Go on, Fearne, get him in the Rudebox

The savvy among you may have noticed the increase in frequency of my posts since I became self-employed.

Not sure what you’re like but given the choice between a whole series of dull, but important tasks, such as:

  • setting up a company;
  • setting up a bank account;
  • registering for VAT;
  • telling my contacts that I’ve gone freelance and available for work;
  • sorting out health insurance;
  • transferring contacts from phones;
  • setting up new professional email (my hotmail account is d****istravelling@hotmail.com that I set up, er, when I was travelling and probably needs changing!);
  • working out how to invoice (no rush on that one!);
  • sorting out my tax;
  • updating LinkedIn;
  • blah, blah, blah, blah, blah (I’m boring myself now)

and

  • cleaning the kitchen floor with a toothbrush, Prisoner Cell Block H – style

I’ll go for the latter.

On Friday I even started prepping a teriyaki pork dish for dinner from about 4pm onwards – very unlike me – burnt the bastard but I tried.

In short, I can procrastinate with the best of them and, anyway, there’s important stuff to blog about which will obviously lead to a massive book deal, film rights (and maybe even that dinner with Moran, Dent et al) so I won’t need a normal job, right – keep telling yourself that, D – and anyway, V, look I’ve written out a list- what more do you want?

Anyway, before getting back to the exciting stuff above, I wanted to comment on Chris Gayle.

You may well have read about this interview in which he flirted with Mel McLaughlin, a Network 10 reporter in Australia, and asked her out for a drink during a cricket match.

Mel was clearly uncomfortable and, let’s be clear  it’s totally inappropriate although interesting in some way that it’s the reverse of the more normal situation of the interviewer asking the sexist questions that I covered previously.

Chris has form in this regard and he has been chastised and fined as a result. Been lots of comment on this by others but I had a few other observations.

First, the response of the commentators on the game was quite telling and indicative of a prevailing mindset. You could hear laughter in the background throughout the interview and immediately following it, the conversation went something like this:

Pundit 1: “What an extraordinary interview with the amorous Chris Gayle…..as Mel scurries off with bright red cheeks” – idiot

Pundit 2: ” Ha, yes, playing ‘shots’ on and off the field” – idiot

At this stage, one can almost hear the Network 10 producers screaming in the ears of the commentators in full self-protection mode: “Shut the fuck up you sexist morons you’re making it worse – apologise, apologise – repeat the following words after me, you losers!”

Pundit 3: “I think it should be pointed out that Mel is a professional and valued member of the Network 10 team….and that on reflection, what Chris said was inappropriate and he overstepped the mark there and hope we don’t see that again” – finally!

To be fair to the Network 10 guys behind the scene they reacted pretty quickly to the situation but hope they also had a word with Buffoons 1 and 2 above.

Secondly, although Network 10 did react here, there is still an underlying mindset in parts of sport coverage that needs to change and it reminded me of something from watching cricket the other day.

I watch a lot of sport and had the second South Africa  – England test on as background to my “work” this week. I noticed that about once an hour, the host broadcaster would pick out and focus in on an attractive woman in the crowd.

What’s that all about?  To the Sky commentators’ credit, each time would be met with an awkward stony silence so I am assuming the pictures were coming from the local South African broadcaster but it suggests that there is still much to be done and I’d hate to think what the local commentators are saying to those pictures!

Finally it reminded me of a similar interview in a more innocent time, and by that I mean pre-Twitter,  between Fearne Cotton and Robbie Williams at the Live 8 concert in 2005.

In many ways, this was far worse than the Chris Gayle incident for the following reasons:

  • Robbie is/was a global superstar;
  • The TV audience was much bigger;
  • Robbie appears to be on ‘medication’; and
  • He goes on and on about how Fearne is blossoming, asks her out directly and even asks why they don’t get it on as they’re both single and starts giving it some groin action a la John Travolta in “Summer Nights”

Watching it back, I can’t help but wonder what the reaction would have been across social media if it had happened today.

To Fearne’s credit, she handled it brilliantly and laughed it off as banter afterwards……but she shouldn’t have to.

It’s a shame that professional women have to laugh such inappropriate behaviour off at ‘bants’. Although I’m sure I would have behaved the same in Fearne’s shoes, I would have loved it if she’d just slapped him round the face or kneed him in the groin screaming:

“Take that you sex pest and here’s another one for releasing ‘Intensive Care'”

 

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