With the wonderful headline, “Gay Pundtitry Can Put An End To Dire Straights”, the Guardian’s Martin Kellner calls for a wholesale change in the Auntie’s presentation of televised soccer.
According to a report in this paper last week, the BBC stands accused of “delivering astonishingly poor value for gay licence fee payers by failing to accurately reflect their lives”. Absolutely. You want to see your life reflected. I made a similar complaint, about March Of The Penguins. Astonishingly poor value. And don’t even get me started on £2.50 for a bag of Maltesers.
What the BBC is guilty of, says the gay rights group Stonewall, is something called “low-level homophobia”. It calculates the level of the BBC’s homophobia, based on research undertaken at Leeds University, which I am loth to criticise as that is my local higher education gaff.
Apparently, these Leeds University people, when they are not stopping me from getting anywhere near the bar of the Fenton Hotel on a Friday night, are sitting around watching unconscionable amounts of BBC television, not even switching over for Deal Or No Deal, stopwatch in hand, clocking “realistic portrayals of gay lifestyles”. Out of 168 hours of prime-time programming – 168 hours, count ’em, and they say academia is a soft option – the researchers found only six minutes that they felt gave the gay lifestyle a decent hearing.
The BBC is unlikely to be cavalier about the issue. It will be tossing and turning in bed at night, fretting over its perceived failure to give value for money. So here is a possible solution – make the football coverage more gay.
Unfortunately, Graeme Le Saux, despite suffering some extremely unpleasant and rather high-level homophobia during his football career, turns out to be vehemently heterosexual, and we have to assume that John Motson (above) is as well, if not because of his wife and children, because of his appalling dress sense.
This is a pity, because two blokes going round the world, climbing into commentary boxes together, burbling on about football, laughing at each other’s weak jokes, would, I am sure, fall into the category of a gay lifestyle, and have the added benefit of giving a point to Le Saux’s presence at the microphone, because, let’s face it, who needs yet another heterosexual telling us, when an international striker blasts six yards wide of an open goal, “he’ll be disappointed with that”?
With no apologies to Moscow (but presumably, one implied to the local Hispanic community), Houston, say hello to the Dynamo.