RETURNING briefly to our now departed friends at Sky Sports, I was intrigued to read the thoughts of Richard Huddleston, of West Slaithwaite, one of the Examiner’s most frequent correspondents.
Last week he asked through our letters page just how long it would be until the as-yet-unformed force called the “PC Police” begin hiding in pub toilets and football terraces in order to over-hear “innocent jokes” about women or various other groups of people who aren’t middle-aged white men.
I find the use of the term “innocent joke” very strange in this context. Another Richard – the now ex-presenter Mr Keys – used a similar defence.
When desperately trying to hang on to his job last week, he described his pronouncement on Sian Massey’s ability to be merely “banter”.
But this ignores the fact that neither he nor Andy Gray were laughing or speaking with a light tone of voice when discussing the female linesman.
The suggestion that women don’t understand the offside rule was made with what appeared to be utter seriousness – it was not meant as a joke, innocent or otherwise.
However, the earlier video, showing Mr Gray suggesting that his colleague Charlotte Jackson should “tuck this in, love” did appear to be an attempt at humour.
The end of the short clip shows Mr Keys walking past the camera with a grin nearly bursting off his face, so amused is he at the hilarity of his mate’s “banter”.
And, in that moment, I realised of whom he reminded me.
It wasn’t, as I said last week, the great Alan Partridge. It was David Brent of The Office, with Andy Gray playing the part of his boorish side-kick, Finchy.