We like His Borissness and we always enjoy the studied buffoonery. This time it began with the unfurling of the Olympic flag at the end of the closing ceremony in Beijing. Would he or wouldn’t he? Of course, it was OK in the end.
There is only one question which my toff mates have been unable answer : how does Boris make a Saville Row number look like Eastender Minty’s boiler suit? That is real style.
The double-decker bus which opened like a Chancellor’s purse was OK but the faux-topiary, faux-clipped to look like bugger-all was not good. Leona Lewis looked terrified and seemed more concerned with not falling off her perch than with the warbling. For once, the vibrato sounded real – but then again, it normally does when you’re crapping yourself in front of billions.
We did not quite realise it at the time but this was just the beginning of the Simon Cowell Benefit night.
Beckham held a ball up and kicked it and said later that he was “honoured”. The training has obviously paid off. I don’t mean fitness or football training but “HOW TO PUT LONG SENTENCES TOGETHER” training – for the interview. He didn’t once use the V-word, so we have to assume that he has since had a severe bollocking from the gruesome pouting one.
Red bus, Leona Lewis, Beckham, small girl and dancers. No cock-ups. Good so far.
Enter Boris centre stage for the post-Olympics piss-up. Some marginally unfunny stuff about Ping Pong. Nothing wrong there except that it probably produced several complaints to British talk radio stations from “offended” out-of-work Scottish listeners. Again, nothing unusual.
We were still awaiting the first cock-up. We’re British for goodness’ sake. We NEED cockups. It is our cultural oxygen.Without cock-ups we are like everyone else.
Then it came!!! It was a video about London…….
Some (former) mentalist VT editor had included a very short sequence on the Tate and there was a glimpse of a so-so painting of Myra Hindley. One could argue that the image was appropriate. After all, Gordon Brown was wearing his Jack the Ripper grin PLUS murder is currently a popular cultural phenomenon – especially in London.
The sad fact is that this was not a new video and the company Visit London probably did not think twice about including Hindley’s likeness. I bet that the editor was a young guy who probably just saw something that could have been an Andy Warhol painting of Marilyn Monroe. Sadly, although it was a rip-off, it was not the sainted Marilyn.
Boris was outraged, Brown was outraged but instead of being outraged quietly they managed to alert the whole world to our ineptitude. Social soirees and breweries immediately sprang to mind.
All that Brown had to do was to quietly ask for the directors of Visit London to place their dangly bits on a butcher’s block while he went in search of a drink-crazed hoodie with a machete. Job done. The British Way.
No. We had to put it on the front page and indulge in a bit of collective outrage. That is the perversity of the British psyche.
Before we move to London’s Simon Cowell benefit “Concert” which, for some reason appeared to be called “VISA”, there is one small niggling matter which may be worth a mention.
Huw Edwards had been freighted over and unpacked to commentate on the closing ceremony – ” a Beacon….. a beacon of hope….”.
He has neither the intellect, wit nor the vocabulary to add anything to any great occasion. Just clueless empty platitudes. One of the Dimbebys (preferably David) should have been dispatched or maybe Sue Barker should have taken the lead with her chum Hazel.
Edwards’ commentary was very reminiscent of the night that Trevor MacDonald was sent to RAF Lyneham to commentate on John McCarthy’s return from Beirut “and here come da plane in an arc… a lovely, lovely arc…. etc.”
The telly-action moved to London for the “VISA Concert” and lots of Blue Peter presenters introducing performers who had at some stage, passed through Simon Cowell’s hands.
More inanities and lots of “How do you feel?” questions. Needless to say , everything was “Amaiiiiiizing!!!” ….but……a danger is now lurking and it WILL bite us:
We all appear to be suffering from the “1966 effect”.
In 1966, we won the World Cup and since then we have believed, contrary to all the evidence, that we are a great footballing nation.
We are now imagining that we are some sort of major force in world sport. There is mass hysteria with open-topped buses, gala dinners and Gordon Brown dishing out honours like Purple Hearts.
Let us hope that once the 2008 Sports Personality has been chosen, we calm down, regain some sense of perspective and take a reality check.