Saturday, 31 August 2013

Top 10: Fighting Talk Contestants

Following on from last month's review of my favourite BS Report guests, I thought I should detail my favourite Fighting Talk contestants, coming after today's new season debut (which I've not listened to yet, I'm a podcast subscriber). Like last month, let's start with the contestants I'm not bothered about:

10 > - Simon Day (every answer comes back to Boxing), Brian Read (every answer comes back to Liverpool) and Jim Smallman (every answer comes back to Leicester City, specifically 1996 Leicester City, which I've written about before). It honestly wouldn't sadden me if they never came on the show again, although I wouldn't wish the fate of Stuart Hall on any of them.

10 - Henning Wehn
The German stand-up comic is the perfect foil for some of the more serious contestants. He's also wonderfully random, and frequently not politically correct, especially about the Dutch. I almost dread to think what his stand-up is like. My favourite moment of his? When he butchered a late Canadian Snooker player's name:

9 - Richard Osman
I wasn't a big fan of his to begin with, but he's grown on me with his dry, witty humour. Additionally he gets merit points for posting this on Twitter. It probably helps that thanks to the cleaner at work I'm in danger of becoming a "Pointless" fan as well.

8 - Gary O'Reilly
Purely a personal preference, due to lots of Palace mentions (especially the self-indulgent 1990 Palace mentions) and an introduction from the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders.

7 - Neil Delamere
A number of comedians work their way through the Fighting Talk studios (or in some cases, ISDN lines), to varying degrees of success with precious little interest in either sport or preparation (yes, Kevin Bridges, that means you). Neil Delamere, in my opinion at least, tends to be the best of them.

6 - Dougie Anderson
Following the antics of his namesake Freedman, Dougie "Two Answers" (sometimes "Three Answers") Anderson might now be becoming my favourite Scotsman, mostly because I like his self-depreciating humour. Oh, by the way, as of Friday I've lived in Scotland for 16 years now. Just thought I should mention that.

5 - Martin Kelner
If my best friend at University hadn't come from Warrington Kelner might be my favourite proponent of Rugby League. Additionally his "Any Other Business" answers are usually hysterical, such as the time that he was told about Country Vegetable soup and wondered if there was an Urban Vegatable equivalent. He's quite random at times:

4 - Bob Mills
Speaking of my best friend from University, when most people there were off getting wildly drunk (or worse) on Friday nights he and I would go into one of our rooms and watch "In Bed With Me Dinner". We hadn't heard of Bob Mills before, but we loved his offbeat comedy. Tragically I can't find any clips of his legendary destruction of Leslie Grantham's performance as Mick Raynor, so this will have to do instead.

(Yikes, that's 20 years ago. I'm really getting old.)

Mills is still just as offbeat, frequently extolling the virtues of lower league football in among various other comments and frequently terrible impressions. Apologies if you came here expecting a lecture on communism.

3 - Kath Merry
I'm probably shocking some listeners by placing her this highly, but she gets bonus points for being uncompromising and sharp, especially on the episode where the guest with the same name as an over-rated Br*ghton player decided to act a little strangely.

2 - Greg Brady
Can there just be a clip on YouTube of my favourite Canadian radio host butchering people's names? You need to hear him say Yakubu. Or West Bromwhich Albion. Or Snooker. Or anything with the potential to be verbally mangled. There's something likeable about him well, although I do tend to like people who don't take themselves too seriously.

1 - John Rawling
Psycho himself can go anyway you want on Fighting Talk, he can talk expertly on any subject, but at the same point he can see the humour in matters as well. Probably best of all, I'm no Boxing fan, but Rawling can talk about the history of the sport he covers most with reverance and class. It's never a bad show when JR is on.

Honourable mentions: Ian Stone, Tom Watt, Steve Bunce, Des Kelly, Steve Lamacq, Mark Watson.