All Star Golf, Sky One

by | Aug 27, 2005 | All, Reviews

What to say if you liked it

Majestic matchplay by some of the world’s most stellar stars.

What to say if you didn’t like it

An odious celebrity worship wreathed in the lurid disguise of a golf tournament.

What was good about it?

• Terry Wogan’s marvellously droll commentary. He appeared to be the single soul in the entire production team not following the fawning editorial directive to treat the celebrities as gods come down from heavens to sup the piquant sporting nectar of golf.

Terry’s highlights included:

• Exasperatingly about Ian Wright: “Why doesn’t he just wear two earrings?”

• About Cheryl Ladd’s actor father Alan: “He used to have to stand on a soapbox as he was only 4’ 3”.” “Still he was terrific in Shane,” said a fellow commentator nervously. “Hmmm,” agreed Terry grudgingly, before adding, “a bit small.”

• On Colin Montgomerie: “That’s the first time I’ve seen Monty sober in four days.”

• And as a child stood out from the crowd to get a better view of the hapless Catherine Zeta Jones’ drive, Terry warned: “Look at that child! He’s going to get brained!”

• After Michael Douglas hooked a tee shot and uttered “Oh, shit”, Terry said: “Another American expression meaning ‘goodness gracious me, I’ve fluffed it’.”

What was bad about it?

• The sycophantic interviews conducted by trash TV presenters rather than journalists, which were truly some of the most excruciating moments of television you’ll sample this year. The flushed, humourless Bradley Walsh simpered around Catherine Zeta Jones with all the professionalism of a GMTV celebrity reporter, while Jonathan Wilkes (he’s a friend of Robbie Williams, by the way) beamed vacuously to camera when he received the mindless platitudes his questions deserved; even drawing the irritable ire of Chris Evans, who himself pioneered the inane celebrity interview.

• The appalling standard of golf. Golf is quite often perceived as the perfect “celebrity” sport as it relies so little on the athletic skill of the players and almost wholly on the quality of equipment in the kitbag (observe how obese 45-year-old men and 14-year-old girls compete in the top tournaments as indelible testament to this). In fact, it’s second only to Formula 1 in this respect, but is much less dangerous.

• The level of TV coverage each pair received was almost entirely dependent on how famous each pairing was. So, for instance, the jolly jape of facing-off Catherine Zeta Jones (with Ian Wright) against her husband Michael Douglas (and Cheryl Ladd) was awarded blanket coverage despite the standard of golf swing being as dextrous and measured as a rhinoceros tossing a clown on its horns.

• The pointless jargon-busting interludes which explained some of the more obscure golfing phrases such as “thinning”. Although the majority of the phrases did refer to those inept deeds rarely practised by professionals and were the exclusive preserve of doddering celebrities.

• Like a contagious disease, the obsequiousness of the reporters was quickly transmitted to the impressively vast crowds (but there again, most souls aren’t given a choice about if they wish to go to Hell or not). Actually, Wilkes (he’s a friend of Robbie Williams, by the way) seems to have brought this uncritical human cannon fodder from the set of You’ve Been Framed as they slapped their hands together in lobotomised applause as though practising for a naked, X-Rated version of Punch and Judy. Of course, Terry Wogan was on hand to illuminate the absurdity of the situation. After, Catherine Zeta Jones had played a particularly abysmal putt, which was greeted with GMTV-style cheering, Terry remarked: “Far be from me to criticise Catherine Zeta Jones, but that was a rubbish putt wasn’t it?”

• The broadcast clashed with the Ashes Test on Channel 4 and two Premiership football matches, all of which offered infinitely superior sporting entertainment.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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