Mic Wright’s Remotely Famous About Football Telly: Beckham On A Bike Versus Berks In Their Bedrooms
Mic Wright’s Remotely Famous: Beckham on a bike versus berks in their bedrooms
FOOTBALL. Football. Football. Adrian Chiles trying to be funny. Football. Football. Football. Gary Lineker marshalling his panel of experts like a sedated zookeeper at the world’s most boring chimps’ tea party. Football. Football. Football. Betting ads. Football.
There’s your all-purpose review of the next month’s worth of television as the rest of the schedule is buried beneath the sheer weight of balls being bashed our way from Brazil. We’ll get every spit, cough and fart from the England camp until our inglorious departure from the tournament and reporters will continue to be baffled as to why the residence of Brazil’s shanty towns aren’t entirely delighted about millions of pounds being spent on facilities they’ll never benefit from.
The disparity between the lives of the players on the pitch and the people in the favelas was quietly flagged by up during David Beckham: Into The Unknown. While the documentary reinforced the impression that Beckham is a fundamentally nice bloke, his veneration of “the simple life” was undercut by the realisation that the tribe he visited lost nearly 20% of their population to measles when a new road opened.
Back home, Victoria Beckham’s biggest worry was that David’s hair would go haywire in the humidity. Luckily judicious use of styling products and hats kept that horrific threat at bay. And when it seemed like Beckham might be anywhere near danger, Raj, the health and safety advisor, was there to warn him against it. With a significant entourage just out of shot and a TV camera trailing him. the superstar was never likely to “find himself” in Brazil. He probably should’ve started off in Brentwood.
While Into The Unknown showed the shiny, media-polished face of football, Channel 5 unsurprisingly went for a grimy, undignified take with the bluntly titled Football Hooligan & Proud. Given the authorities success in preventing known football hooligans from flying off to hurl plastic chairs around foreign streets, the programme makers really had to really trawl for their troublemakers.
Having been banned from attending football matches, Lee from Rochdale should, by rights, have been downgraded to mere hooligan. Meanwhile Shane proudly showed off his bedroom decorated with blood-stained England, Chester and Ulster flags. Nothing gets you in the mood like crusty blood on a cheap flag, right? Finally, Jay, had a cat called Muhammed and a collection of golliwogs. I needn’t say much more. Oh, other than that he has an EDL tattoo and belongs to Casuals United, a group committed to combining their two favourite hobbies – rucks and racism.
The producers of Football Hooligan & Proud didn’t try very hard to unpick the connections between football hooliganism and the Far Right. Still, expecting them to was as foolhardy as thinking that Adrian Chiles can make it through an entire match without getting confused by the AutoCue. That said, soundtracking footage of fights at a nationalist march with jaunty guitar riffs might just have been taking it a little too far. Couldn’t they have at least gone with Yakkity Sax?