I’d have some sympathy for John McCririck if he wasn’t such an obnoxious g..gentleman.
Had I been boss of Channel Four I’d have hounded him off to the knacker’s yard long ago.
Not because he’s getting long in the tooth as a racing pundit– I rather like my sports commentators to have a degree of gravitas – but because I can’t bear to look at him or hear anything that passes from his lips or other orifices.
Viewers of Celebrity Coach Trip (I know, reader, I know, shame on me for watching such trite) were treated to utterances from at least two of those orifices regularly.
To date he and his other half are the only couple to have been unanimously voted off the coach not once but twice. He didn’t fare much better in the Celebrity Big Brother house -evicted amid accusations of sexism and misogyny.
Big Mac and his other half remind me of a couple I met on a coach trip to Germany long ago - Doris and Bert.
(Their names have been changed to protect Mavis and... oops, better not.)
Now I’m not a fan of coach travel at the best of times but Mavis, sorry Doris, and Bert turned the trip into a living hell – a sort of coach version of Under the Dome from which there was no escape.
The signs were there from the start. Regulars gave them a wide berth. Not us. They smiled reassuringly and we settled into the neighbouring seat and smiled uncertainly back – and I swear I heard a trap shut. It was the only trap I heard shut for the following seven days – for a torrent of words engulfed us en route to The Rhine.
I was ready to jump ship long before we reached the ferry. At the very first loo stop I contemplated hitch hiking back and we were only at Charnock Richard...
Sadly my mother got on so well with them – no surprises there – that about three hours into the non-stop nattering, punctuated by gasps (mine) at the sort of bigotry one sometimes hear from the over 80s, she drew breath long enough to tell me “we’ll be sitting with Doris and Bert at dinner.”
(Only she said Mavis and – better not. )
Noooooo. Protests were frozen on my lips by one of her best Bette Davis (circa The Anniversary) looks.
You know – the film where Bette wears an eyepatch and quells any attempt at mutiny in family ranks. ‘That’s fine,’ I muttered.
But the king of the tacky tic tac makes Doris and Bert look like Richard and Judy ... or Tess Daly and Brucie (who I’d also cheerfully quickstep from our screens given half a chance).
McCririck sees himself as a man’s man, able to call his wife a Booby (after a South American bird that is “stupid and pathetically easy to catch and squawks a lot”) and have others laugh it off.
Ah well, better a Booby than a Raphus cucullatus – that’s a Dodo, Mr Mac.
The man’s a boor. And a bore. Clare Balding may have a soft spot for him but it’s a racing cert that wild horses wouldn’t drag me downwind of McCririck on Ladies Day.
But does he have a point? I think not. The tribunal has been told he was dropped because viewers found him as “unappealing and irritating.”
Racing has moved on. So should Mr McCririck.
Dear Mr PM, two loaves for a quid
We’ve always been bread makers in my family.
Not the David Cameron kind, the old fashioned sort.
It’s a good way of working through frustrations.
I have a way with yeast which makes my bread rise in direct correlation to the volatility of whatever mood I’m in.
Ergo, the Dad Years were the Best of Bread years as I pummelled the doughin vengeful teenage fashion.
The David Cassidy Years came a close second.
Seriously, I dated a lovely long lashed Irish lad with the same name as my favourite Jackie mag pin up.
We’d play Seven Seas of Rye and the mood and the bread were wonderful.
But for all the fact times have moved on, and so have breadmaking habits, I still know the price of value loaf even if Mr Cameron doesn’t, as he admitted this week. He apparently favours a posh breadmaker instead.
Morrisons has wholemeal loaves at two for £1 .
So come on, politicians, use your loaf. Only Marie Antoinette expected the poor to eat cake.