These naff Olympics just scream second-rate



00:50 GMT, 23 April 2012

Seb Coe has at least been consistent — everything connected with his London Olympics looks totally naff.

From the rubbish logo (whicky-whacky letters any ten-year-old could have improved on) to those pitiful one-eyed mascots (why didn’t he ask the creators of Wallace and Gromit) and that laughable bit of metal (like a Seventies Bhs wall light) posing as a torch, all of them make me want to weep.

In spite of Britain being widely recognised as producing the best designers in the world — Jonathan Ive, the bloke behind the iPod is British — 2012 will go down in history as the Car-Boot-Sale Olympics.

The 70-day torch relay around the whole of the country - starting at Land's End on May 18 - goes nowhere near Janet's home in Yorkshire

The 70-day torch relay around the whole of the country – starting at Land's End on May 18 – goes nowhere near Janet's home in Yorkshire

We’ve top-ranking furniture and industrial designers such as Matthew Hilton, Tom Dixon and Jasper Morrison, but these Olympics scream second rate. I know Stella McCartney has designed the kit for team GB, but that’s just a candle in the wind.

To add insult to injury, the 70-day torch relay around the whole of the country (starting at Land’s End on May 18) goes nowhere near my home in Yorkshire. The route, so accurately parodied in the Beeb’s comedy show Twenty Twelve, looks like a line a toddler scribbled on a map.

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It’s clearly arrived at by lobbying from local MPs, threats from sponsors and the rich and powerful who want it to go past their stately home or shopping centre. We’re told more than 80,000 people will carry the Bhs wall light (sorry, torch) reflecting the UK in all its fabulous diversity (including 700 celebs and almost certainly David Beckham).

We can tell that John Prescott has had a big say — the torch goes right through his neighbourhood — Brough, Hull, Beverley and Bridlington — but doesn’t bother with the under-populated remote dales and moors west of Ripon.

The 28 police (and eight reserves) guarding the wall bracket on its odyssey have been issued with special kit — no doubt costing us a few bob — and are to receive counselling to help them cope with being away from their homes for 70 days!

Bear in mind that no one is carrying this ugly thing for more than 300 yards and you begin to realise the farcical nature of the whole enterprise.
It will cost a fortune in policing and security, and will disrupt traffic and interrupt normal activities such as going to school and learning something to try to get a job.

On June 19, the day when the torch isn’t coming my way, I’ll be staging my own Olympic event. I plan to wrap a bit of tinfoil around a toilet roll and trot up and down the road, waving at passing farmers.

Afterwards, I’ll sit down to an Olympic tea of homemade fruitcake, before briskly walking a couple of miles to the local hostelry for a celebratory beverage. I won’t need special kit or counselling to get over the experience, so don’t bother sending any donations.

My shingles is improving. Recovery hasn’t been helped by standing on windswept Romney Marsh, Kent, filming a report on wind farms for The One Show. The farm I visited is owned by the Crown Estate. Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh have both called wind farms ‘a blot on the landscape’. Yet their estate managers plan to erect wind turbines all over England and Wales. Can’t wait to discuss that in the studio tomorrow night at seven.

Siobhan the dinosaur slayer

Janet is tempted to vote for Siobhan Benita in the London mayoral election

Janet is tempted to vote for Siobhan Benita in the London mayoral election

I’m tempted to vote for Siobhan Benita in the London mayoral election because the sight of two male dinosaurs slagging each other off in public like a couple of incontinent pitbulls is repulsive.

The last general election result — lacking an overall majority — proves that voters are turned off by backbiting. Traditional political parties have lost their appeal. We have no idea what their differences are, and who they represent.

Siobhan has guts — she gave up a good job as a high-ranking civil servant because she disagreed with Andrew Lansley’s NHS reforms. This mother-of-two isn’t allied to any party and has struggled to get her message across. She’s been attacked because she ‘hasn’t even run for the local council’.

I suppose combining a family and a demanding career counts for nothing — a bit rich as most politicians have never held down a job in the real world. Paddy Power has slashed her odds to 20-1, and if I were Brian Paddick I’d be worried.

Fertility expert, writer and broadcaster Professor Robert Winston once told an interviewer ‘your brain is affected by what you put into your body . . . the fatty acids in oily fish are good for the brain’. He may be expert at dishing out advice about how to live healthily, but is not so good at practising what he preaches.

Promoting his latest book That’s Life, he’s been giving quite a few interviews — in one, he reveals his daily diet: nothing for breakfast except two cups coffee, no lunch, and dinner of a peanut butter sandwich, two cups of tea and a bowl of nuts. In one newspaper he gaily admits: ‘I like sugar, eggs and chips . . . good Burgundy and not too much exercise.’
The next time he starts pontificating about the nation’s health, turn off.

Get your kit off, chaps!

The only duff note in BBC Four’s sizzling new Scandinavian thriller The Bridge came when blonde detective Saga Noren whisked her top off and popped on a clean one while conducting a conversation with her Danish counterpart.

Male viewers will disagree with this minor moan, because Sofia Helin (pictured), who plays Saga, is extremely attractive.

Main attraction: Sofia Helin, who plays detective Saga Noren, in BBC Four's new Scandinavian thriller The Bridge

Main attraction: Sofia Helin, who plays detective Saga Noren, in BBC Four's new Scandinavian thriller The Bridge

The Bridge got off to a roaring start with the discovery of a body — that turned out to be two pieces of two different women — bang in the middle of the bridge linking Sweden and Denmark. The opening instalment had more storyline twists and turns than Casualty in its prime — and that’s saying something.

Saga possesses zero social skills and exhibits some traits associated with Asperger’s syndrome, uninterested in other people’s emotions or reactions.

Feeling like having sex, she hits on a random bloke she picks up in a bar, then ignores him immediately once the job is done. It’s interesting that writers and dramatists don’t create dysfunctional men who get their kit off.

Porky product: A jar of Baconnaise

Porky product: A jar of Baconnaise

Why can’t bacon be allowed to be its gorgeous, lovely self Eating a dry-cured rasher from the local butcher on a Sunday is one of the high points of the whole day. Nearly as good as sex, in its own way. Despite being vilified by the healthy eating lobby, I’m sure a slice of bacon won’t advance my demise by one day. In fact, can I have a bacon sandwich inside my coffin to munch en route to the other side and forget the flowers

Currently, we’re inundated with bizarre porky products — Baconnaise, Baconsalt, bacon vodka, toothpaste and even chocolate can be bought online. My friend gave me a pot of Eat17 bacon jam, created by the Walthamstow restaurant of the same name. I don’t know if taste buds atrophy as you enter postal codes with double figures, but this bland goo is neither jam nor chutney — and I can make both.