Every two years now we have Sports Relief, a charity that raises countless amounts of money for people who are suffering around the World, from aid agencies in Africa to more local causes which help kids deal with bullying, diseases, other injustices they suffer in their lives. And it manages to do this despite having a godwaful entertainment line-up and highly questionable central concept.
With Sports Relief, the PTB decided that what the general public would really respond to is being lectured for hours on end by millionaire footballers about how “every penny counts” when children are suffering, and hearing repeated implications that because we have yet to give a tenner to charity we are somehow inferior human beings and will in all likelihood be sent to hell for our sins. The producers make up for this irritating idea (seriously, if all footballers cut their wages in half, we could fund so much more stuff for the needy, etc…) by giving us slightly entertaining TV for one night. I say slightly, but we hear at IEF in honesty found the whole night, except for the inspired Top Gear section, to be enervating and depressingly uninspired. Strictly Come Dancing, The Apprentice (how downbeat was that!), that bit where Chris Moyles was on a treadmill – that’s not entertainment, it’s just dull. But despite all of this blandness, there were five moment that stood out from everything else and made the whole thing almost worthwhile.
Although £19 mil in the bank does sound like a reasonable excuse as well.
1: Darren Gough’s Face
For the past few years, perennial goon Darren Gough has been untouchable on Strictly Come Dancing, winning whenever he’s in the competition and proving to be untouchable even by the talents of such acts as Mark Rampracash and that rugby bloke (you know the one – he’s the only one who doesn’t take it too seriously). This fact, combined with the smug smile Goughy had on his face all evening, made it all the sweeter when he actually lost. His face turned to hatred, fury, and grief for one brief, wonderful second, before his forced smile began, a smile which lasted for a good five minutes while he stood in the background and pretended not to want to burn down the BBC Centre. Tremendous.
2: Top Gear’s Newspapers
This is just a little moment from what was undoubtedly the most glorious part of the evening, when the Top Gear presenters systematically destroyed Steve Redgrave’s garden while he was out. Did you notice, when James May and Jeremy Clarkson drove in to the lot, the newspapers both had folded against the dashboard? Clarkson obviously had the splashy and sensationalistic Sun, whilst the quiet, reserved, and possibly very bitter about the immigrants May had a Telegraph up there. A small moment, but a classy one.
3: Annie Lennox Goes Off On One
After giving a short but clever and thought-provoking speech to the nation after we watched her heartbreaking documentary about children in Africa, Lennox then performed a song for all. Claudia Winkleman came over to thank her, only to be caught out by another long, incoherent and patronising lecture from Lennox, which blamed the entirety of Britain for not saving Africa single-handedly. Her eyes grew wide and smoke began to build up as the Lennox got mental on live TV, and nobody could stop her.
4: Lemar Starts Making Sense
Lemar fought a boxing match against the wee young nipper from GMTV, and got punched several times in the face, itself a joy to behold. The best thing was though, that afterwards when being interviewed, he actually made sense. Everyone knows that Lemar is the worst interviewee ever, being as he is completely indecipherable as a person, but it appears the frequent blows to the head may well have damaged his brain and turned him into an avid linguist. I look forward to hearing him expound some theories on Freud’s dream theory in one of his next songs, dropping some unilateral ego analysis in yo’ face.
5: Claudia Winkleman
When all around you are Patrick Kielty, you need to be likeable or the show’s going to go down the pan. And luckily for us all, Claudia Winkleman was on hand to distract us from Kielty’s mugging with some actual presenting. She’s funny and kooky yes, but she was the only presenter the whole night who didn’t feel like she was forcing it when she asked for money. For that, we salute ye, Winkleman. She’s one of the best presenters there is, and hopefully people are starting to notice this – she’s funny, clever, quick-witted and pretty darned hot too, wethinks. And she pretended to punch Paddy Kielty not once but twice! Oh Winks, if only ye were single…
One Bonus One: The Humpty Dance
Towards the end of the night, when they are desperate for things to put on, a dance act came and did some very well choreographed routines. I don’t have time for these sort of things though, so I put on Digital Underground’s hip-hop classic ‘The Humpty Dance’ on full-blast, and watched in delight as the troupe danced along in time to it. Highlights from the dance included when the lead dancer sang “in a 69 my nose will tickle your rear” whilst we saw an image of a woman trying to do the splits, and the way the line “I once got busy in a burger king bathroom” coincided with all the men simultaneously doing the splits. They... did the splits a lot during that routine.
Peace and humptiness forever, y’all.