Sunday, 4 July 2010

WAGs and Wimbledon

The nearest I've come to a WAG, I suppose, is Grace Sheppard. Her late husband was the English cricket captain, David Sheppard, and as big a sports' celebrity in his day as they came. I'm sure WAGs as such didn't exist, and she certainly lived a very different lifestyle from the millionaire sportsmen of today. However she is familiar with handling media attention. She was visiting on Friday and together we watched the Murray v Nadal semi-final at Wimbledon. It gave quite a different perspective, not least as the camera zoomed in on different celebrities. Watching it in company with a former occupant of the royal box, you realised these 'celebs' were just ordinary people with normal affections. I felt it particularly when it focused a number of times on David Beckham and his young son, Brooklyn. I was impressed to see his engagement with the match; his applauding good play by both sides, and his sharing disappointment with his friend, young Andy - who by the way played well. It was in fact a very good game.

I think that's why I was so cross to hear the review of the papers on the Today programme next day, quoting the Sun headline, 'Is it the curse of Beckham?' Becks was there when Germany knocked out England and again when the Spaniard beat the Scot. Personally I found logic totally absent and morality equally so. A dad takes his son to enjoy watching some tennis together, and has a gratuitous and malicious headline and article created out of it. Actually Nadal played better and Germany played better.

We got to bed in the evening in time for me to hear an item on The World Tonight about the Dignitas facility for assisting suicide in Zurich ('the suicide factory', as David Morris used to call it). It was hung on the Swiss reviewing their suicide laws and the discovery of a load of ash-urns at the bottom of Lake Zurich. They interviewed Ludwig Minelli - who happily said he'd help anyone who wanted to commit suicide, and interestingly wouldn't reveal any details about how much money it made. Life seemed an entirely disposable commodity. "Just choose when to end it, and I'll do the rest." (The interview's about 25 minutes in.) Bit depressing listening last thing.

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