Given this entertaining blog post, the Guardian certainly seem worried enough about the prospect of Tim Lovejoy taking over the soon-to-be-vacant presenter’s chair on Match Of The Day 2. And yet, we really can imagine it happening. “Well, he does test well with the under-24s”, we can envision a clueless BBC commissioning editor uttering in Meeting Room C, “and he really does encapsulate the fun element that we’re trying to convey with our Sunday night highlights show.” A bit far-fetched? Don’t forget, we’re only in this situation because BBC1 controller Jay Hunt had a bright idea along the lines of “well, The One Show is doing very well in the ratings, but we need Chris Evans on Fridays to try and bring in some of the magic that made ITV1’s OFI Sunday such a huge success back in 2005. Er, it was a success, wasn’t it?”
So, would bringing in Tim Lovejoy be a good idea? A man that someone who’d been in a coma since 1994 might fleetingly think is ‘pretty cool’, right until the point where he starts talking? A man who prides himself on his achingly cutting-edge taste in hip new music stretching all the way from Kasabian, to The Cribs, to anyone else willing to pretend they’re mates with him on a televised sofa? The person who presented an edition of Sky One’s “Tim Lovejoy And The Allstars” whilst wearing a Ramones T-shirt, but when challenged by guest Martin Freeman to name two albums by the band, could only meekly murmur “er… the Best of The Ramones?”
No, then. So here, just in case anyone from BBC Sport is passing by, we present our list of TEN PEOPLE BETTER SUITED TO HOSTING MATCH OF THE DAY 2 THAN TIM LOVEJOY.
1, Bob Wilson, anchorman.
2. Re-edited archive footage of David Coleman.
3. Mark “Lawro” Lawrenson in a sparkly jacket and spinning bow tie, having just been handed a copy of that forwarded email containing a load of old Tim Vine jokes incorrectly attributed to the late Tommy Cooper, even though one of the jokes is about a film that wasn’t even made until about eleven years after Cooper died.
4. North Korean dictator, Chairman of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea’s National Defense Commission, General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, the and the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army, Kim Jong-il, who we’re guessing knows slightly more about British football pre-1992 than Tim Lovejoy does.
5. A big threatening wasp that hovers no further than six inches away from the perturbed faces of Lee Dixon and Martin Keown each and every time they try to dissect a controversial offside decision.
6. The cartoon pig from the covers of Now That’s What I Call Music volumes Three, Four and Five. Despite not having been seen in public since 1985, retains a greater amount of credibility than the man who left Sky Sports to host Channel Five’s David Beckham’s Soccer USA.
7. A sixty-seven-year-old belligerent, drunk rugby union fan from Llanelli, who openly detests football with every last fibre of his very being, who insists on referring to the sport as ‘kick-ball’, the footballers as ‘them overpaid ponces’, and who insists on restricting any post-match analysis to the slow motion replays of tricky midfielders ‘going to ground easily’ that he deems the most overtly homosexual.
8. A spider.
9. The terrifying, slobbering, rasping shrieks of a man who, due to an ill-advised day trip to World O’ Rollercoasters by his eight-months pregnant mother in 1967, was born with an inside out face. Simulcast on BBC HD.
10. George Lamb.
Okay, okay, that last one was a comically unrealistic choice thrown in for shock value, designed to underline what a hugely unsuitable choice Lovejoy would be for the gig. In any event, the BBC should think carefully about who replaces the affable tobyjug face of Adrian Chiles on the Sunday night highlights show we always manage to miss the first twenty sodding minutes of. The intelligent choice would be clearly be James Richardson, best known from Channel Four’s Football Italia, Setanta and the Guardian’s Football Weekly. The ooh-wouldn’t-it-be-good, pity-it-won’t-happen choice would be Sir Jeff Stelling.
Both of those would be great, perfect, even, and that’s why they probably won’t happen. You never get what you want in life, that’s why each new episode of Doctor Who will be between 20% and 50% more disappointing than you hope it’ll be, and why each haircut we get never quite makes us look as attractive in the mirror as we are in our heads.
That’s why we’d be happy to see the gig go to former Sky Sports News presenter, occasional Guardian Football Weekly stand-in and former host of 1990s BBC daytime game show Turnabout, Rob Curling. Why? Why not. He’s affable enough, he has the ability to be gently self-effacing when required, won’t make the mistake of assuming his opinion on events is why the viewers have tuned in – though that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s why BBC Sport employs pundits, and hey, he’d certainly be as good as anyone else. Just as long as it’s not Tim Lovejoy.
Or Colin Murray.