TO celebrate the start of the 2006 World Cup I thought I would share with you the guidelines that the BBC recently issued for its commentators (with thanks to my sister Anne)
1 -Within 1 minute of kick off in the opening match (Germany v Costa
Rica), the commentator must mention England.
2 – Regardless of what two teams are contesting the final, England
have to be mentioned within the first minute.
3 – The commentator shall refer to the Falkland Isles in passing at
some point in the match if England play Argentina.
4 – Whenever a hat trick is scored, comparisons with Geoff Hurst will
be made within seconds of the third goal hitting the net.
5 – Should England wear their red jerseys, then ‘1966’ should be
mentioned approximately 20 times.
6 – 1966 will be mentioned approximately 10 times a match, or only on
4 or 5 occasions for matches not involving England.
7 – Prior to the captain of the winning team lifting the trophy, the
commentator will mention Bobby Moore. And 1966.
8 – When Germany are playing, they must be referred to as being
arrogant by the commentator on at least 14 occasions. This must refer
to their style, their passing, their haircuts and their general
9 – Should England play Germany, mentions of Winston Churchill,
Dambusters, The Luftwaffe and Adolf Hitler will be compulsory. And
10 – All Scottish members of our commentary team must continue to
refer to England as “we” and “us”.
11 – We must ensure that nationalistic stereotypes are adhered to. Of
course, the Germans are arrogant. The Spanish are bottlers, The Ivory
Coast are fast but bad at defending, The Angolans are disorganised,
The Argentinians are cheats and the French are only good because
their best players play in England.
12 – For matches not involving England, we must only discuss the
players that are playing in England. (eg Holland v Argentina should
be referred to as Van Nistelroy v Crespo).
13 – The mythical “bulldog spirit” phrase should be used as often as
14 – Each match involving England should begin with the
phrase “England Expects.”
15 – Should any player be involved in an injury that involves the
loss of teeth, then references to Nobby Stiles and 1966 are
16 – If in doubt, mention 1966.
17 – Praise all of the stunning new stadiums in Germany but emphasise
that they lack the presence of Wembley, the spiritual home of
football since 1966.
18 – Commentators should feel free to imitate the style of Kenneth
Wolstenholme, the hero of 1966.
19 – Should any team feature brothers playing together, then Jackie
and Bobby Charlton should be mentioned.
20 – When England bow out after the first stage, we must emphasise
that it is a massive blow to football and a serious loss to the World