. In fact, it hasn’t even finished! And on Saturday morning, there I was, tangled up in bunting and caught up in the emotional goings on at Epsom. Not so much with Her Majesty’s celebrations, but more with whether Clare Balding would explode with tension as the family horse Bonfire ran in the Derby.
Stunning summer: Camelot won the Derby at Epsom on Jubilee Weekend
More from Mark Webster…
Edge of the Box: Hodgson's outfit give Euro night a very English feel
Edge of the Box: Chelsea show the rest how to do Saturday night drama… and prove Britain does have talent
Stelling and Co provide perfect backdrop to 'Squeaky Bum Sunday' as Merson steals the show
Edge of the Box: The FA Cup is not what it used to be… but fair play to ESPN
Edge of the Box: Kings of The Crucible make sure we're all snooker loopy at the World Championship
Mark Webster: BBC show off the city during London Marathon ahead of Olympics
Edge of the Box: ESPN and ITV should deliver Cup cracker after Wembley warm-ups
Edge of the Box: BBC and Sky competition means F1 and the fans are the real winners
VIEW FULL ARCHIVE
Given the circumstances, the horse whose name you might well associate with the blowing up Parliament losing out to the fabled Kingdom of Camelot was probably the right result.
1-0 to the Englerland was also the right result from Wembley, as we swapped from BBC to ITV, and from three-year-old colts to Three Lions on shirts. The game gave us a chance to cheer the team off on their quest in Europe, and also to get a glimpse of the newly installed experiment of Hawkeye goal line technology. And before the game kicked off we were given a glimpse of the camera, so far from the goal, it appeared to have been mounted on the Hubble space station.
We also heard at half time from David Beckham – judging by the extraordinary new face furniture, entering into the spirit of the weekend by coming as the French Envoy to the Court of Elizabeth l – and it felt as odds on as Camelot that he would also figure in much of the rest of ITV’s coverage for the evening, as sport remained very much on the entertainment agenda.
Strangely enough, the genuinely funny, deadly accurate impressionist Alistair McGowan didn’t break out his celebrated Becks for the first episode of his new ITV series, You Cannot Be Serious. In fact, you might sniffily argue that the best impression he did in his new half hour topical sports show was of Harry Hill, because much of this looked and felt like the now sadly departed ITV staple, TV Burp.
This, though, was no coincidence because it was made by the same company – one of the sharpest on the block, too, Avalon – and executive produced by Hill himself. So in this case, imitation deliberately set out to be the sincerest form of flattery.
Welcome return: Impressionist Alistair McGowan is back on our screens
Because it relies on still warm material – Frank Lampard’s Euro withdrawal was referenced, for example – McGowan steered the ship from a desk, and flitted between neat one-liners (‘Better check. Ah, Petr Cech!’), You Tube clips, running gags, guest appearances (Carl Froch and Duncan Goodhew in the house) and of course, razor sharp impressions –both from where he was sat, and in more elaborate pre-recorded sequences.
Now you may ask why and how David Mitchell and Jedward can justify making an appearance on a topical sports impressions show And of course the simple answer to that is, well he does them really well.
However, it’s also likely that it’s because this is prime time ITV, and you’ve got to get all the family involved – which is not necessarily something the keenly honed Colin Murray or Brendan Foster are going to do.
It will be interesting to see, accordingly, how the show fares in this slot, and also just how much fun he can have with his rather epic Roy Hodgson impression over the next few weeks!
If you were having Beckham withdrawal symptoms during that show, it wasn’t long before the commercial channel provided you with a fix – with a show about commercials. Although this may be a lot like them having their cake and eating it (after all, we do stop looking at adverts so that we can watch some adverts), The Greatest Footie Ads Ever did provide some proper entertainment, albeit of the feather-light variety.
Star: David Beckham was a regular feature on our TV screens on Saturday
The fact is, lots of money, talent and creativity is thrown at commercials, and football seems to be a particular beneficiary of that. Soccer sells. And with the sheer range of ads that have tapped into the game across the decades, if there was a dull moment, it was gone in 30 seconds.
Paddy McGuiness was the ideal ‘bloke’ to host such a show – filmed inside his ‘pad’ – even though he was often man marked by a pretty journeyman script (‘they’re the best ads on the box – as impressive as Wayne Rooney’s hair transplant’), but with the players he had around him, he was always on to a winner.
There was some great vintage stuff with George Best, Bobby Moore and Brian Clough ( ‘jogging down to his East Midlands Electricity Shop’), those often, slightly bewildering foreign imports, lots of Beckham (naturally) and an Umbro ad so rude, I can’t even begin to describe it.
/06/03/article-2154220-1366DCC8000005DC-743_468x295.jpg” width=”468″ height=”295″ alt=”Fears: Sol Campbell is concerned about racism in Ukraine this summer” class=”blkBorder” />
Fears: Sol Campbell is concerned about racism in Ukraine this summer
Wednesday on BBC 4 and a host of top turns told us ‘How to be England Manager’. Main conclusion: ‘thick skin’, although Al Murray added ‘look into your pension and severance arrangement’.
Channel 5’s Mega Builders on Friday told the inside story of the construction of the Olympic Aquatic Centre, with chief steel erector Paul Frampton setting about the 3-crane lift anchor truss T9 with his pocket tape measure.