Why I’ll never be invited on this national radio program again

Suzan St Maur, Jeremy Vine Show, John McCririck, writing

The one and only John McCririck, British eccentric and recently dumped TV horse racing expert. Sad shame.

Once upon a time, there emerged an utterly lunatic and highly entertaining horse racing expert and TV personality in the UK, called John McCririck.

He looks like an ageing hippy on corticosteroids and is about as politically correct as Genghis Khan on a good day.

Yet I like him, and respect him. And oh, boy, have I been getting some stick for that?

Recently John has been the subject of discussion due to his apparent “dismissal” from his job on national British TV as a horse racing commentator.

To my mind this is a grossly unwise move on the part of British TV. Not only is that because ageism has become almost as unwelcome as sexism, misogynism, homophobia and various other unpleasant issues … but also, in this case, because it has wiped out two very watchable and interesting elements, i.e.:

a)An amusing, eccentric and sometimes infuriatingly misogynistic presence within horse racing which usually lacks such colorful characters in the UK

b)Despite the weird dress sense, horrendous political incorrectness and gabbling chatter, superb expertise in horse racing and its associated issues (see below) which many younger pundits would be hard pushed to excel at to the same degree.

But …

Shock, horror … I’m a woman and survived John McCririck on national radio!

HTWB PWW main in-post logoI was pitted against John McCririck in the Jeremy Vine Show on the BBC’s Radio Two, in the spring of this year the day before the UK’s most famous horse race, the Grand National. This was due to a powerfully “anti” article I had written (elsewhere) about the tragic loss of horses in the previous year’s race.

Undoubtedly I was chosen in the BBC’s hope that I would put forward an emotional and girlie argument about the poor gee-gees that died and were injured, without any knowledge of the real issues involved, and therefore would be demolished by McCririck – so making for entertaining radio.

Aware of this, after benevolent introductions on air I made it clear that I actually do know one end of a horse from the other and asked some pertinent, reasonable questions about the safety aspects of the course at Aintree. McCririck, realizing that I wasn’t a moron, was very civil and polite with me and we had a useful discussion on air.

Who is the twirp?

Afterwards Jeremy Vine mentioned to McCririck his own choice for a bet on the 2013 Grand National and McC called him a “twirp.” I had to hold my nose so I didn’t snort hot coffee down the microphone from BBC 3CR in Luton (from where I was speaking live into the London based program.)

In the UK, John McCririck has been an iconic figure for many years and in some ways has become a figure horse racing TV viewers love to hate. But in my view his eccentricities are part of an enjoyable act that has underpinned his success as a TV personality for a long time. And despite that he is an incredibly knowledgeable and agreeable man. Shame on C4 for dumping him. Have a look at him in action here, showing his real and heartfelt passion for the sport…

And of course because I was reasonable and sensible I will never be asked back on the Jeremy Vine Show again…LOL!

If you’re in the UK what do you think of John McCririck? Is he the horse-racing, misogynistic TV personality everyone loves to hate, or can you see through all that to the (actually, at least I think) reasonable person he is under all that bullsh*t and the horse racing expert he certainly is?

And if you’re not in the UK, do you think it was the right decision for a major UK TV station to fire him just because he’s getting old (but of course has vast experience and knowledge that a younger person can’t possibly have acquired?)

Would love to know your views. Please share them here.

While you’re here, don’t forget to stop by my Bookshop…books and eBooks to help you write better – and to give to friends and family (don’t forget the Holiday Season is coming soon)…

Photo credits: sorry, don’t know, just took one of thousands of pix and videos of John to share here. If these are yours please let me know so I can credit you properly. And if you’re a huge, unfriendly photo agency please don’t waste your time and money suing me because I’m potless anyway – I’ll just take the pic down and apologize, OK?