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Comic Relief raised £70 million… not enough to buy Paul Pogba

OPINION: Telethon stars struggled to raise a laugh - but even less funny is the amount of money spent on footballers

30 March, 2017 — By Richard Osley

THIS is already becoming a watershed year for many reasons: The prime minister has filed for divorce from the European Union because lots of humans who were fed up with other humans talking in foreign too loudly on the bus told her to, George Osborne won a lols bet with the old lads’ club by convincing someone to make him the editor of a real-life newspaper, and, oh man, just last week the good archangel St Totteringham rang to say he’s worried the chariot may not be back from the garage in time for the end of the season parade.

It only went in for some new brake lights. Next you’ll be telling us that Jake Livermore plays for England, come now.

There’s more. This will also go down as the historic year in which the British people rose up once more and came out into the streets to say the previously illegal statement: “Izzit just me or is Comic Relief not very funny?

Yes, the ancient regime comedy laws have fallen away, it’s a time of revolution where the viewers at home suddenly want more than silly faces, shouting, pretending you’ve confused something otherwise obvious to the audience, mixing up words that sound similar, and being a man but dressing up as a woman.

The uprising could be traced across the words of newspaper reviewers, a million tweeters, your mother, all of whom said the unthinkable: that people we are endlessly told are hilarious just because they’ve been on the cover of the Radio Times looking quizzical at a red nose had been unable to raise a laugh throughout the entire a-thon.

As damned funny as it sounds, the audience sat unmoved at French and Saunders singing badly for three different parodies of the carpool karaoke. Nor did they dig the student union idea of a world cup of biscuits, screened as it happened after a segment about African kids starving.

What’s this got to do with football, you may ask? We all want the money to go to the good causes Comic Relief told us about, we all support the motive. But here’s an idea to spare us all from the slapstick Miranda bumps and mile-coming switcharoo jokes. Let’s ask each Premier League club to sell a player they don’t use much and hand over that dosh instead.

In all Comic Relief raised £70million: the sad truth is that’s not even enough to buy the services of Paul Pogba. Yet I’m sure United could sell Schweinsteiger and not notice, Spurs don’t really need Sissoko, and Arsenal could get some cash for Debuchy and pass it on.

Within no time at all, we’d have twice as much money for Comic Relief, be spared the naffness of the night and Sir Lenny Henry could retire gracefully.

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