Wednesday, August 30, 2006

keeping your hair on

Excerpts from a hilarious piece in the Guardian about Darrell Hair's potential future as a reality TV star:

"Though fair and balanced members of the Australian commentariat (and is there another kind?) have rallied strongly behind the beleaguered official, some naysayers in Britain and in Pakistan have suggested that if he and his colleagues fail to produce sufficient evidence of Pakistani ball-tampering during the ICC inquiry, Darrell will be effectively be "finished".

What nonsense. Precedent - in fact the entire drive of contemporary culture - suggests that should the unthinkable happen, it will be a matter of days, if not minutes, before he begins his new career as a reality TV star. The sole purpose of the modern medium, for Guardian readers still clinging to dinosaur channels such as BBC4 and Artsworld, is to prove that there are always second acts. It's not optional: it's the rules. So if Darrell may be assured of anything in these difficult hours, it is that smirking, jaded telly executives are even now dreaming up vehicles for him, probably running along the following lines:

-- Hair Force
Armed with only a copy of the Geneva Convention, no-nonsense Darrell is parachuted into various global troublespots, where he must play diplomat between warring factions and attempt to broker a peaceful solution. The problem with being an international umpire, Darrell once remarked, is that "you have to travel to places where you are out of your comfort zone", so producers are banking on fish-out-of-water hilarity to ensue.

-- That's Just Hairsay! Madcap linguistic quiz show in which Darrell presides over two teams; with panellists to include Freddie orsyth, Dennis Wise and Su Pollard. Slated rounds include "Is that a euphemism you're tampering with in your pocket?", where teams must tease out the meanings behind popular newspaper expressions like "holds robust views", "is Australian" and "has made controversial calls in several matches featuring sides from the Indian subcontinent".

-- Hairlooms. Valuation show in which members of the public are invited to offer up treasured items for Darrell's consideration. He must decide swiftly whether the artefact in question dates back to the Ming dynasty, or was in fact fashioned by Janet Ellis on Blue Peter circa 1984; any dispute on the matter will result in the object being immediately and permanently forfeited. Unreasonable? It's the rules."

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