Review: European Championships

First published in TV The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , Features editor

IT’S not been a great week for TV viewers who have an aversion to the national game.

Both ITV and the Beeb have been awash with coverage from the European Championships and close-up shots of attractive young ladies with their faces painted in national colours have become something of a nightly ritual.

Indeed, such has been the broadcasters’ obsession with the more fragrant side of football that, if you tuned it at the wrong time, you could be forgiven for thinking that the storms of bibilcal proportions which caused one match to be delayed had actually washed out the whole tournament.

It’s amusing to watch as both channels try to out scare audiences with their trendy intro graphics — BBC’s Harry Potter-esque living shields versus ITV’s wobbly-headed football figures on steroids.

It’s just a shame that the punditry panels are not equally engrossing.

Never has so much hot air been spouted to so little effect since, well, the last big football tournament.

There is one exception to this, however — former Wolves manager Mick McCarthy, the living embodiment of the Fast Show’s George ‘Integrity’ Whitebread.

Unlike most ‘experts’ who seem to be permanently welded to the fence they are sitting on, Mick’s not afraid to actually voice an opinion — and he’s funny too.

Even non football lovers would have laughed at his ‘he should just shut his gob’ advice to Italy’s Mario Balotelli.

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