No Love, No Joy Helen Chamberlain’s former sidekick has celebrated leaving
Soccer AM for 6.06 w ith a book. Taylor Parkes wants to know why anyone - anyone - thought it was a good idea to expose the presenter's ego and prejudices across 288 smugly written pages
S occer AM is a bad memory: hun-
gover mornings in other people’s flats, disturbed by a crew of whooping simpletons, the slurping of pro and ex-pro rectums, cobbled-together comedy that made me long for the glory days of Skinner and Baddiel’s old shit. Yet Tim Lovejoy himself, with his fashionably receding hair and voice oddly reminiscent of Rod Hull’s, I remember only as an averagely blokey TV presenter - in fact, one of the few averagely blokey TV presenters to make me clack my tongue in irritation, rather than buff my Gurkha knife. Other than as a namesake of The Simpsons’ selfserving man of the cloth, he barely registered; just a bland, blond ringmaster in a cocky circus of crap. Almost a surprise, then, to find that his new book is not just tedious in the extreme, it is utterly vile.
Chopped into “chapters”that barely fill a page, in a font size usually associated with books for the partially sighted, Lovejoy on Football is part autobiography, part witless musing, and one more triumph for the crass stupidity rapidly replacing culture in this country. Hopelessly banal and nauseatingly self-assured, smirkingly unfunny, it’s a £}oo T-shirt, a piss-you-off ringtone, a YouTube clip of someone drinking their mate’s vomit. Its smugness is a corollary of its vacuity. I hope it makes you sick.
First, it’s clear that being Tim Lovejoy requires a very special blend of arrogance and ignorance. When he’s not listing his media achievements with a breathtaking lack of guile, he’s sneering at those “sad” enough to take an interest in football history, revealing his utter cluelessness about life outside the Premier League (in a section called “Know Your Silverware”,he refers to “League Three”)and making sundry gaffes, major and minor. He names Johan Cruyff as his all-time favourite player, then admits he’s only seen that five-second World Cup clip of the Cruyff turn. Grumbling about footballers’musical tastes, he complains that “all you’ll hear blasting out of the team dressing room is R&B, rather than what the rest of the country is listening to”- by which he means indie bands. Everywhere there are jaw-dropping illustrations of insularity, self-satisfaction and a startlingly small mind.
There’s something sinister here, too: beamingly positive, thrilled by wealth, too pleased with himself to ask awkward
B e am in g ly positive,
th r i l le d b y w e a lth , too p le a sed w ith h im s e l f to a sk aw kw a rd q u e s t io n s .
T im Lovejoy is the football fan Sepp B la tter h a s b e en w a it in g fo r