Mickey Blue Eyes...
Gary and the Lads
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Mickey Blue Eyes


I ask this question because his BBC TV talking head chats have taken a quite uncharacteristic turn this season, a decisive move away from the cheerful chintz that made him acceptable to Beeb Suits. Let's face it, we got too used to Gary's muted rambles and half-hearted "banter" with whichever pundits sat opposite, usually ex pinkies Hansen and Lawrenson. Both of them were a near-perfect foghorn counterpoint to Gary's low moo; Hansen used to shout a lot and "Lawro" would sulk for ever if anyone interrupted him in full diatribe. But time moved on and they all began to mellow, or perhaps they just got bored. As age took its toll Gary simply greyed up, Hansen tried dyeing his hair and Lawro's gut folded over his belt as his infamous centre part slowly widened and his hair started thinning. Match of the Day became, and is, a sorry tired spectacle.


Meanwhile, Gary started doing TV commercials for Walker's Crisps, some of which depicted him as a comic villain. It didn't work. It was the equivalent of trying to morph Old Mother Hubbard into Ron Perelman, and ending up with a PMT Dawn French. Hansen started doing grocery ads. Lawro turned to radio and TV sound-only match punditry, at which he is rather good and which is a blessing because we don't have to see his bloodhound kipper. Last week Gary appeared on your flat screen as the rear end of a pantomime donkey promoting a charity. Appropriately he had his face stuck in a blond woman's behind. Desperation was writ large on his face if not on her bottom.


But the worst development is Gary's attempted persona change for Match of the Day. Suddenly he made his intro and delivery while standing up. Dramatic hand gestures materialised to supplement a new Yank-style melodramatic vocabulary. Words like "amazing," "fantastic," "incredible," "mind boggling," "awesome" (sometimes even as "ossom"), and "astounding" were applied. His facial expressions now bear the distinct impression of badly-taught schlock theatre. Gary's gone all tabloid TV, probably at the behest of someone straight out of the Gazza School of Public Relations as the Beeb prepares for the scam of privatisation and adverts.


Inevitably the search is on for a replacement formula with Gary's, Hansen's and Lawro's usefulness beginning to fade. Alternative presenters and pundits are tried. Clearly there is much shuffling for position as new boys bid for pole position. This ranges from the incomprehensible and odd Colin Murray to the pristine mullet that is Manish Basin. Of these two my money's on Manish, a near-perfect BBC module right down to the voice, Welwyn Garden City clothes and adolescent Des Lynamisms. New pundits have appeared too, chief of which are balding unperson Alan Shearer and Lee Dixon, a sort of earnest, Thames-based expat Manc trying hard to impress the front office. Genial Dion Dublin also shows up now and then but he's far too natural for the Beeb, unless he has his personality vacuumed through his nasal passage.


But spare a thought for likeable Gary and the lads as they transit this vital moment in their media careers. It can't be easy as they try to strike a balance and cope with those new, awful floating graphics and schoolboy headlines meandering above their heads. Me, I can do without all the song and dance: I just want to see maximum footy and less Yank-style bullshit.


I can dream.




Comments about Gary and the Lads
This is so incredibly accurate. I laughed my head off! I've been thinking these things for some time, but could not articulate the words as good as MBE! Dg
Dg, Warsaw, 11:40 AM 31/08/2013
Can't stand that Lineker or the two redshites. I turn the sound off when they come on and then on when they go off, theyre three prize gimps if you ask me.
Smegger, Nogsy, 5:40 PM 8/02/2012
MOTD IS looking a bit tired but there's only so many ways you can present football. A lot of it is down to the personality of the presenter and Gary's 'safe' - that's probably why BBC use him. Be interesting to know how much he gets paid for his once a week stint of less than an hour.
Spectator, Crosby, 12:28 PM 8/02/2012
What's wrong with Welwyn Garden City clothes? :o)
Beau Brummel, Welwyn Garden City Tailors plc., 12:09 PM 8/02/2012
Dan Walker is a good shout, although I don't think he'd want to leave Football Focus.
Alex, Liverpool, 5:56 PM 7/02/2012
Paul L / 14:- we are on last because the overwhelming majority of Man U, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool etc. fans are 12 year-old boys that the BBC realises mummy and daddy want packed off to bed.
Lee, currently Brussels, 5:32 PM 7/02/2012
Just do away with all the pundits and flash graphics and broadcast more of the football matches. We don't need pundits to tell us the obvious or what to think. We don't really need commentators either, just leave the mike open for crowd noises at a sensible level. We can make our own minds up.
Paul, Warrington, 2:15 PM 7/02/2012
I tweeted Gary Lineker following MOTD on Saturday asking why we are always on 2nd to last or last every week and he replied saying we're not.... He made me think I was wrong but after reading this it obviously isn't just me who thinks we are.
Paul, Liverpool, 1:41 PM 7/02/2012
It is hard to believe that Lineker once actually wore the royal blue jersey.Listening to him chat shite on MOTD you would think he only ever played for spurs. Get rid of him and the other two clowns, Hansen and Lawrenson and get someone who people would listen to. Gary Neville would wind the redshite up big time.
robbie o, work, 11:09 PM 6/02/2012
Isnt Adrien Durham that bloke Carragher called up and absolutly slaughtered on talk sport?
Harry , Stockport, 6:38 PM 6/02/2012
I work at the BBC and Adrian Durham has been lined up with Jamie Carragher to head MOTD in the near future. Durham will be great and he’s best mates with Carra now plus Jamie knows his stuff. If not what about Stubbsy, Garth Crooks, Alan Brazil? failing that bring in Graham Norton?
Vinny, Allerton, 5:59 PM 6/02/2012
Come on Colin 'EverDDon' . Really??
Big Nevs glove, Andes, 5:12 PM 6/02/2012
Is it me but, you never really picked up that we're nearly always on last on MOTD ? Anyway, ALL 'pundits' are bleeding biased. Who would you choose, 'Daddies boy' Redknappp, Sournose, or scouser-hating Neville? What about Lampard's bird?
Garys brokdeded toe, Boots, 5:09 PM 6/02/2012
No mention this week of moaning Evertonians, Mickey--well done lad. Get Adrian Chiles back, no bull, a few jokes and solid football Best Pundit is Martin Keown....talks sense.
Dave Dexter, Aintree, 1:33 PM 6/02/2012
NOT MURRAY. He is so biased to the shite. He can't say Wolves without making me want to deck him, WOLLLLVES. His voice is the worst. His banter is crap. Manish may be dull, but doesnt make me want to kick my TV
Jim McDonald, The Big House, 1:13 PM 6/02/2012
Get Ian Snodin on MOTD.
Stef , Old Swan., 12:23 PM 6/02/2012
Ha well noted BK! Next week we’ll probably be seeing on the Floating Graphics “Hanson & Lawro See Red when Handed P45”
Doug, Merseyside, 12:08 PM 6/02/2012
Manish for me. He's a brilliant host on the Football League show, but I can't see him wanting to leave as he and Claridge seem to have vast knowledge and extreme passion for the football in the lower leagues. He'd be a far better pick for MOTD presenter than Colin Murray though.
Sammy, Wells, 11:16 AM 6/02/2012
Not Colin Murray. This gobshite only started liking the game after the shite won the champions league, then he was apparently the biggest redshite in the world. Used to make people in work turn the radio off when he was on Radio 1. Better bandwagon bummer even said he was going to get a redshite tattoo once. HATE HIM.
Gary's discarded crisp packet, Leicester, 10:47 AM 6/02/2012
Colin Murray for me. He has personality in abundance and maybe we won't be left till last every week. I sometimes wonder whether Lineker ever played for us.
G Lloyd, est Kirby, 10:15 AM 6/02/2012
Glad somebody's finally said this. Match of the day is tired and needs new faces. The commentators aren't much better. Motson is so past it he's only just realised Van Persie got a hat-trick at the weekend!
Tim, Liverpool, 10:07 AM 6/02/2012
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