TV View: Sublime performances meet charity get-ups

Charlie Long set the record for the fastest marathon dressed as a bottle in London

British astronaut Tim Peake running the route of the London Marathon while strapped to a treadmill at the International Space Station. Photo: European Space Agency/PA Wire

British astronaut Tim Peake running the route of the London Marathon while strapped to a treadmill at the International Space Station. Photo: European Space Agency/PA Wire

 

There is, needless to say, a part of you that feels guiltily inadequate when you’re sitting on the couch eating your jumbo breakfast roll, when men and women on your telly are trying to complete the London Marathon dressed as telephones, cheeseburgers, caterpillars and the like, all in the name of charity.

But scripture, of course, is on our side, not theirs, so while they are clearly trying to do very good things, they’re hardly making their sabbaths restful. Like the man dressed as Bagpuss.

“Are you starting to hate him,” asked Ore Oduba.

“I’ve got one or two issues, yes,” said Rupert, whose body was enveloped in a saggy feline, its whiskery head stretching from his chin to his knees.

“He’s really heavy, really hot, and he’s banging on my hips – I’ve got a hole in my hips!”

Despair

Why, Ore wondered, did he choose Bagpuss?

‘I DIDN’T – HE WAS CHOSEN FOR ME.”

Anger.

Ore tried to encourage him. “You’re doing really well – only half way to go!” [That’s 13 miles and 192.5 yards].

“Oh Gaaaaaaaawd,” Rupert cried, thinking he was just the 192.5 yards from home.

He jogged on, Bagpuss purring, enjoying the ride, Rupert looking like a man who wanted to insert kitty in his marathon wall.

The BBC, as they tend to do, provided us with six hours of live coverage of the marathon, which meant that the last two-ish hours or so were largely filled with runners dressed as said Bagpusses, telephones, cheeseburgers, caterpillars and the like. We could be misjudging Brendan Foster, but you always sense this is not a part of the day that he particularly enjoys. Unlike Steve Cram, his colleague in the commentary box.

Steve: “We’ve had a few world records today!”

Brendan: “Oh?”

Steve: “One was for wearing a dinosaur suit. I’m not sure what he was dressed as.”

[Silence]

Brendan: “Probably a dinosaur, Steve.”

Brendan’s patience appears to run a little thin at this stage, while being deeply appreciative of the fundraising efforts of the novelty runners.

“The latest world record was the fastest marathon dressed as a tap,” said Steve, “I don’t think they’ve turned him off, he’s still running.”

Brendan: [Silence]

Richard Smith, meanwhile, had walked from Lancashire to London to compete in the race. Why? “Because it’s more interesting than taking the train,” we were told.

“I’ve been averaging 36 miles a day for the last six days, I got here at 10 o’clock last night, four hours sleep, and now I’m dragging myself through here – it’s fantastic,” said Richard, whose definition of “fantastic” is not one with which we are familiar.

And then Gabby Logan – who joined Colin Jackson, Denise Lewis, Ore Oduba, Radzi Chinyanganya, Steve Cram, Brendan Foster, Rob Walker, Tanni Grey-Thompson and Paula Radcliffe on BBC duty, thereby reducing British unemployment by 1.06 per cent in one fell swoop – showed us Tim Peake running the marathon in space, elasticated straps over his shoulders holding him on to the treadmill lest he end up in Jupiter.

And Rupert thought he had difficulties with Bagpuss?

Torture

That’s pain.

Back to Steve.

“Charlie Long has completed the fastest marathon dressed as a bottle, in the male category.”

Brendan: “Milk?”

Steve: “Male.”

Brendan: [Silence].

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