Sport has taken centre stage this week as possibly the least hyped major international football tournament in recent memory – the consensus seemingly having developed that the ridiculous build-up around previous tournaments was never exactly vindicated by brilliant England performances or particularly exciting matches – started with a bang. Added to that Harry Redknapp’s surprise departure from Spurs and Rangers’ sad demise, as well as the continued journey of the Olympic Torch and the unveiling of the details of the Opening Ceremony, and this week’s papers could rightfully be described as a sports fan’s dream.
The new Premier League TV rights agreement was unveiled on Wednesday, and Thursday’s papers were replete with the news of the bumper deal for top flight clubs. Coverage focused on the sheer value of the deal, as well as the surprise entry of BT into the market. The Mirror led with fears that the higher rights prices would be passed onto fans via higher subscription fees.
Meanwhile, England’s solid if unspectacular start to the Euros – a 1-1 draw with France – absorbed several column inches. The Sun got in early with a patriotic stunt, beaming the cross of St George onto Parisian landmarks.
England-France rivalry always provides amusement on both sides of the Channel, and Eurostar has used this as the basis of their latest advertising campaign, making fun of Brits with posters depicting chubby and slobby Greek-style statues.
With only so much to write about how England must get on the ball more and not sit as deeply against Sweden as they did against France, and while the team took a break between their first two matches, the arrival of the WAGs and some controversial new hairstyles proved excellent tabloid fodder…
Rooney’s extreme hairstyle hasn’t totally diverted media attention from what Tim Crow and Siobhan Sharpe call the Jubilympics though. The Torch in Scotland featured on the Guardian’s front page yesterday, while Wednesday’s papers were all about Danny Boyle’s pastoral opening ceremony. While some in the press were enchanted by his rural vision and Glastonbury mosh pits, a commentator in the Mirror responded rather more cynically, asking “What is the point of wanting to bring the countryside into the capital?”
The Jubi in Jubilympics also continued apace, with Kate Middleton accompanying the Queen on the Nottingham leg of her UK tour in the absence of the convalescing Duke of Edinburgh. Kate’s presence at an event virtually guarantees a substantial picture story, with her favoured shops and designers reaping the rewards for their association with the Duchess of Cambridge, whose outfit is fully itemised every time she steps out in public. Missoni were the lucky recipients of this week’s Royal wardrobe choices.
With so much going on, David Cameron might have hoped that his minor slip-up at the weekend – leaving his young daughter at the pub by mistake – might have gone unnoticed. Unfortunately for him, this couldn’t have been further from the case, with his momentary memory blank making front page news on both Monday and Tuesday. The Independent even decided to review the previously low-key watering hole where the mishap occurred, The Plough. Great exposure for them, but with only a few weeks gone since Greggs made headlines at the PM’s expense during pastygate, he’ll be looking to avoid catching the public’s imagination again for a while…
By Jessica Enoch on June 15th, 2012