Superstars, BBC1

by | Jan 16, 2005 | All, Reviews

What to say if you liked it

A chance to see legends from all corners of the iridescent playing field of British sport gather for a gladiatorial conflict to decide who the superior athlete is.

What to say if you didn’t like it

The flotsam and jetsam of sporting idols are washed ashore on an island of vulgarity and shame compered by an unctuous, garrulous mouth carried around in the egotistical Johnny Vaughan.

What was good about it?

• The dispute over the controversial kayak race where Jonathan Davies seemed on the verge of tears after his path was blocked by John Barnes and Martin Offiah, who later mocked Davies after their disqualification.

In the rerun of the kayak race, Bryan Robson finished a place lower than in the first one and bemoaned his luck by proclaiming: “Is there any justice in the world?” Which, by a stroke of poetical fate, would have been his exact thoughts at that time it was broadcast after Fulham had just scored an undeserved winner against his West Brom side over on Sky Sports 1.

• When concern was expressed over Bryan Robson’s shoulder injury, it was like stepping in a time machine back to 1986.

• Johnny Vaughan’s presentation was unobtrusive and sparse.

• Paul Dickenson’s professional commentary.

What was bad about it?

• The participants are very rarely the “strongest and fittest”, as that select breed are barred from competing by their managers.

• Referee Jeff Winter who is the sporting world’s Jade Goody, getting ideas way above his station. The only difference being that not even the stupid have ever regarded the universally unpopular Winter as an idol.

• The “cross country” course was nothing of the sort, being merely a run around a grass field. Such misnomers are very sore for those of us who at school had to tumble down precipitous hills into stinging nettles, wade knee deep through flood gates, risk potential castration when clambering over rusty iron gates, and run past a vigilant PE teacher smirking in his smart car in sodden footwear.

• The inanity of the interviews, it was better when the competitors were too out of breath to speak.

• Because the participants can elect to skip events, John Regis had already won before the concluding mountain biking, just like Du’aine Ladejo in last year’s final.

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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