Sky Sports News: Like watching a copy of The Sun in a washing machine
I have often thought that the people over at Sky Sports News (the all-action, never-ending, TV equivalent of having the back pages of a tabloid newspaper shouted at you by a man dressed as a banker), frequently confuse ‘Breaking News’ with ‘Groundbreaking News’.
To Sky Sports News, there’s no real difference between the two. For example, an announcement that Premier League clubs are to be allowed to select South American howler-monkeys in their 16-man match-day squad would be met with the same over-dramatic music, the same swooshing graphics, and would be allocated just as much ‘little yellow ticker’ space as a story about Avram Grant growing his nostril hair for good luck.
The thing is though, when you’re on the air 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, there’s only so much news that you can break. As a result, whenever Sky Sports News finds itself a story that is in any way ‘new’ or ‘breaking’, they jump on it like a starving man on a Ritz cracker, and give it all the razzmatazz they’ve got. However, as a viewer, 95% of the time you spend watching Sky Sports News passes in a strange haze of déjà vu, as the same stories circle round and round, hour upon hour.
To those of you unable to receive the channel on your television, but intrigued as to what this experience is like, just follow these simple instructions:
- Purchase a copy of any tabloid newspaper
- Rip out the sports section, and place it in your washing machine.
- Set up your comfy armchair in front of the washing machine.
- Hit start.
You can now watch Sky Sports News like the rest of us.
With this in mind, I had a thought the other day. If watching Sky Sports News for over an hour is that unbearable for the viewer, then how do the suit-wearing grin-machines that present the programme cope so well? To sit there, hour after hour, churning out the same story over and over again is impressive enough. However, to somehow maintain the excited sensibility of a six year-old at Christmas when referring to what’s ‘coming up after the break’, even when you know it is the same pap you’ve been harping on about for two hours already, is verging on the insane.
Who the hell are these people?! They simply cannot be human. If they were, the suicide rate amongst the presenters of Sky Sports News would be through the roof, and I’ve not heard of any mortalities to date. So, what really is going on here?
Well, yesterday I conveniently received an anonymous letter, warning of ‘Fishy Goings-On At Sky Sports News’. It read as follows:
Outraged: Mr G.Oldfish
“Eddie, I write in desperation.
My people are being ravished by the super-power that you know as Sky Television and, having revealed the secret plans of other evil villains in your Microsoft Paint Stories Of The Week, I feel that you are the only one who can help us.
For years now, my people have lived under the fear of being taken away by night, placed in a plastic bag full of water, and then given to a small human child, as a prize for knocking over a coconut. Some were treated well, and others flushed to their deaths.
However, in recent years a new evil has been bestowed upon us. An evil most vile. A man by the name of Mr. Murdoch has been fishnapping our people and, using his secret ‘pesce-human’ ray gun, has been turning us into human beings. These fish/humans (or fumans as our people like to call them), are then forced to report on tenuously interesting sports stories for the rest of their lives.
They are prisoners Eddie, and you must do something to stop this tragedy!
Yours, Mr. Gerald Oldfish
Putting aside the complexities of how a goldfish managed to write me a letter, and the humour experienced by his use of the word ‘fishnapping’, it all makes perfect sense now. Rupert Murdoch has somehow found a way to turn goldfish into humans!
It’s a complete masterstroke from the deranged Aussie mogul. Not only does he have to shell out a mere 20p to acquire each and every presenter from his favourite pet shop but, if you think about it, goldfish are absolutely perfect for presenting Sky Sports News. Let’s have a look at the evidence.
– To start with, goldfish are used to possessing a shiny and slimy exterior and, with their cheap nylon suits and gleaming white teeth, that is exactly the look that all Sky Sports presenters tend to go for.
– Secondly, have you ever muted the volume whilst watching Sky Sports News? If you have, you will have noticed that the mouths of the presenters move in a manner freakishly similar to that of a goldfish. Annunciating every word in the same open-mouthed fashion as one of our slippery friends at feeding time, you’d be easily forgiven for mistaking your telly for a fish tank.
– Lastly, and most importantly, comes the aforementioned ability of a Sky Sports News presenter to stay motivated and excited by their role of repeating the same stories for hours on end. Well, as everyone knows, the common goldfish has one of the shortest memories of any species on the planet. To them, every story ‘coming up after the break’ is new, fresh, and exciting. Even though it very clearly isn’t.
So, once Murdoch found a way of converting this fairground favourite into a creature that could walk and talk just like you and I, all he needed to do was to dress them in a suit, stick them in front of a camera, and the rest would come naturally.
Outraged by the discovery, and feeling a sense of duty to help Mr Oldfish (if only because of his wonderfully pun-tastic name), I phoned Sky TV today, only to be told that ‘Mr Murdoch fervently denies these outrageous allegations’. However, when I questioned the spokesman as to the origin of the lazily made-up name of evening anchor Sam Matterface, he hung up on me.
Fishy. Very fishy indeed.