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October 2020

PALPITATIONS AND TREMORS IN NORTH LONDON; beware the temptation to twiddle the dial



By Kim


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.

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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’.

Recent Posts

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.

15 comments to PALPITATIONS AND TREMORS IN NORTH LONDON; beware the temptation to twiddle the dial

  • colario

    We know this. I suggest you send it to the Le grove it might be news there.

  • nicky

    A disappointing post I’m afraid Kim.
    As soon as I saw “Darren Gough”, I expected some words of wisdom about fast bowling in general and Yorkshire and England cricket in particular. But no such luck. Merely a titillating post with no climax…..very much like my current love-life at age 92. 😉

  • Jambug

    Sorry, but any fool that listens to that station for anything other than a commentary he can get nowhere else, gets all they ask for.

    The level of hatred for Arsenal in general, and Wenger in particular is simply ridiculous.

    What really p****s me of though is, that as part of SKY, some of my enormous annual fee goes in to these peoples pockets.

    Effectively I’m paying for the pleasure of having my team slagged off on a daily basis.

    I’ve asked the question many times. How is it even legal?

    You try slagging off Tescos, Virgin, or any other company you can think of, on a daily basis, as they do Arsenal, and see how long you stay on air.

  • serge

    5 Live was positively drooling over us tonight, so it might be worth twiddling after all.

  • colario

    ‘Twiddle’ good word haven’t used it for years. meaning = ‘Turn in a twisting or spinning motion’

    you can find radio 5 online at this link.

  • Pete

    OT: A rather more intellectual approach than the usual rubbish journalese…

    (Arsenal aren’t really mentioned, but a good read nonetheless)

  • porter

    5 Live was positively drooling over us tonight,

    We need to be careful the English media is famous for gushing one day and then putting the boot in the next.

  • Pat

    Well I thought your article was quite funny, Kim. I hope you have persuaded your friend to stop listening for the sake of his blood pressure. Good point about nicking a living.

  • WalterBroeckx

    At times when I read this I am lucky to live in another country. 🙂 At match day I don’t feel that most of the time of course… 🙁

    Anyway I do think most things in those football programs do follow a kind of script. If all goes well I will be invited to the studios of our “Sky” or “BT” or whatever broadcaster in my country for the NLD at the ground of the totts. So I will know by then if I could say what is on my mind or not or if I have to follow “the script”.

    The script in Belgium for our match against City was simple: De Bruyne would be the star of the evening. Before the match, at half time it was all about De Bruyne this, De Bruyne that, De Bruyne left, De Bruyne right, up and under, centre and flanks…
    He was going to make the difference and the fact that the Belgium Man City supporters club was in the stadium was highlighted. The fact Arsenal Belgium was there was not mentioned. The Belgium Man City supporters were probably just De Bruyne fans who after seeing him play for Chelsea now had bleached their dark blue shirt in to the lighter blue version. I bet before Kompany came to the money, sorry should have said “project”, most of them didn’t know one thing about Man City but hey success supporters are everywhere in the end.

    So the win was double fun for me to not only see Arsenal win the match but also enjoy how they were twisting and turning in their seats and have to admit that we deserved the win and should have won with a bigger score.

    Oh De Bruyne was indeed the main man when first missing the target and then forgetting to defend from which we scored our first goal. They didn’t really mention that but blamed Sagna… script you said? LOL 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    And the nicking a living phrase brought a big grin to my face 🙂 LOL

  • shakabula gooner

    Any way you cut it, Arsenal and Wenger are good copies for the British press…

  • shakabula gooner

    …the only thing worse than bad publicity is no publicity.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I often wonder what people request of Santa for Christmas . A new/ latest toy ?
    Peace on earth ? Death , disease and pestilence on their enemies ?
    What about the lovers of the beautiful game ? What do they wish for ?

    a) To become the next FIFA president ?
    b) To become the next UEFA president ?
    c) To become the next manager of a top 4 EPL club ?
    d) For Arsenal to win the EPL this season ?
    e) For Arsene Wenger to smile more and do more jigs of joy ?
    f) For the lovely Dr.Eva to win her case and nail someone’s ball to her wall ?
    g) For England to win another international trophy ?
    h) For smart and unbiased reporters , experts and commentators ?
    i) For smart, well read and faithful fans ?
    j) For marked improvements in PIGMOB performances (99% ? ) ?

    According to my crystal ball ( albeit viral infected !) , I see a 60 % chance of someone or other getting their wish !
    Things will become much clearer when Santa brings me my gift ( I have been a good boy this year !) – Nostradamus’ future seeing ball !
    Just hope it is digital and does not appear in quatrains ! Or riddles !
    Or in French , or in Latin !

  • para

    My wish would be for football to become the skillfull sport it is, concentrating on the talent and not on the thuggery, which as we all know tends to appear mostly when talent is lacking.

    I think clubs are scared of Arsenal, scared of what Arsenal is growing into and knowing that they will not have a chance if they don’t change their ways to become skillfull and leave the rugby tackles to rugby.

  • @Swales1968

    I made a point of listening last night to the last ever ‘daily Arsenal’ in the hope that out of respect to Don Howe, Durham & Gough would curtail their usual ribbing and trolling of Arsenal fans and finish the rather biased section of their program with a bit of dignity.

    Of course I was living in a dream world, all it was was the usual “the invincibles were Rubbish” and “Ozil is overrated” etc. I think Durham and Talksport missed a trick last night they could of quite easily shut all Arsenal fans up with a simple “this is the last Daily Arsenal and out of respect for the death of the great Don Howe we are leaving with a tribute to him” it would of been a nice touch but perhaps I am not living in the real world where sports journalism is concerned.

    RIP Don Howe