So, the first Test is upon us in a matter of days. This time tomorrow, Jon Lewis will be even less knowingly underbowled (probably); Sky will be wheeling out their trucks and TV monitors (and waking up Bob Willis from his slumber; “over rates. over rates. always the slow over rates”) and, more interestingly, Channel Five will become only the third terrestrial TV station in the UK to show cricket highlights.
Pleasingly, they’ve chosen a good spot – 7.15 pm. As good as Channel 4′s coverage was, they rather shot themselves in the foot with their highlights which were, frankly, dreadful. Half-an-hour of highlights is all very well, but not when the anchor man – Nicho! – speaks over most of the action. In a moment of particular boredom one day, I timed the actual cricket. There was 2 minutes of intros and over a minute at the end, not to mention the 2/3 minute advert-break in the middle. Worse still, they rarely stuck to one timeslot. It was sometimes on past midnight! Good one – yeah, that’ll draw the viewers in. The pervy freaks looking for soft porn must have got a shock when they heard the less-than-seductive tones of Simon Hughes talking about the lack of a fine leg or worse, pulling a bowler into the confectionary stand (and out again).
Anyway, Five have recruited The Great Nicho (Mark Nicholas), Sir Geoff (Geoff Boycott) and Mr Trucky himself (Simon Hughes). A fine team, that. In fact, so fine, I’m almost inclined to say it’s a shuper team, in honour of Richie Benaud who quite honestly deserves a post all to himself. This is the first summer since the Jurrassic era that Britons won’t have his quiet, understated musings in the background while they make their tea; pick up their shopping; shout at the kids or whatever. Worse still, we don’t get to hear Choo for Chwenty Choo again. Travesty upon travesty. Console yourselves.
Incidentally, don’t try saying his name if your moustache is wet. It has a tendancy to sound like the perfect chav-mobile for a chavette (Bitchy Renault). Stone the crows – why didn’t I think of that before? Someone get me Renault on the phone!
Anyway, the reason for this inane, banal stream of tripe – masquerading as a post – is Five just emailed me to say their site is now live. So go and look at it and tell them how wonderful you think it is, and also tell them what a wonderful blog this is and that you found their site because of the Corridor. And seeing as you’re being so generous, you might as well tell them how great you think I am (you can lie. In fact, please do).
The summer has begun. Incidentally, I went to the dogs on Friday (Wimbledon) – and what a brilliant night out it is. My mate had a bunch of coupons from the Racing Post so not only did we all get in free, we got a free pint to start proceedings and a free Â£2 bet. I’ll have some of that, oh yes. One of our crowd is particularly keen on the old gambling…not sure how much he won, but it was into the hundreds. Or so he told us…great night though. Masses to drink, masses of laughter, masses of shouting at dogs (and greyhounds) and “what colour’s number 3? what bloody colour is trap 3? Oh nevermind, that’ll be the dog at the back. At the back and on his back!”
Posting will be up on and off for a bit, as mentioned the other day. Scott’s around to keep it fresh and watered.