Two weeks of torturous monotony, same routine chipping away like a chronic pain. Day after day, the same every morning, afternoon and evening. At last it’s over. I’m talking about the Sochi Winter Olympics of course. What did you think I meant? It’s not the games themselves, they’ve been quite enjoyable. It’s the TV coverage I object to, or to be more precise commentators and presenters. It started two weeks ago with the slopestyle bronze medal win by our very own chalet girl. Did you know she was a chalet girl? You can’t have missed it, at one point I thought that was her surname, Jenny Jones-Chaletgirl, it was tagged on to every mention of the 33 year old ‘chalet girl’. Are we supposed to think that this poor girl has been scraping a living as an alpine cleaner. If she really is just a cleaner then surely she is in line for the British Empire Medal, which is what cleaners and lollipop ladies get isn’t it. Instead she’ll probably get an MBE or CBE and a guest slot on A Question of Sport. so far she has competed in athletics, 400m, long jump, cross country and gymnastics before settling on snow boarding. Some might say get a proper job. Oh she has. A chalet girl.
According to the mayor of Bristol, Jones is set for a celebratory homecoming to mark her achievements when she returns from Sochi. I did wonder why the mayor of Bristol was in California before realising that Bristol is claiming her as theirs due to he once living there before running away to become a chalet maid at 16. By all accounts she spends the majority of her time at her California home, when she’s not snow boarding, surfing or being a chalet maid. Don’t get me wrong, I thought Jenny did great, I loved the snow boarding events, great entertainment, and surely it can only enhance the chance of skate boarding being in the next summer Olympics. All those skater dudes rolling around the Olympic village would be good. Much better to see their long flowing hair and pants round their hips than the stuffy official track suits everyone is made to wear now. They are made to wear them aren’t they? Surely they don’t wear them every second of every day by choice?
If , or when, skate boarding is made an official Olympic event, perhaps the BBC could find commentators that don’t irritate the hell out of just about everyone who got up early on a Sunday morning to watch Jenny win her well earned bronze medal. I believe their names were Ed Leigh and Tim Warwood. We were treated to such memorable commentary lines such as ;
Leigh : I can feel the pulse in my lower intestines
Warwood : That’s not your pulse Ed
Other comments included “She’s got a face that could help bread rise”, “Look at the stomp on that” and “Riding switch is like writing left-handed while wearing a chip hat and being attacked by seagulls”. They were joined by friend of ‘Jones’ as she was affectionately called, fellow boarder and failure (she was knocked out in earlier rounds) Aimee Fuller who’s only contribution was to scream and shout non-densities throughout the final rounds. The lowlight of their entire contribution was their celebratory screams and wallows when Austrian Anne Glasser fell during the final run, ensuring Jones the bronze medal. What would David Vine and his stiff upper lip colleagues from previous games have made of that. I’m assuming Fuller will be better occupied demonstrating her improvement at future games to spare us the agony, but please BBC, spare us the agony of the Chuckle Brothers Leigh and Warwood from any future events of any kind.
Next up was Lizzie Yarwood and her hilarious and ingeniously named band of followers (I.e. family) the Yarny Army. I didn’t really get to see any of Lizzie’s great efforts to oven tray down a tube of solid ice, but apparently she was the best and fastest of them all and won our solitary gold medal. Well done Lizzie. It seemed that I was destined to be going round and round the M60 whenever Lizzie was taking part in her event, but as with everything the BBC covers, I did manage to catch glimpse of the many repeats of her exploits. The commentary team did at least seem a little more professional than the chuckle brothers, although it did seem a bit unfair to suggest that poor Lizzie had the perfectly streamlined body for such an event. Considering that competitors lay face down on their skeleton sled, it’s not so difficult to imagine which part of the anatomy formed the aerodynamic form that was so helpful to her event.
So all was well with Lizzie, she came across as quite an amicable lady, who had made a great effort to achieve her gold medal goal. Shame then really that others wanted to jump on the band wagon. It wasn’t long before her local MP Tim Fallon saw the opportunity of publicity that would deflect from his real role as villain and chairman of the conservative party. Even before Lizzies’ medal had the chance of stopping swinging around her neck he was calling for a gold post box. Won’t that be a bit heavy round her neck? The post box idea idea is just preposterous. If I remember rightly, and it wasn’t that long ago, the gold post boxes were to mark gold medalists in the London Olympics. The key word there is LONDON, they were marking the coming of the games to London. On the basis of Mr Fallon’s reasoning that we should recognise the effort and achievement of all gold medalists, perhaps we should go back and paint post boxes in the home towns of Harold Abrahams, Chris Boardman, Linford Christie…. goes on, well maybe not on and on, it’s not a very long list when compared to some other countries If Sochi wants to paint a few post boxes gold then that’s fine by me. Personally I would drop the idea because the boxes I saw (and there were plenty of them in Manchester) looked as though a team of offenders serving a community service order had stood on top of a step ladder and poured a tin of gold (ish) paint over the top. I’ve not seen such sloppy paintwork since Neil Buchanan was last on TV with Art Attack.
Yarnold grew up in a farming family in West Kingsdown, near Sevenoaks in Kent. I’m surprised it’s even got a post box left ! Her mother, Judith, said she had not realised the gold post boxes were only for the 2012 London Olympics. Really! That’s funny, I’ve been spotting gold post boxes around the country for years, in fact I thought all post boxes were gold. Where the hell has Mrs. Yarnold been posting her letters then? Apparently there has been huge public support for the gold post box campaign. What that means is that there has been a Facebook campaign. You know, those posts, designed to make you feel guilty if you don’t ‘like’ or ‘share’ this post then you’re really not a very nice person. In actual fact I already ‘like’ cancer, alzheimer’s, bronchitis,early menopause, bruised toes, itchy feet, PMT, PTSD, OTT and many other inflictions and diseases….oh, and red post boxes. Leave them alone, they’re hard enough to spot as it is.
Now, at last we’ve got to curling, you thought they’d got away with it didn’t you. Well they nearly did. I started off liking curling until this last week. It seemed a nice genteel sport I could take up, if I could find a rink within a 100 miles of me. I know, I checked every time I was urged to check out the website promoted by the co-commentator. In fact there is only one curling rink in the whole of England. The ‘one’ nearest to me is in Wales. There is a campaign for more curling rinks in the rest of the UK, and perhaps this is a campaign in readiness for the onset of Scottish independence. What is Team GB going to do if Scotland does achieve independence. In fact what is Scotland going to do? Where are they going to get their funding from? Surely the National Lottery won’t become National Lottery and Scotland will it. And more to the point what will Team GB be? Will it be TeamGB minus Scotland? Or maybe Team Not so GB? If you think that was just an attempt to be funny then you’re right. I’ve just about had enough of curling to last me a lifetime. Never, in the history of sport have we achieved so much by not actually winning. It all started off so well, it was 12 years since we won gold at curling, and Hazel ‘I’m your favourite aunty’ Irvine even dug out the exact same ‘lucky’ jumper she was wearing on the very day we did so. Has she really kept a jumper 12 years? Well she is Scottish I suppose. Perhaps it was unfortunate that the majority of curling fell under Aunty Hazels shift, but slowly, morning after morning her sanctimonious drivel (hurry up and finish your porridge and pack the kiddies off to school) wore me down. We started with two teams that wouldn’t settle for anything less than gold, and ended with two teams that would accept anything going. I could put up with the constant yelping that accompanied every stone that made it’s way down the rink, that is until the teams got fewer and fewer and we were left with only two teams on the ice and the realisation that the majority of the yelping came from very own poison dwarf. Her with the big blue eyes that started the games with such hope, and ended at being able to pierce their opponents with such venom that the ice nearly melted. The celebrations at defeat were astonishing, Aunty Hazel, having built them up as certain gold medalists , could not could not contain her excitement at ‘our girls’ winning bronze .No wonder none of ‘our girls’ could crack a smile. But there was still hope for the boys. So much hope that the BBC cleared all of it’s schedules to switch from BBC2 to BBC1 to accommodate the men’s final. Did they not think we are capable of reading the TV schedules, we had managed to find BBC2 for the previous two weeks. Or was it a ploy to drive those of you who can’t resist ‘To Buy or Not to Buy’ to the ice in an attempt to cure your property obsessions. As it turned out the men’s team were annihilated by their Canadian counterparts. It would have been embarrassing had it not been for the men’s skip David Murdoch, accepting defeat with such grace and thank god, a smile. But the overall winner has to be Steve Cram. The former middle distance runner parachuted in to oversee the commentary and accept the endurance award at having to commentate on so much…err defeat! He did however win the competition that surely was running among fellow broadcasters to see who could get the word ‘skip’ in to commentary the most times.
And so tomorrow Steve Cram will go back to his athletics, Aunty Hazel back to being a play school teacher, and Messrs. Leigh and Warwood to CBBC. I on the other hand go back to normal daytime TV. Now what’s on. Operation Hospital Food with James Martin…now there’s a change.