Eamonn Sweeney: Lord Beeb sends plague of demons
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In the beginning there was a programme and the programme was called Match of the Day. And the people looked upon it and saw that it was good and they were pleased.
There was another programme abroad in the land in those days and this programme was called Pro Celebrity Golf. And the people gazed upon it because they possessed very few stations and turned away for it featured the demons which were called Jimmy Tarbuck and Terry Wogan and the fat lad out of Little and Large and they did play with Kevin Keegan and golfers and utter forth showbiz anecdotes and jokes which were like to the very ravings of the fiends and caused the audience to wail and gnash its teeth.
And Match of the Day flourished but Pro Celebrity Golf did vanish from the land to dwell in the region which is known as Light Entertainment Hell.
Many years passed and one day the people looked upon Match of the Day and quoth, "Our favourite programme hath become possessed by the demons of Pro Celebrity Golf for it doth include much lightweight banter and inane chatter like to that from the accursed programme we had thought banished forever and is not much of a football show anymore." And the Lord Beeb did look down and quoth, "You have a point my people, I shall remove Colin that is called Murray from the programme and sacrifice him in the land of darts."
But the people were sorely vexed and prayed, "Lord, the sacrifice of Colin that is called Murray shall do us no good though verily he is more irritating than the Prophet Jeremiah on a bad day. Cast instead into the darkness the Alans that are called Hansen and Shearer and Lawrenson who cometh from the kingdom of Telyuwa and banish too the boy Lineker for he hath not done ever so well. For the show on the Sabbath is no worse than the show that is not on the Sabbath."
But the Lord Beeb did not listen and the people turned their face away towards Gary the son of Neville in the Land of Sky. And in Light Entertainment Hell Tarbuck and Forsyth and sundry other demons did cackle with joy and tell stories about the time they played the London Palladium with Sammy Davis Junior.
The people mourned and rent their clothing for they had sorely loved Match Of The Day. But the Lord Beeb proclaimed, "Rejoice for I have this day given you a Messiah named Mark Chapman who doth speak the sacred tongue of Blokeyladmag even more fluently than Murray. And he shall be the saviour." "Jesus wept," said the people. And they wept too.
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