Colin Murray is a nice looking man - a 'smashing looking chap' as Uncle Bryn from Gavin & Stacey might say. I just want to get that out of the way before the 'life imitating art' title is misconstrued as some sort of artistic critique of the Northern Irish presenters' face. It's a nice face - pleasant even. A bit like a co-ordinated version of Adrien Brody's which looks like a failed Picasso attempt at drawing a despondent sloth.
No, this article is about football coverage imitating the game itself. Until yesterday Colin was the chipper presenter of Match of the Day 2, the weekly football programme on BBC1 offering all the highlights from Sunday's Premier League games. But, in a season that has seen successful and well regarded managers such as Roberto Di Matteo (Chelsea) and Nigel Adkins (Southampton) cruelly handed their p45's, Murray has now become the first presenter of the year to meet his demise (handed his p45, he's not dead ... dead annoyed maybe!).
Now, what I want to get to the bottom of is why? Well some of the daily papers here in the UK have taken a stab at an answer. In fact, the Sun, the Mail Online and the Daily Mirror all concur that Colin (who is very much alive) was too opinionated. God, I hate opinions! I don't know about you but when I tune in to a chat based football show I wish everyone would just leave their bloody opinions at the door! Sliding into Colin's seat from next season will be, the presumably non-opinionated, Mark 'Chappers' Chapman. However, being an established radio and TV host himself, I'm not convinced that old Chappers won't have an opinion or two of his own. In short, I don't buy into the 'he's too opinionated' argument and so I have taken the liberty of offering a few of my own explanations for the demise (again, sacking not death) of Colin Murray.
1. Because Colin and Alan Hansen could not see eye to eye over Boris Johnson's proposals for a new airport in the Thames Estuary (Alan cannot abide the idea)
2. Because Mark 'Lawro' Lawrenson could no longer tolerate Colin's mild but persistent farting (This is purely speculation - I have no evidence to support this theory)
3. Because it's past my bedtime (so I'm not watching no matter who the presenter is)
You see, as much as I like football I have a life, as do many fans of the beautiful game across the UK. And therein lies the problem - if ratings are low then it has nothing to do with the presenter and everything to do with scheduling. On a Sunday night at 10:25pm I've already got 'the Sunday blues' because from approximately 12:01pm I have been thinking about the week ahead. I've had to put some washing on, iron some work shirts, re-iron some work shirts because I'm terrible at ironing work shirts, go to the shops, cook dinner AND talk to my wife. At 10:25pm on a Sunday night you shall find me, good reader, tucked up in bed with a crime novel. If I am doing this, how can I possibly be in the living room watching Match of the Day 2 with Colin Murray?
So there you have it, on a Sunday evening bedtime is king. Like a foreign billionaire running a Premier League football club, the BBC can sack the manager and hope for the best. I like Mark Chapman and I am sure he will be as affable and competent as his predecessor, but unless the BBC schedules Match of the Day 2 a little earlier I won't be watching. Because you know what time it is? Bedtime.