The other day a friend of mine rang me out of the blue, his voice was trembling with rage, at first I couldn’t understand what was going on. Had something happened to him; his family; friends…? oh God this is the kind of call I dread. He was uncharacteristically incoherent for large parts of the conversation but here and there I deciphered the words ‘Talk Sh*t’ and ‘you should listen’.
It was with some relief that I asked him to slow down (privately thinking ‘thank God there’s nothing wrong’) and rewind to the beginning.
It seems he had been listening to the aforementioned radio show on his way home… something many have advised him against, including myself… but hey what can you do? He knows the only mainstream media I’m interested in is the free stuff outside of tube stations but only when my cats litter tray needs changing.
And I must say in the event that the actual litter is thin in the tray she angrily scratches at the headlines and the faces underneath it all the while glaring at me.
‘Why should I listen to that?’ I asked my friend once he had finally calmed down; I mean look what it had done to him, ‘So you can hear for yourself’ was his bewildering reply.
As I swiped my finger across my phone at the conclusion of our call I did a very strange thing I went online and ascertained the frequency for ‘Talk Sh*t’ all the while questioning my motives and not really coming up with anything definitive.
Having ascertained the required frequency I tuned in… and heard ‘Darren Gough’; now I have had the misfortune to hear Mr Gough before albeit some time ago. At that time it occurred to me that he was reading from a script… written by someone other than himself… ‘word for word’.
Skip forward to now and nothing much seems to have changed, yes I’ll give him ‘credit’ he seems to have practised reading scripts a bit more than previously, maybe he had some sort of personal coaching but despite these giant strides he still sounded to me like a man reading from a script, written by someone else… word for word.
Now that got me thinking, why would you need to consult so closely the words of another when presenting a football show. I know that scripts are common place in such shows, but Mr Gough and his script, this was something else.
I wondered why a radio show that proclaims itself to be the world’s biggest (I wasn’t really listening at that point’ so I’m guessing ‘Sports Show’ would employ a man who has zero background in football and if you ask me no real interest in it?
At one point I laughed out loud when he said ‘I think…’ because when the light comes on in the studio and the topic is football related I suspect that’s not what’s happening.
As I continued to listen it occurred to me how easy it would be to edit out the callers… when there are some, whose views the radio station doesn’t want others to hear… and then proclaim to the listening audience ‘we’ve had nothing but Arsenal fans calling up who want Wenger out’.
I also wondered as Mr Gough did his thing… how many of ‘these callers’ could be relied upon as genuine when it came to certain topics. Of course I know there’s madness everywhere you just have to go on a blog or two to have that confirmed but still how easy it would be for the less than honest to get away with such deception.
My sojourn into the land of Talk Sh*t lasted maybe 15 minutes if you include the adverts and the fact that I had to answer a couple of messages but I said ‘no’ this wasn’t proper how could I form an opinion based on so little radio time so against my better judgement I tuned in for some more.
And I have concluded thus: working on Talk Sh*t is a nice little earner; if you like the sound of your own voice… which many of them do it has to be said, it will be right up your street. As long as you stay within the parameters of the script, you know the one where you (the presenter/guest/hanger on etc.) know more than Arsene Wenger, conveniently forget actual facts that would destroy whatever nonsensical point the station wants made and you adhere like your life depends on it to the ‘status quo’.
Spines, morality, humility and truth are not required so be very prepared to make a fool of yourself… say when discussing the virtues of a one Mezut Ozil. At that stage I was actually embarrassed for the poor old script reader.
As for the listening audience your intelligence will be insulted time and time again; the same old tired but unproven points will be rehashed again and again…. and again. You will be treated to frequent bouts of ManCHESTER United, whether it be ‘love in sessions’ or ‘Rooney’s form’ or lack thereof or ‘Van Out’ or how Alex Ferguson is really Jesus or whatever but there’s plenty of ManCHESTER United to be had; and of course let’s not leave out the self proclaimed ‘special one’ good old Jose who is having quite a difficult time of it at the moment… sorry had to pause there… if not good old Jose who one presenter described as not only ‘the best manager on the planet’ but the ‘only premier league manager with the tactical genius to defeat Barcelona… but only if it was in a one off game’ then it’s Klopp who the afore mentioned presenter said ‘I like him a lot’. I really don’t see what that has got to do with anything, but I’m guessing that’s what it says on his script.
I very much enjoy football always have done but for me such radio stations/shows etc. as the above do nothing to enhance the game; inform or even entertain, to me they are an embarrassment and a way for the spineless, the weak and in some cases none too talented in this field of journalism to ‘nick a living’.
Today’s Anniversaries (click here for the full list)
- 22 December 1891: The final 8.5 minutes of previously abandoned United League match v Loughborough were played out after a League game between the sides. One of the Arsenal team had not played in the abandoned match, and so could be construed as Arsenal’s first substitute outside of friendly games.
- 22 December 1900. Arsenal 2 New Brighton Tower 1 – a game against one of the artificial clubs of football who like Chelsea were created to make use of a large stadium.