Monday, April 23, 2007

today : from Motty to Totty

It's quite fantastic to witness the hoo-ha surrounding Jacqui Oatley's appearance as the first ever female footie commentator on Match of The Day. The headlines are fantastic when women get involved in football. The best was when Karran Brady took over as Chief Exec of Birmingham City. The headline : "It's Bummingham Titty!"

The fact is that I called it several years ago when Oatley was beginning her career at my local radio station. In those days she would commentate on local non league matches and, as far as I can remember, on or two minor Rugby League games. Nobody flinched and Western Civilisation remained intact, and she was a good commentator.

I thought to myself that Oatley should be signed by Five Live. It was about time women were given the opportunity. Unfortunately I wasn't (and still am not) the head of commentator recruitment for the BBC, so had little influence on her appointment.
Later, they saw the light and employed her. Now she's made the step into TV and it is a delight to see dinosaurs like Mike Newell and Dave Bassett get their quotes in a twist about it.

In case you forgot, football is a sport that is peopled exclusively by Men, who roll around in mud, kiss each other a lot, spend thousands on haircuts and personal grooming products, massage each other and bathe together, but aren't gay at all. All they know is that women don't understand it and can't even explain the off-side rule, never mind commentate.

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