With all due respect to the likes of Norman Chad and Bob Raissman, The Guardian’s Martin Kelner remains one of the globe’s best at Watching Sports On TV (So You Don’t Have To). On Sunday, Kelner considers the coverage of England’s pre-Euro 2012 friendlies, leaving no music licensing department (or major sponsor) unscathed.
With the Euros less than a week away, one assumes that both ITV and BBC have as little room for manoeuvre as Roy Hodgson, and will be sticking more or less with the current squads and tactics, although surely it is time for those few bars of the Verve’s Bitter Sweet Symphony ITV uses throughout its England coverage to be retired from international football.
There is a scene in a PG Wodehouse novel when the song Sonny Boy is sung repeatedly at some sort of public recital, for reasons I have forgotten, and the crowd, eventually losing its taste for the once popular song, begins to pelt the performers with rotten fruit. That is how I feel about the Verve. I throw metaphorical fruit every time the tune is trotted out, saving just a little for the incessant joyless oom-pah of the England band.
Regular readers know I rely on the commercial breaks in football to keep abreast of latest developments in shaving technology. There was a time when the shaver companies were involved in a kind of mad arms race, each constantly trumping the other’s number of blades. “I’ll see your four, and raise you one,” was the rule, as they raced towards blade-centred Mutually Assured Destruction.
Now they have switched their pitch to the soothing unctions coating their many blades. The latest, the Wilkinson Hydro 5, appearing at half-time in the England match, boasted “hydration where you least expect it”, presumably meaning when you shave. Well, call me old-fashioned, but for some years now I have managed to achieve hydration during shaving through the simple device of using water, available from any household tap.