They’d be better off at home
Helen Parton watches the Britain’s athletes perform as dandily as our interior designers
Hard day at work? Feel you can’t go on? Forget pouring yourself a large drink or shouting at your spouse, just tune into some coverage of the European Athletics Championships (On When I Get Home, BBC1). It’s really quite cathartic watching dozens of people busting a gut for no discernable purpose other than beating someone from a neighbouring country in the 10,000metres or the hammer.
Naturally, the Brits were useless, the trackside commentator at one point praising some hapless heptathlete for a ‘commendable’ seventh place. Apart from that is one ginger haired lad who looked a bit like a Gaelic version of Glyn from Big Brother who got a silver in the long jump - surely the easiest field event ever (or maybe that’s because as a tall person you just had to fling yourself vaguely in the direction of the sandpit to do reasonably well at it on sports day).
His victory started a spat in the commentary box between Brendan Foster and Steve Cram after Foster went on about how Ginger lad’s grandfather was one of the greatest ever Newcastle United players in manner of a rambling Dad anecdote. Cue a Motty vs Lawro; enthusiasm vs bitterness moment of commentator discomfort. I think Foster and Cram should just settle WHO IS THE MOST NORTH EASTERN once and for all by who can down the most Newcastle Brown Ale, who can go the most time without a coat in a gale, who can utter ‘Doooooooooont, Craig dooooooooon’t man’ in the most defiantly heterosexual manner. Or whatever it is they do to fill the time up there.
The north was also well represented in Home (BBC2, 8pm) a programme, which made a valiant effort at demystifying the world of interior design. Usually the subject is either massively devalued in Changing Rooms style shenanigans or put on too much of a pedestal in snippets on the Culture Show, (presented by the truly hateful Marcus Fairs of Icon magazine, whose name people rarely utter without an invective preceding it). Tonight’s show focussed on the living room, from the leopard print affair of the Reed family of Warrington to the fantastic Versailles-like world of gilt and chandeliers the Nelens of Blackburn had (I’d be well up for marrying into that family by the way, if only so I could possess a rhyming name in manner of Rolan Bolan or Zowie Bowie).
I could have done without Aida Allos or however she spells it, a horrid Chelsea Harbour dwelling decorator type, who had the unnerving accent of a bored Eastern bloc call girl, cooing over a seven grand lamp, and in the process giving the whole country the wrong idea of what happens, ‘down theeeeere, in that there London wi’ them fancy London types’. Old Sloane Nina Campbell was a delight though – part bossy Brown Owl, part mad aunt, all coated in self-assured poshness, dispensing practical advice about cushions, lampshades, curtains and the like. I’ve met her too – she’s just as likeable in real life.
Product designer Ron Arad was all TV reviewer friendly soundbite ‘if you can’t design a chair that’s comfortable, then go and study dentistry’ while the Scottish duo behind cult wallpaper firm Timorous Beasties were a cooler, indie-er version of fellow countrymen Colin and Justin, though they probably wouldn’t thank me for saying it. Home probably tried to cram in a bit too much into one show but whether interiors are an amateur passion or part of your professional life, you wouldn’t have gone disappointed.