Tag Archives: webster

Superstars TV review – Mark Webster

Return of Superstars delivered what we wanted: sporting heroes outside their comfort zones

|

UPDATED:

00:01 GMT, 31 December 2012

Ah, telly's golden years. When gangs of formation dancers you didn't know in DIY costumes waltzed their way around Come Dancing, before it went Strictly.

This was a good thing, of course. Because it meant there was absolutely no good reason to watch it. Then came the celebrity version, though, and a sudden, compelling desire to see Ramp's rumba, Audley's jive and, of course, the victorious Louis Smith's cha cha cha.

There was once a show, however, that Louis might have won without the need to slip into a skintight satin onesie. While still giving us the joy of what we really want – seeing our sporting heroes outside of their comfort zones.

Up a creek: Farah has many talents - kayaking is not one of them

Up a creek: Farah has many talents – kayaking is not one of them

More from Mark Webster…

With SPOTY, the BBC delivered a champagne moment to mark vintage year
17/12/12

Edge of the Box: Neville passes Manchester derby test with flying colours (red and blue) as pundit's old pals win
10/12/12

Edge of the Box: Beckham steals the show in farewell final… but did you expect anything else
02/12/12

Edge of the Box: Fasten your seatbelts for Jake off! Humphrey leaves a big hole in BBC F1 coverage
26/11/12

Edge of the Box: Bristow's arrows at Helen and co put darts legend in line for the chop
23/11/12

Edge of the Box: Bristow, Haye and Flanagan be warned: No one is safe in the jungle now – it's just like being manager of Chelsea
22/11/12

Edge of the Box: Finally, some sport! Joker Haye teaches celebrities how to box
20/11/12

Edge of the Box: Flanagan finally gets it right… now give her a night off
19/11/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Superstars was the light entertainment show for real men that once delivered that.

Inspirational theme tune, cool logo, a genuine desire to win and short shorts – REALLY short shorts. On Saturday, the 2012 version turned up on prime time BBC1.

Thus providing us with the opportunity to not only get all nostalgic about the fun old format, but also enjoy the sight of a group of our brand new Olympians back where they belong, in the spotlight.

Not that the opening shots of Gabby Logan wandering around a market in Bath exactly set the pulse racing for what was about to come. It struck me the show opener would have been the ideal opportunity to really remind people of what Superstars was all about.

We did eventually get to see Kevin Keegan famously come a cropper on his bike and former judoka Brian Jacks owning the gym. Yet these clips were fleeting. Surely a few more trips down memory lane would have sat well

And surely a chance was missed to have some old competitors on hand to set up the show, wax nostalgic and mix with the next generation

That aside, once the events did get under way and you saw Anthony Joshua genuinely delighted he'd triumphed in the opening event, the sprint, you knew that old spirit was back.

Because the thing is of course, we normally only get to see these people in their natural environments, in competition. That is the duck gliding gracefully across the water.

As I alluded to earlier, Superstars is the flippers flapping frantically below the surface. Just like the endless days of hard training each of these competitors endure in their professional lives are. All blood, sweat and tears, but also good friendly, competitive fun. And that is what we grew to love on Superstars.

Keen competitors: The stars were put their paces in a number of disciplines

Keen competitors: The stars were put their paces in a number of disciplines

Keen competitors: The stars were put their paces in a number of disciplines

Thankfully, that sense of camaraderie and competition was brought to life by Iwan Thomas, who as an experienced TV presenter and former athlete, knew just the right buttons to push as he interviewed the eight women and eight men going for the titles, throughout the show.

While a sense of gravitas was added on commentary by the always measured, authoritative tones of Paul Dickenson. If this man were a station announcer, he could make the delayed 11.20 from Hounslow sound like a Murder On The Orient Express.

Of course what this was really all about though was a great bunch of people warming the cockles of our hearts, which they all managed in abundance.

For me, there were plenty of highlights throughout the two days, and ninety TV minutes of competition. Watching the Brownlee brothers having their own little sibling battle was great fun.

Alistair couldn't have looked more delighted when brother Jonny flipped his kayak in the pool, and both impressed in a nip and tuck one, two in the 800 metres.

But, holy mackerel, they can’t throw!

Rebecca Adlington was on hand to coach them all in the swimming event, during which Jade Jones left the blocks just as her mentor might. However, a split second later, she entered the water like Tom Daley from the 10 metre board!

I bet she couldn’t do that twice.

Elsewhere, Christine Ohuruogu nearly had someone's eye out during the archery while Mo Farah managed a magnificent 'spider' – archer speak for a dead bullseye.

On you r bike: Classic action involving Kevin Keegan

On your bike: Classic action involving Kevin Keegan (above) with Jackie Stewart, Barry John, and Tony Jacklin (below)

On your bike: Classic action involving Kevin Keegan (above) with Jackie Stewart, Barry John, and Tony Jacklin (below)

However, what proved just as unequivocal a little later…Mo don’t row!

proved a more than worthy platform.

Sprint finish: Credit to those involved - they served up a rare treat

Sprint finish: Credit to those involved – they served up a rare treat

SPOTY 2012: BBC produced champagne moment – Edge of the Box

With SPOTY, the BBC delivered a champagne moment to mark vintage year

|

UPDATED:

07:58 GMT, 17 December 2012

As reported on this website a couple of days ago, yesterday provided a bumper Sabbath of sport on the telly to wedge yourself into the settee for.

Although, I do have to be honest. I did take a couple of hours off from the vigil to watch the gripping last two episodes of the The Killing. So a bit of a Fjord Super Sunday for me, too.

It all started before dawn had even considered the notion of cracking with Amir Khan’s impressive return to form in LA, followed by a swift switch of continent to the Test Match from Nagpur.

Sealed with a kiss: Bradley Wiggins won the Sports Personality of the Year Award

Sealed with a kiss: Bradley Wiggins won the Sports Personality of the Year Award

More from Mark Webster…

Edge of the Box: Neville passes Manchester derby test with flying colours (red and blue) as pundit's old pals win
10/12/12

Edge of the Box: Beckham steals the show in farewell final… but did you expect anything else
02/12/12

Edge of the Box: Fasten your seatbelts for Jake off! Humphrey leaves a big hole in BBC F1 coverage
26/11/12

Edge of the Box: Bristow's arrows at Helen and co put darts legend in line for the chop
23/11/12

Edge of the Box: Bristow, Haye and Flanagan be warned: No one is safe in the jungle now – it's just like being manager of Chelsea
22/11/12

Edge of the Box: Finally, some sport! Joker Haye teaches celebrities how to box
20/11/12

Edge of the Box: Flanagan finally gets it right… now give her a night off
19/11/12

Edge of the Box: Bumble & Co up early to keep cricket fans entertained
18/11/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Although, so old skool was the progress on the field of play, Bumble found himself turning on the poop bag-free dog walkers of Brentford, by way of conversation.

This was followed by several hours of football – from a Yokohama Samba, all the way to a point for Big Sam. This, though, was merely the warm-up for the night that was set to celebrate arguably the greatest year of sport this United Kingdom of ours has ever witnessed.

Frankly, we’ve never had it so good. Therefore, neither has BBC’s Sports Personality Of The Year Awards which quite sensibly set up shop back at the scene of the crime, in East London’s ExCel Centre.

If we weren’t quite aware of just how special this year’s event was, then the opening to the show surely left us in no doubt.

A spectacular helicopter ride with the three hosts Sue Barker, Clare Balding and Gary Lineker through a twinkling night time London was followed by Emily Sande serenading us in an ink blue sea awash with twinkling lights inside the arena.

Then there was Mark Cavendish escorted to the stage with the trophy he won last year, flanked by members of the armed forces and several Games makers.

As Sue Barker pointed out, this was the biggest show in Sports Personality’s 59th year. However, it was also two and half hours plus of telly. The question would therefore have to be asked: would it be big enough to fill that much air time

Well, personally, I thought this particular marathon was a real sprint – the time flying by as we flipped from stage, to film, to interview, with hero after hero never failing to remind us why running, jumping, kicking, hitting et al can be so damned special.

OK, true, arguably you can hear enough of people saying what ‘an incredible experience’ it was, but that ‘it wasn’t just me’. However, when time after time it’s people whose astounding performances during this last 12 months absolutely lit up the nation, we are surely honour-bound to pardon the repetition.

Honoured: Andy Murray received his third-place trophy from Lennox Lewis

Honoured: Andy Murray received his third-place trophy from Lennox Lewis

Always unavoidably flat, though, are the live interviews from around the world.

Andy Murray at least got himself a nice poolside seat and the prospect we might see some running, petting or bombing in the background. But poor old Chris Hoy found himself in what appeared to be a dentist’s reception, with only half a Christmas tree for company.

On the night, though, in the room it was Bradley Wiggins who was going to take some beating.

Double act: Wiggins and Sue Barker entertained the crowd at London's Excel Arena

Double act: Wiggins and Sue Barker entertained the crowd at London's Excel Arena

First up of the 12, his film was voiced
by his Quadrophenia Mod-In-Arms Phil Daniels, and his suit was as sharp
as it was nostalgic for those times. He was also hilarious, continually
calling Ms Barker ‘Susan’ and ripping Gary by referring to ‘the
incredible team’ he must have behind his make-up.

The film recalling the incredible final day of the Premier League was also enthralling, and was greeted by an impressive 16,000 capacity ‘Posnan’. While Martine Wright’s speech on accepting the Helen Rollason award was both incredibly touching and inspirationally uplifting.

Talks: The Duchess of Cambridge and Jessica Ennis

Talks: The Duchess of Cambridge and Jessica Ennis

However, something special seemed to happen when the name 'Jessica Ennis' was said aloud and she glided to the stage in ‘that dress’ (I’m no expert, but I’m sure that dress is a definite ‘that dress’). The hall seemed to have itself a favourite, judging from the response.

The result, however, was still an hour away. Before that was announced, two local lads had their chance to shine on stage. First up, there was Hackney’s Idris Elba delivering a rousing rendition of Edgar Guest’s words to welcome the victorious Team GB/Paralympics GB (with mention in dispatches for the cheer the Ryder Cup team received). Then, to the sort of reception you might imagine Robbie Williams would walk out to, there was Leytonstone’s David Beckham in a brown sports jacket welcoming Lord Coe up to collect his Lifetime Achievement Award.

Although it was actually the Duchess Of Cambridge who gave Seb his trophy. But I don’t think she’s an East Ender.

In the end though, and to chants of ‘Wiggo, Wiggo’, it was the man who had opened proceedings with such natural aplomb, that won the day. Bradley Wiggins won the Tour, took gold and stole the show. ‘There’s free beer around the back, courtesy of the BBC’ he told the crowd.

Unlikely, but credit where it’s due, the Corporation certainly created a champagne moment to mark this vintage sporting year.

PFA Community Champions: Revealed you club"s charity king… Rio Ferdinand, Vincent Kompany, Frank Lampard (and Burton"s Webster) are…

Forget the coin-throwing and racist chanting… Revealed: Rio, Kompany, Lamps (and Burton Albion's Webster) are football's charity champions – club-by-club guide

|

UPDATED:

13:20 GMT, 13 December 2012

What has Burton left-back Aaron Webster got in common with Rio Ferdinand, Jermain Defoe and Vincent Kompany

Apart from being professional footballers, not much on the surface, but Sportsmail has discovered they are all Community Champions – and should be applauded for their efforts.

It has been a depressing time for
football recently. Vicious chanting, coin-throwing and yet more accusations of racism
are damaging the reputation of the game on an almost daily basis.

City's champ: Vincent Kompany shows the Barclays Premier League trophy to young patient Katie at Royal Manchester Childrens Hospital yesterday (Twitter)

City's champ: Vincent Kompany shows the Barclays Premier League trophy to young patient Katie at Royal Manchester Childrens Hospital yesterday

Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard

Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe

Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand


Burton's best: Albion's Aaron Webster (second from left) joins his team-mates celebrating the 2006 FA Cup fourth-round draw

Burton's best: Albion's Aaron Webster (second from left) joins his team-mates celebrating the 2006 FA Cup fourth-round draw which would have pitted them against Wolves had they beaten Manchester United in a replay

But it is too easy to forget that football can be a powerful
force for good, too.

Every year, the Professional Footballers Association ask
clubs to pick their Community Champions for the season — the single player who
has devoted the most time to charity work and gone way beyond the call of duty.

This list is a timely reminder that football is not
rotten to the core.

Each of the 92 clubs in the English football league were
asked by the PFA to nominate the player who had made an outstanding
contribution to community work over the season 2011/12.

The list of names was published in the December issue of
‘4 the player’, the PFA’s magazine that is sent to every club and player in the
football league.

The range in names is striking. Some of the biggest names
in football and experienced internationals like Ferdinand, Defoe, Kompany and Frank Lampard appear alongside teenagers Archie Love and Mauro Vilhete at
Burnley and Barnet respectively as well as Burton's Webster.

PFA Head of Community, John Hudson said: 'Players at all clubs are instrumental to enhancing the work of their community departments to effect positive change in our society.

'Although much of this goes unnoticed and more sensationalist incidents provide media attention their social responsibilities are key to inspiring many individuals in key areas such as health, education, social inclusion and equalities.

'All 92 clubs provide the PFA with their own Community Champions along with other ambassadorial support from the first team squads through to their young Professionals.

'With over 37,000 Community player appearance last season it really does highlight that all is not bad!'

Phil Neville

Charlie Adam then of Liverpool

Top men: Phil Neville (left) is Everton's community king, while Charlie Adam, now at Stoke, was the Kop idol during his time at Anfield

Whether through high-profile national programmes, or a
commitment to making a difference on a local level, these are the players who
have made the biggest difference.

Chelsea’s Lampard has undertaken an enormous amount
of charity work this year, including helping the Teenage Cancer Trust, Help for
Heroes, Sport Relief and even making a radio appearance to help secure two
14,000 bids for a Capital Child appeal. He even personally invited the two
highest bidders down to the Chelsea changing room after the game to meet the
squad.

WHO IS YOUR CLUB'S COMMUNITY CHAMPION THE FULL LIST

ACCRINGTON: Dean Winnard

AFC WIMBLEDON: Seb Brown

ALDERSHOT: Ross Worner

ARSENAL: Carl Jenkinson

ASTON VILLA: Gabriel Agbonlahor

BARNET: Mauro Vilhete

BARNSLEY: Bobby Hassell

BIRMINGHAM: Curtis Davis

BLACKBURN: David Dunn

BLACKPOOL: Matt Gilks

BOLTON: Kevin Davis

BOURNEMOUTH: Mark Molesley

BRADFORD: Jon McLaughlin

BRENTFORD: Marcus Bean

BRIGHTON: Inigo Calderon

BRISTOL CITY: David James

BRISTOL ROVERS: Matt Gill

BURNLEY: Archie Love

BURTON: Aaron Webster

BURY: Efe Sodje

CARDIFF: Andrew Taylor

CARLISLE: Jon-Paul McGovern

CHARLTON: Scott Wagstaff

CHELSEA: Frank Lampard

CHELTENHAM: Josh Low

CHESTERFIELD: Gregor Robertson

COLCHESTER: Kemal Izzet

COVENTRY: Richard Keogh

CRAWLEY: Sergio Torres

CREWE: Steve Phillips

CRYSTAL PALACE: Alex Wynter

DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE: Scott Doe

DERBY: Mark O’Brien

DONCASTER: James Chambers

EVERTON: Phil Neville

EXETER: Billy Jones

FULHAM: Mark Schwarzer

GILLINGHAM: Connor Essam

HARTLEPOOL: Evan Horwood

HEREFORD: Rob Purdie

HUDDERSFIELD: Alan Lee

HULL: Aaron McLean

IPSWICH: Ibrahima Sonko

LEEDS: Ross McCormack

LEICESTER: Neil Danns

LEYTON ORIENT: David Mooney

LIVERPOOL: Charlie Adam

MACCLESFIELD: Tony Diagne

MANCHESTER CITY: Vincent Kompany

MANCHESTER UNITED: Rio Ferdinand

MIDDLESBROUGH: Tony McMahon

MILLWALL: Paul Robinson

MK DONS: David Martin

MORECAMBE: Stuart Drummond

NEWCASTLE: Shola Ameobi

NORTHAMPTON: Andy Holt

NORWICH: John Ruddy

NOTTINGHAM FORREST: Chris Cohen

NOTTS COUNTY: Mike Edwards

OLDHAM: Matt Smith

OXFORD: Ryan Clarke

PETERBOROUGH: Gabriel Zukuani

PLYMOUTH: Luke Young

PORT VALE: Adam Yates

PORTSMOUTH: Liam Lawrence

PRESTON: Iain Hume and Barry Nicholson

QPR: Shaun Derry

READING: Noel Hunt

ROCHDALE: Jason Kennedy

ROTHERHAM: Andy Warrington

SCUNTHORPE: Garry Thompson

SHEFFIELD UNITED: Harry Maguire

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Rob Jones

SHREWSBURY: Ian Sharps

SOUTHAMPTON: Lee Holmes

SOUTHEND: Chris Barker

STEVENAGE: Mark Roberts

STOKE: Jonathan Walters

SUNDERLAND: David Meyler

SWANSEA: Ashley Williams

SWINDON: Paul Caddis

TORQUAY: Mark Ellis

TOTTENHAM: Jermain Defoe

TRANMERE: Lucas Akins

WALSALL: James Walker

WATFORD: Rene Gilmartin

WEST BROM: Steven Reid

WEST HAM: Kevin Nolan

WIGAN: Emmerson Boyce

WOLVES: Stephen Ward

WYCOMBE: John Halls

YEOVIL: Bondz N’Gala

*Players were nominated for their community work during the 2011-12 season*

Scott Jamieson wins Nelson Mandela Championship

Jamieson takes Nelson Mandela Championship with super second day show

|

UPDATED:

17:09 GMT, 9 December 2012

Scotland's Scott Jamieson won the inaugural Nelson Mandela Championship, which is the opening event of the new European Tour season, in South Africa tonight.

In a tournament cut to 36 holes and on a Royal Durban course reduced to a par-65 because of saturated fairways, Jamieson shot a second-round 57 and then beat England's Steve Webster and Spaniard Edoardo de la Riva in a play-off.

De la Riva bogeyed the first extra hole and then, in fast-fading light, Webster, the only one of the trio to have won on the circuit before, did the same when they returned to the 18th tee.

Champ: Scott Jamieson of Scotland poses with the trophy after winning the Nelson Mandela Championship

Champ: Scott Jamieson of Scotland poses with the trophy after winning the Nelson Mandela Championship

Beaten: Steve Webster lost in the play-off to the Scot

Beaten: Steve Webster lost in the play-off to the Scot

Jamieson, whose previous best finish was third, will not go into the Tour record books for his 57, however. Because of the course conditions it will not officially count, but that will not matter to the 29-year-old ranked 167th in the world.

He was not even in the top 60 after his opening round of 66 and admitted afterwards: 'Starting the day I probably didn't think I would be standing here holding the trophy.'

Let's go: Jamieson plays his second shot onto the 18th green on the first extra play-off hole

Let's go: Jamieson plays his second shot onto the 18th green on the first extra play-off hole

All three players involved in the play-off finished their rounds by lunchtime and had to wait all afternoon to see if anybody could beat their seven-under totals of 123.

South Africa's Tim Clark had the best chance, but double-bogeyed the 17th when joint leader.

De la Riva, who less than a fortnight ago came through the Tour qualifying school in joint ninth place, was left to rue not only failing to get up and down from a bunker in the play-off, but also a closing bogey in his second-round 61.

That's better: Playing conditions were fine after the two-day washout

That's better: Playing conditions were fine after the two-day washout

Webster, who had the second of his
two victories in Portugal five years ago, produced a 60 and almost
clinched victory on the first extra hole when his 30-foot birdie putt
came up just short.

Next time round, though, he could not recover from pulling his drive into thick rough.

Earlier, Jamieson could have won it
outright on the 305-yard ninth – his last – when he drove the green, but
just missed a 12-foot eagle attempt.

He had earlier gone to the turn in a five-under 26 that included four birdie twos.

Lazy day: Pelicans sitting around on the course

Lazy day: Pelicans sitting around on the course

'I knew I needed a fast start and was
lucky enough to get that,' Jamieson added after also being presented
with a framed drawing of Mandela.

'It's an honour to win a tournament
like this. Getting your name on any European trophy is a fantastic
achievement, but it's a bit more special with someone like Nelson.'

Joint fourth a stroke behind were Clark, German Max Kieffer, Dane Morten Orum Madsen and England's Matthew Nixon.

Jake Humphrey leaves a big hole in BBC F1 coverage: Edge of the Box

Fasten seatbelts for Jake off! Humphrey leaves a big hole in BBC F1 coverage

|

UPDATED:

09:03 GMT, 26 November 2012

Saturday evening live on BBC 1 during qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix and already there was a certain last-day-of-term-cum-demob-frenzy feel about the coverage.

It was of course the final race of the season.

But not only that, it was also the ultimate live telly broadcast for Jake Humphrey as next year he will head up BT's Premier League coverage for their new venture into sport broadcasting.

All over: Jake Humphrey has completed his final lap for the BBC Formula One team

All over: Jake Humphrey has completed his final lap for the BBC Formula One team

More from Mark Webster…

Edge of the Box: Bristow's arrows at Helen and co put darts legend in line for the chop
23/11/12

Edge of the Box: Bristow, Haye and Flanagan be warned: No one is safe in the jungle now – it's just like being manager of Chelsea
22/11/12

Edge of the Box: Finally, some sport! Joker Haye teaches celebrities how to box
20/11/12

Edge of the Box: Flanagan finally gets it right… now give her a night off
19/11/12

Edge of the Box: Bumble & Co up early to keep cricket fans entertained
18/11/12

Edge of the Box: It's been nine long years since a sports star won… but I'm backing Haye
17/11/12

Edge of the Box: Ibrahimovic cured our jungle fever… but it's good to have Flanagan, Bristow and the gang back
16/11/12

Edge of the Box: Bristow's words of wisdom spell trouble for Haye as Helen prepares for another trial
14/11/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

When qualification finished, Jake was chatting away as animatedly as ever with Eddie Jordan in the pit lane about potential race tactics for the following day.

Conceding a point to his diminutive sidekick, Eddie couldn't resist.

'Oh, you're only being nice cos you're leaving, Jake.'

His young anchor laughed and said he was always nice, adding: 'I've got one more day to be nice yet.'

Lewis Hamilton, too, was just one sleep from a change of gear.

At the post-qualifying press conference, Jensen Button was also being equally as magnanimous about his departing partner.

'It's a pity things have got to change,' he said, his McLaren team-mate alongside him. 'But it's great to both be on the front row for (Hamilton's) last race.

Come Sunday, though, and as Fleetwood Mac cranked it up for one last opening sequence, it was surely time to get the game faces on. At least until the champagne started flying from up on the podium, that is.

Fat chance. Jake had decided to open up with the rather robust thought that 'someone once said in life, you get big days and you get small days. Well, for many reasons, today is most definitely a big day.'

Which would have tided them over nicely until the end if the Red Bull team hadn't decided to encore Fleetwood Mac's 'The Chain' from inside their garage.

Just as Jake tried to set up the show with his presentation team of the last four years, Eddie along and David Coulthard.

That did it.

'Nice touch', said Jake, as Eddie went straight for the emotional jugular, saying: 'I feel privileged…greatest (season) of my recollection.'

Walking away: Lewis Hamilton will drive for Mercedes next year after leaving McLaren

Walking away: Lewis Hamilton will drive for Mercedes next year after leaving McLaren

David: 'I'm more nervous than when I was racing. I'm a fan of the sport. You don't lose that.'

Blimey! The boys had gone both barrels with their farewell speeches and they were still an hour away from the start of the race.

Mind you, it would be difficult not to get carried away in the event because, lest we forget, there was an absolutely crucial grand prix about to happen.

Hamilton was more than aware of that when Coulthard cornered him just before he climbed into a McLaren cockpit for the very last time.

'I'm trying to keep my emotions in check,' he smiled nervously, but when pushed to say a few words about his departure he thanked everyone he could think of before saying with a gentle wink: 'I hope the fans will still support me.'

Three amigos: (from left) David Coulthard, Eddie Jordan and Humphrey

Three amigos: (from left) David Coulthard, Eddie Jordan and Humphrey

What should ensure his ongoing popularity is that the racing is never boring when Lewis is going for it, and he contributed mightily – for as long as Nico Hulkenberg would let him – to what was indeed a fantastic finale.

The first dozen laps were as good as we've seen all season, and the whole race was full of twists and turns. And yes, I am aware that is meant to be the general idea.

Early on, we saw Fernando Alonso's girlfriend and Felipe Massa's parents living every second of those early laps.

Seeing those pictures, Coulthard pointed out on commentary: 'It brings out the emotions…and they're running high here.'

/11/26/article-2238513-16365DEB000005DC-790_634x412.jpg” width=”634″ height=”412″ alt=”Hat-trick hero: Sebastian Vettel was celebrating a third straight championship at Interlagos” class=”blkBorder” />

Hat-trick hero: Sebastian Vettel was celebrating a third straight championship at Interlagos

This was even apparent in the voice of commentator Ben Edwards.

Okay, he'd had incident after incident to report throughout the race but I'm sure there was just a little extra wobble in the old throat when he said at the chequered flag 'it's been a real privilege'.

It was one of those days. We even had the precious image of the new champion being warmly congratulated by the retiring seven-time champ Michael Schumacher.

Which surprised Eddie.

'He's normally selfish,' he said, but quickly added 'but in a good way'.

Nice save, Mr Jordan…just about!

Thirsty work: Jenson Button took the honours at the Brazilian Grand Prix

Thirsty work: Jenson Button took the honours at the Brazilian Grand Prix

Humphrey's last BBC F1 TV show actually wrapped up pretty quickly and in the frenzy, it ended up falling to triumphant Red Bull team principal Christian Horner to do the honours.

'You've done a great job,' he told Jake. 'I know you're going off to a much lesser sport next year, but you've done the BBC proud. We'll miss you.'

The BBC will be back covering F1 next season along with Sky and their usual full-blooded broadcasts, but there's no doubt about it, the 'lesser sport' has got itself a good 'un over at BT.

David Haye boxing clever and Helen Flanagan a real soap star in I"m A Celebrity

Haye boxing clever and Bristow on target as Flanagan proves she's a true soap star

|

UPDATED:

09:25 GMT, 12 November 2012

I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here

Stick with Sportsmail Online for daily updates about what is happening in the jungle

Even now, after 10 series of ITV's I'm A Celebrity… Get me Out Of Here, there may still be a few people out there wondering why anyone in their right mind would want to spend up to three weeks in the garden feature from hell

True, in some (okay, perhaps many) cases, the answer is in that question. But that is surely not the whole truth.

After all, if you were going to not wash for days, eat animals' unmentionables and make small talk with someone from a reality show that you've never heard of, would you want to do it under the unblinking gaze of the British telly-viewing public

Soap star: Helen Flanagan has swapped the Coronation Street cobbles for the Australian jungle

Soap star: Helen Flanagan has swapped the Coronation Street cobbles for the Australian jungle

More from Mark Webster…

Edge Of The Box: Think Balotelli's a drama queen Try Montalbano
04/11/12

Edge of the Box: NFL is a BIG story… but one we've heard many times before
29/10/12

Edge of the Box: And they're off! End of an era as Frankel retires and Balding says goodbye to the Beeb
22/10/12

Edge of the Box: Humphrey and Bhasin come to the fore during international break
15/10/12

Edge of the Box: Strictly speaking, I bet Vaughan, Pendleton and Smith look good on the dancefloor
08/10/12

Edge of the Box: Blown away by a Ryder Cup cracker in the windy city
01/10/12

Edge of the Box: Sundays won't be the same without Wooly, but the Supplement is in safe hands
24/09/12

Edge of the Box: Britain's champions looking to win hearts before a contest of a very different kind
16/09/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Okay, once again a lot of the answer is in the question, but there is also some method in that madness.

The perfect reminder of that was live on ITV on Friday when Phil Tufnell appeared on a special I'm A Celebrity… Who Wants To be A Millionaire.

Sitting alongside fellow 'King' Joe Pasquale, the current One Show reporter and Question Of Sport captain told Chris Tarrant he'd been at the US Embassy until four in the morning for the Presidential election.

'It was a good party. Last to leave as usual', laughed the irrepressible Tuffers, but do you imagine any of that would have happened if his biggest claim to fame had been a seven for 42 against Leicestershire at Grace Road, rather than becoming King Phil in 2003

No, for those few of you who hadn't noticed, I'm A Celebrity is a golden ticket to a whole new kind of fame and the sport folks competing to be this year's Charlie in the Chocolate Factory are David Haye and Eric Bristow; with affiliated support – and almost certainly, more shower scenes – coming from Scott Sinclair's actress girlfriend Helen Flanagan.

And it didn't take long for the two Londoners who usually let their fists do the talking – obviously, In Eric's case, while clenching his tungstens – to tell us why they have both excelled in their respective sports.

'I usually deal with confrontation with a right hook. I can be cocky. Arrogant. And I have a phobia of losing,' the Hayemaker informed us, clearly deciding that the Christopher Biggins approach to jungle glory was not for him.

Mind you, The Crafty Cockney was just as bullish.

'I fear nothing. I'm arrogant. Confident. You like me or you don't. Whatever it takes, I'll do it', he told us.

Clearly our superstar d'artist believes a good game of killer is just as much fun away from the oche.

Of the two, the south London heavyweight champ earned early bragging rights when his team won the helicopter ride in to their camp.

Squaring up: Former heavyweight champion David Haye (left) was against Made In Chelsea's Hugo Taylor

Squaring up: Former heavyweight champion David Haye (left) was against Made In Chelsea's Hugo Taylor

Hitting the bullseye: Darts legend Eric Bristow is on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here

Hitting the bullseye: Darts legend Eric Bristow is on I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here

Eric's team contained former Time Lard Colin Baker, who couldn't escape a dalek with a flat tyre these days, which meant they got an actual, as well as metaphorical, sinking ship to arrive by.

Of the initial challenges though, it was Helen who got the first serious welcome to the jungle for our sports folks.

Taking on a rope bridge across a ravine, Helen told us 'this is the most scared, like, ever' she's ever, like, been as she set out on her precarious endeavour.

Then many tears, a possible throw up and 47,000 'oh my Gods' later, she was across!

It took less than a couple of minutes to watch. However, judging by the changing light and the fact Brian Conley had grown a beard since she set out on her quest, it may have actually taken a tad longer.

Dream team: Presenters Ant (2nd right) and Dec (right) are the stars of the show

Dream team: Presenters Ant (2nd right) and Dec (right) are the stars of the show

As ever, presiding over the fun, fear and frolics are Ant & Dec who remain the sharpest, most endearing talents in light entertainment.

These two are the barometer of the series, judging perfectly where to go with the humour, the angst, the drama and the melodrama.

They welcomed David to the first Bushtucker trial of the series, competing against one Hugo Taylor from Made In Chelsea, who very quickly realised he wasn't in the Kings Road any more.

Challenge: David Haye was tested early on in the new series of I'm A Celebrity...

Challenge: David Haye was tested early on in the new series of I'm A Celebrity…

'That took real endurance and strength' said Ant in the pouring rain.

'Telling me. Nearly forty minutes we had to hold that umbrella up' deadpanned back Dec as Haye came out the resounding, and not entirely unexpected winner.

So for the first few nights, we'll be watching Team David versus Team Eric, which at the moment is looking like Barcelona against Billericay.

But obviously it's still early days, so join me here every morning to find out just how the jungle is rumbling.

Dirty work but somebody's got to do it: Helen Flanagan was snapped taking a shower

Dirty work but somebody's got to do it: Helen Flanagan was snapped taking a shower

Mario Balotelli less dramatic than Inspector Montalbano – Edge of the Box

Think Balotelli's a drama queen Try Montalbano

By
Mark Webster

PUBLISHED:

00:01 GMT, 5 November 2012

|

UPDATED:

00:01 GMT, 5 November 2012

I for one could not be more grateful that BBC 4 are running the Sicilian detective series Inspector Montalbano.

I am learning so much. First of all, I now know that every building on the island seems to be made from the same cream coloured rock.

That, or some rather over-zealous local council official went a bit crazy with the magnolia paint they clearly got a great deal on.

Nothing to write home about: Mario Balotelli was relatively restrained

Nothing to write home about: Mario Balotelli was relatively restrained

Second, I have learned that only about eight people live there.

On the beach, in the town, at the police station, on the roads – not a soul, save for the Inspector, his sidekicks, the odd suspect or witness, and the fragrant young woman he’ll take for a giant plate of so-fresh-it's-still-squirming seafood that he’ll eat with her on the terrace of his favourite restaurant. Which is empty.

Thirdly, I have been getting a weekly crash course in the Italian language, as spoken by Italians. Close study has revealed you say ‘pronto’ when you answer the phone and that aside from a mouth to form words, you also need rolling eyes, fully shruggable shoulders and very wavey arms to be able to express yourself eloquently.

It is, all in all, great late night telly. It is not, however, the great Mario Balotelli.

Not my word, you understand. Nor, indeed, Alan Shearer’s if Saturday’s exchange on Match Of The Day was anything to go by.

The inscrutable Geordie was all fixed grin and no eye contact as his opposite Alan – Hansen – informed the Shearer right ear that ‘you called him great twice’ as once again Manchester City’s enfant terrible striker was put under the microscope.

A shining wall of gritted teeth, through which the former centre forward growled ‘I said good’, said happy. While the eyes said ‘as soon as the red light goes off on that camera..’.

In spite all of this, I really couldn’t fathom from what I’d seen of their highlights, just why it was all about Mario again Even Gary Lineker sounded a little surprised as he made the very same point, and I must say it did feel like they were hammering an editorial square peg into a round hole.

Smooth: Inspector Montalbano (right) with one of his 'fragrant' beauties

Smooth: Inspector Montalbano (right) with one of his 'fragrant' beauties

Sure, we saw images of a manager barking instructions at a player, and the same player looking disgruntled at coming off and sitting solemnly on the bench as he zipped up his coat. Yet no water bottles appeared to go flying. Nor did he make straight for the tunnel. All in all, by Sicilian TV body language standards, the pair might have barely exchanged brief ‘how do you dos’.

Which probably explains why Mancini looked as baffled as Lineker had done, when asked twice in the post match interview if it got on his nerves answering questions about Mario Balotelli. Think I might have spotted the eyes on a bit of a roll then!

Of course the young Italian will make headlines again. However, on November 3rd, he seemed to do nothing to warrant it. Lest we forget, though, you’re likely reading this on 5th of November. So if you ARE looking for some Super Mario gunpowder, treason and plot…

Come the following morning on Sky Sports, and there wasn’t even really a mention of him on Goals On Sunday in their coverage of Man City’s trip to West Ham. As the theme song says, Sunday mornings are decidedly ‘easy’ in the exceptionally capable hands of Ben Shephard and Chris Kamara, and they were clearly much more laid back about what they’d seen at Upton Park.

Personable: Chris Kamara is normally relaxed

Personable: Chris Kamara is normally relaxed

Which is – unless Kammy is on a mission with the officials – the way of a pair who are one of the best teams in televised sport. Their rapport puts them right up there with the BBC’s F1 boys and Jeff Stelling and the team on a Saturday.

What’s more, it helps make their weekly guests feel really relaxed, so that you get so much more from the players and managers who arrive on their settee than you’ll see pretty much anywhere else on the box.

It’s a long show, happy to take it’s time in allowing everyone to have their say about all the action and incidents, as well as discuss their own careers and lives. This week was no exception, with two excellent guests in former Bolton colleagues Stuart Holden and Patrice Muamba.

By Kammy’s standard in particular, this was a rather sombre day on the shirt front, but young American Holden certainly helped brighten the place up with a pair of truly appalling union flag socks. He was also very engaging, funny and pretty ‘northern’ nowadays in the accent department, which certainly helped with the dead pan delivery when he enquired at the end of the show as to where he could make a donation to Kammy’s Movember ‘tache

However, it was the presence of Muamba that really made the morning. The fact that he was there and well would have been good enough. But it was also a pleasure to listen to a man whose quietly spoken, thoughtful words couldn’t have been further away from where Mario’s do their business.

Ben pointed out that they had been inundated with well wishers on email enquiring about his future. Patrice replied that he would ‘take his time… then see where I fit in, in the football world’.

Here’s hoping it somewhere nice and snug. The game could do with his company.

Edge of the Box: NFL the BIG story.. but one we"ve heard before

American football is a BIG story… but one we've heard many times before

|

UPDATED:

09:47 GMT, 29 October 2012

The mothership has landed. Strange creatures, many the size of your average garden shed, emerge in their battle armour. They speak with strange voices, but are all of one mind. They are ready to conquer us all and spread the cult of the gridiron. The NFL is in town.

Which is how the sixth international NFL regular season game was being sold to us over on its main UK stage, Sky Sports.

Which, frankly, is beginning to wear just a little thin with me.

Putting on a show: The band train performed at Wembley as the NFL roadshow rolled into London

Putting on a show: The band train performed at Wembley as the NFL roadshow rolled into London

More from Mark Webster…

Edge of the Box: And they're off! End of an era as Frankel retires and Balding says goodbye to the Beeb
22/10/12

Edge of the Box: Humphrey and Bhasin come to the fore during international break
15/10/12

Edge of the Box: Strictly speaking, I bet Vaughan, Pendleton and Smith look good on the dancefloor
08/10/12

Edge of the Box: Blown away by a Ryder Cup cracker in the windy city
01/10/12

Edge of the Box: Sundays won't be the same without Wooly, but the Supplement is in safe hands
24/09/12

Edge of the Box: Britain's champions looking to win hearts before a contest of a very different kind
16/09/12

Edge of the Box: London's long goodbye and Murray magic serves up sumptuous end to Summer of Sporting Love
11/09/12

Edge of the Box: Chiles and Co are back and on the road to Rio
08/09/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

It was thirty years ago that Channel 4 first took the bold leap to bring the NFL to our screens, followed pretty quickly by the sight of legends like Joe Montana and Jerry Rice gracing the turf behind the old Twin Towers in north west London.

Since then the sport has been omnipresent on our tellys, and is serviced every given Sunday by Sky to such an extent that the Atlantic might as well be the Thames in terms of how little distance there is now between us and the sport.

But that sport is also a business. BIG business. And with big business comes the enormous sales pitch.

Thus we had the sight of mercurial New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady – in a Pats bobble hat the size of a two-man tepee –on Sky Sports News, cornered in a press huddle, making sure he stayed on message by referring to his trade as 'American football'.

That was during the week as the build-up to Sunday's match between the Pats and 'home team' St Louis Rams began to go through the gears.

Come game day, it was pedal to metal, starting with the NFL London preview show, recorded in the Rams actual home town.

Here we had host Bianca Westwood being reaaaallly excited about everything from a variety of locations around the city, while the channel's game analyst Neil Reynolds got to put the same questions many, many times to a host of players, so as to garner as many answers along the lines of 'representing the league' and 'spreading the game' as he could.

There's nothing fundamentally wrong with Bianca bubbling away enthusiastically, of course. Nor is Reynolds anything other than a genuinely knowledgeable reporter/pundit.

Glamour game: Cheerleaders entertained the crowd as the St Louis Rams faced the New England Patriots

Glamour game: Cheerleaders entertained the crowd as the St Louis Rams faced the New England Patriots

Perhaps, though, the channel's stalwart host Kevin Cadle summed it up best, for me, when he opened the live coverage with the words 'a Big Event – but something we're very familiar with'.

Now that would have suited me just fine if that had been more the editorial approach.

This was never going to happen, though of course, because that is never how anyone ever goes to Wem-ber-ley. Not least a US sport made from pure, 100 per cent razzamatazz.

So, instead there was even more build-up featuring stock tourist shots of Buck House, Bearskins and Big Ben and the fan rally in Trafalgar Square during which players and coaches got to remind us once again just how excited they were to be here.

Back at Wembley, meanwhile, the entertainment had started. Entertainment of the light variety, that is.

Star man: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady led his side to a comfortable victory over the Rams

Star man: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady led his side to a comfortable victory over the Rams

Welcome: London Mayor Boris Johnson spoke and Katherine Jenkins sang the national anthem

Welcome: London Mayor Boris Johnson spoke and Katherine Jenkins sang the national anthem

First up, music from a band called Train, which I'm delighted to report, featured a ukulele. I'm going out on a limb here and saying that has to be a first for the NFL.

Then we had the laughs, as Boris Johnson played the latest leg of his 2012 'blonde Michael Mcintyre Comedy Roadshow' .

Taking to the field, microphone in hand, Boris welcomed 'the glorious descendent of rugby union football' before imploring everyone to enjoy what he steadfastly insisted on calling 'the match'.

However, perhaps the best line of the night went to one of the US commentary team.

As the camera panned around the fans during the second quarter, former New York Jets QB Phil Simms managed to damn yet another sell out NFL crowd with faint praise by informing us that after all these years of practise, 'they're cheering at the right time now'.

We still can't spell 'nite' and 'center' properly though, Phil.

Different ball game: Wembley lived the American dream as the NFL arrived in England

Different ball game: Wembley lived the American dream as the NFL arrived in England

In the great NFL scheme of things, this blowout game for The Pats was in reality just another in the season schedule and once Sky completed its double header of games, it was back to where it all started for us over here, on Channel 4, for their live game programme.

With Nat Combs – a genuine fan who does a great job of being their 'voice', too – as host and evergreen expert Mike Carlson providing the insight, this show does its business in a more low key, studied way than Sky.

This was reflected in their round up of the NFL's trip to London, with not a ukulele in sight, and coach Bill Belichick moaning about the traffic, Tom Brady the rain.

Equally, where the drum was being banged constantly on Sky for the idea that the UK would have its own NFL team sooner rather than later, Mike's take on the matter was that there will be 'a team in LA before they have a team in London'.

Aha! Hollywood. Now they DO know how to put the show in business.

Bradford 3 Burton 2

Bradford 3 Burton 2 (AET): Bantams fight back to earn extra-time win

|

UPDATED:

22:18 GMT, 25 September 2012

A goal seconds from the end of extra time saw Bradford secure a 3-2 win over Burton.

Billy Kee (18) and Aaron Webster (29) gave the visitors a two-goal lead but two goals by Nahki Wells in the final seven minutes sent the game into extra time.

A Stephen Darby screamer with just seconds left before penalties then sent Bradford through.

Squeezing through: Phil Parkinson's Bradford side edged out Burton

Squeezing through: Phil Parkinson's Bradford side edged out Burton

London"s long goodbye to Olympics – Mark Webster

London's long goodbye and Murray magic serves up sumptuous end to Summer of Sporting Love

|

UPDATED:

08:22 GMT, 11 September 2012

Anyone who has ever witnessed Soul Brother No 1 James Brown in action will know there was one thing The Hardest Working Man in Showbusiness was no good at – finishing a show.

Of course, he DID know how to, but he just didn’t know how to finish it once.

Jump cut to London 2012, and just like the end of The Godfather of Soul's gigs, we got not one, not two, but three finales – a trio of thrilling celebrations of what has surely been an unprecedented Summer of Sporting Love.

Jolly good show: An unforgettable summer of sport came to a close outside Buckingham Palace

Jolly good show: An unforgettable summer of sport came to a close outside Buckingham Palace

More from Mark Webster…

Edge of the Box: Chiles and Co are back and on the road to Rio
08/09/12

Edge of the Box: Channel 4's joie de vivre shines through its Paralympics coverage
02/09/12

Edge of the Box: Won't someone spare a thought for the poor TV reporters on deadline day
01/09/12

Edge of the Box: ESPN soon to be a no Joe area for Premier League football – and that's a real shame
27/08/12

Edge of the Box: Football's back and as bonkers as ever… and that's just the TV coverage
20/08/12

Edge of the Box: Hats off to the BBC for their Olympic coverage
13/08/12

Edge of the Box: The fastest Olympic race in history helps the BBC shine once again
06/08/12

Edge of the Box: BBC slow out of the blocks after Boyle's brilliant extravaganza
30/07/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

And of course, if a series of big finishes was good enough for Mr Please Please himself…

While we're on a musical note: Coldplay. Now at this point in the proceedings I must declare an interest – Coldplay are not really my bag, daddio. But that is not the point.

As far as I’m concerned, whoever it had been up there on stage for the Paralympic closing ceremony (Channel 4) for that long, it would have been too much.

Perhaps they set the stadium alight for those who were there, but for me, from the perspective of a telly-watching experience, there was just too much band, not enough of the sheer scope of what was happening in the clearly brilliantly-conceived Festival of Flames.

In saying that, their last two songs really did hit the spot – just after a rather injudicious ad break nearly caused us to miss the lowering of the Paralympic flag. Close!

And particularly so when it was
accompanied for us at home with an epic montage of sporting prowess
delivered, unapologetically (as was all the channel’s coverage) 'stumps
'n' all'.

That moment really brought home what the previous eleven days had been all about.

With all that sense of togetherness
that both Games had generated across the last seven weeks, I think it
was therefore a shame that come Monday and the third big Finale – the
Our Greatest Team Parade – that it could not have been brought to our
homes as a co-production between BBC1 and Channel 4.

Given the fact that this was all about a
nation sharing, I’d have loved to have seen Gary Lineker, Gaby Logan,
Clare Balding and Ade Adepitan together on a stage in The Mall to
exchange some of their Games tales much in the way that Olympian and
Paralympian were doing on the series of floats that crawled through the
Capital on a wave of public affection.

Rousing words: Boris raised a smile as the athletes took a deserved final bow

Rousing words: Boris raised a smile as the athletes took a deserved final bow

Rousing words: Boris raised a smile as the athletes took a deserved final bow

Channel 4's Jon Snow may also have been quietly grateful for the day off at times, as the poor man found himself doing his bit from what must have felt like the VIP balcony at Ministry Of Sound, so loud was the PA.

However, it did help him hear what was his favourite moment – and judging from the background laughter and subsequent reaction, many others, too – from Boris Johnson.

The Mayor, managing to upstage a Princess and a Prime Minister by suggesting that through the excitement and emotion the telly audience at home had witnessed, the Games had 'inspired a generation, and probably helped to create one' on the sofas of Britain.

As you read this, that quote is being slotted in there alongside the likes of 'we will fight them on the beaches', 'annus horribilis' and not forgetting, of course, Gary Neville’s Champions League Final 'aaaaaeeeeeeeey'.

However, it should not overshadow the words of 51-year-old quad tennis medallist Peter Norfolk. In an interview on one of the floats, he said: 'It's disabled sport. But it’s not. It's elite sport. I'd sit down and pay to watch that on TV.'

If nothing else, surely a much more appropriate use for your settee

During her BBC commentary Hazel Irving
described the drama of Monday in London as 'the last hurrah', but she
seemed to be forgetting that a fellow Scot, and Gold medal Olympian, was
in a position to really put the cherry on the cake with victory at the
US Open as Andy Murray went for his first Grand Slam against defending
champion Novak Djokovic.

Take a bow: The likes of Hoy and Ennis delivered a raft of magic moments this summer

Take a bow: The likes of Hoy and Ennis delivered a raft of magic moments this summer

Take a bow: The likes of Hoy and Ennis delivered a raft of magic moments this summer

Not like Sky Sports was laying the pressure on heavily with their live coverage on Monday evening, or anything. What with an opening sequence featuring heroic winners such as Ali, Michael Jordan and Bobby Moore coupled with the cascading tears of loss of Oliver McCall and Gazza!

Nevertheless, the signs in the build-up to the game were good. Host Marcus Buckland said Murray 'cut a relaxed figure throughout the fortnight', and Andy himself told Mark Petchey in interview that he’d prepared for the game by ‘watching Wedding Crashers – a favourite – and playing a bit of Scrabble’.

Frankly, anyone who can sit through Wedding Crashers more than once should be ready for anything.

Sir Alex Ferguson was also on hand to tell Sky he's 'brought a lot pride to the Scottish people'. Fair enough, he was no longer in a Team GB kit. In fact, he rather looked like he’d just been playing a lunchtime five-a-side.

While Boris Becker – second only to John
McEnroe in the pundit's chair nowadays, surely – felt this was the
Scotsman's 'destiny'.

Cut to nigh on five hours later, and
after an epic contest, the incredibly becalmed young Scot (perhaps
rerunning a scene or two from Wedding Crashers in his head) waited for
Djokovic to eventually emerge from a liberally booed time-out to beat
him in five sets to add a first Grand Slam to Olympic gold.

/09/11/article-2201384-14F34BEC000005DC-889_634x407.jpg” width=”634″ height=”407″ alt=”Destiny: After four near misses, Murray finally broke his Grand Slam duck in New York” class=”blkBorder” />

Destiny: After four near misses, Murray finally broke his Grand Slam duck in New York

Destiny: After four near misses, Murray finally broke his Grand Slam duck in New York