Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Idle Chit Chat

by Savannah

I was going to take a couple of days off from the blog but as Mick Jagger once said "You can't always get what you want".

Anywho it seems another member of the Thatcher as in Margaret Thatcher family is wreaking havoc in the public domain across the pond some call the Atlantic Ocean.

Carol Thatcher faces being banned from the BBC after she referred to a tennis player as a "golliwog".

Thatcher, the daughter of former prime minister Lady Thatcher, made the remark in a private conversation in the green room of The One Show after the broadcast of the BBC1 programme on Thursday night.

Sources have said that Thatcher will not be used again on the show, where she is a roving reporter, until she formally apologises to those who were offended by the remark.

According to insiders, Thatcher – who won ITV1 reality series I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! in 2005 – was chatting with The One Show host Adrian Chiles and guest Jo Brand about the Australian Open when she described an unnamed player as a "golliwog".

Show insiders said Chiles was "outraged" by the comment and he and Brand challenged Thatcher about it.

The pair also complained to show executives – as did production staff who later heard about the incident – and it is understood that Thatcher was approached the following day by the show's executive producer.

Thatcher's spokeswoman had not responded to a request for comment before publication, but was quoted in The Times today as saying the word was an "off-the-cuff remark made in jest" and that she had apologised to the show's producer.

Sources said Thatcher had also written to the show's executive producer to apologise and that the BBC was currently considering its decision.

However, insiders said this may not be enough.

"Her apology seems to be that it was just a joke, but the BBC feels it is not acceptable under any circumstances to call someone a golliwog," the source said.

"Unless you don't think that is an acceptable joke, how can you be sorry? Until she apologises to the people who were offended her future is in question. There are people working on the show who don't feel they can work with her. Adrian was outraged by what he heard."

I'm not even a Brit and I was offended. The only thing I fault the story for is not naming the player Carol was referring to. As it turns out the player who was not named is said to be Gael Monfils.

The BBC issued the following statement:
"We're no longer going to be working with her on 'The One Show'," a BBC spokesman told AFP. She would, however, continue working on other BBC projects.

He said Thatcher's comments would widely be seen as "unacceptable," and given that her job on the show was to talk to a diverse range of people, "it's very difficult to continue in that capacity."
The spokesman rejected the suggestion that Thatcher's comments were private as "wrong", saying they were made in the presence of members of the public.

The word "golliwog," referring to a black doll-like character, was once widely used including as the emblem of a leading make of British jam, but in recent decades has been dropped after claims it was racist.

Just so we're clear here is Adrian Chiles. You can Google the word "golliwog" yourself.

Bait and Switch?

As sure as night follows day the posts are already found on some fanboards saying that one
Maria Sharapova has to return soon because otherwise Venus Williams and Serena Williams will run amok over women's tennis winning everything in sight. That's interesting because one of the more reliable sources in women's tennis has posted, and not changed his posts, that Ms Sharapova has withdrawn from both Paris and Dubai.

Of course this has thrown the civilized world into a panic and speculation has run the gamut from her being distraught over her galpal Camilla Belle supposedly dating a Jonas brother to her team not knowing when she will be fit enough to play again.

If Maria is not fit to play she's not fit to play. Saner tennisheads have said that she will probably return around Wimbledon since it makes no sense for her to return during the clay season. That said she'll probably show up at some point during the $pring hardcourt $ea$on in the $tate$.

Meanwhile the Belgian press is reporting that Kim Clijsters is testing the waters with her eyes on a return to the tour. She recently played against fellow Belgian Kirsten Flipkens and won the exho 6-4. If Cupcake Kim is coming back can the other Belgian be far behind? When will it be a year since she was allowed to "retire"?

Random News Bites

Russian number 37 Maria Kirilenko will now be coached by her father Yuri.
Nicole Vaidisova, currently in free fall down the WTA rankings, has fired her coach as well. Reports are her stepfather will not be returning as her coach.

Former great Martina Navratilova seems to be on the anyone but a Williams bandwagon. Calling the Australian Open Women's Final "Pathetic" Martina had this to say:
"One has to wonder who is around who might challenge Serena - and her sister Venus - in the other three grand-slam events this year. Maria Sharapova's right shoulder cannot heal quickly enough, Elena Dementieva has to show her pedigree finally at this level and Jelena Jankovic must start to play in these championships as she does in the lesser events. "

Angling for a coaching job Martina or is it all about the Benjamins?

Jelena Dokic has sanely predicted a let down following her triumphant return in Melbourne. She expects to lose a few early.

Meanwhile Ana Ivanovic's Rolex ads are out.

All that from wearing a watch huh?

I don't speak Serbian so I'm not sure if it should be DJOKE-ovic or DJOCK-ovic. I'm not losing any sleep over it but I recall that last year, per PMac and crew, that he preferred Djock-ovic.

If I hear one more time about Fernando Verdasco working with Gil Reyes I'm going to hurl chunks. His sponsor Adidas employs Reyes and that's how Fernando ended up working with him. How pathetic is the state of United States tennis when they have to bathe in the reflected glory of a clothing deal hook up to make try and make the point that United States tennis is still relevant.
What Verdasco needs to do is get that friend who was in his box all through Australia to take a chill pill. Maybe the guy wanted his fifteen minutes but sheesh.

I have to take a minute and give some props to Brad Gilbert. Yeah he talks too much and his Type A is really Type A+ but he gets credit for calling the matches as they occurred not as some suit from a marketing agency wanted. He was not on the CM (trademark pending) bandwagon but managed to make some pretty cogent points about all the players in all the matches he called. Of course he's been lusting to coach
Rafael Nadal for awhile now but since that ain't gonna happen he's making points from the booth.

Tennis.com is reporting unusual betting patterns in the match between Guillermo Canas and Antonio Veic in Zagreb.

Betfair is investigating odd betting patterns during the first-round match between Guillermo Canas and wildcard Antonio Veic in Zagreb. Veic was a heavy underdog before the match, but then became the odds-on favorite despite losing the first set. He went on to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Betting on the match was not suspended, but Betfair has not released payments on wagers made.


oddman said...

That is offensive. You're outta there, Thatcher.

I rather enjoyed BG myself. Especially his fanboy grin at the end of the final. You could tell he was pretty pleased about the outcome, but I thought his commentary was always fair. I know he gets alot of crap, but I don't mind him. No one's the perfect commie.

Helen W said...

Ms. Thatcher is disgusting. That she has undoubtedly had the best education that money could buy makes her behavriou even more unpalatable. The BBC should unceremoniously dump her. Why should anyone have to work with such a colleague?

Craig Hickman said...

I have to say that I chuckled at the sound of the word itself.

I'd never heard it before.

I call this kind of stuff "blacklash."

I'm happy to read her colleagues were through with her.

Craig Hickman said...

As for Gil Reyes references. I never saw that as a way to keep American tennis relevant. I happen to like the spirit he exudes.

As for American tennis, we didn't do too badly this Slam.

Women's singles champion, women's doubles champions, men's doubles champions, men's semifinalist.

But I get the sentiment. Who's coming up behind these champions?

Nobody, that's who.

Helen W said...

According to this article in The Telegraph, the player in question is Jo Wilfried Tsonga, and Ms. Thatcher has been fired by the BBC.

Savannah said...

Thank you Helen. I saw the clarification today.

love40 said...

Ms. Thatcher's remarks was racist. BBC did the right thing by firing her. Her remarks were unexceptable whether it was in private or public. Savannah, thanks for posting this.

penn said...

Ana Ivanovic is getting close to picking Dave Rineberg as potential coach.