The past few days have witnessed the closing ceremonies to two significant World events, spectacular in their conception, stunning in the execution, and with far-reaching consequences for the people who will now try to follow them. I can’t speak for the organisers of the London 2012 Olympics but I pity anybody trying to fill the gap in the TV schedules left by ‘The Richard&Judy Show’ which ended so triumphantly on Friday. I won’t say that our last show will never be bettered but I do believe that Judy will never be happier than when those five pasty fat men wearing thongs dropped their hats and wiggled for her.
It was my idea to leave our viewers with a thong routine. Some weeks ago, I first mentioned to Judy that we might ask my old friend Chip Dale to do the honours and dance for us. My agent rang Chip’s agent only to discover that The Thonglateer is currently out of the country, performing nightly at the only Russian oil rig run by all-female staff. ‘Would love to, Dick,’ came Chip’s emailed reply, ‘but my thong is heavy with the stench of vodka and a sudden move to a warmer climate would put too much stress on my loins. Appreciate the thought. Gabby sends her love.’
Now the show is over and the Channel 4 contract a memory of better days, I’ve been thinking some more about my immediate future. I'm rather tired today so I’ve done nothing today but sit and watch the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, pondering the inevitable questions that need answering before we lend our support to the London Olympics. I think my answers show how the London Olympic organisers would be wise to seek my input.
How, for example, will the world to cope with the sudden glut of cheap Chinese grins that will now flood the market? Beijing has been a sporting success but at what price to the world valuation of the smile? I’ve never seen so many unhappy people grin incessantly for the cameras as though their lives depended on it. It was heartbreaking to see the youth of China forced to be so happy. I think that their rigid grins said everything there is to say about modern China.
The Madeley Suggestion: In 2012, let’s celebrate our freedom. I want to see London’s youth looking sullen and surely. We’ll do for the frown what the Chinese have done for the grin.
As Plácido Domingo was being hoisted into the air, I wondered if the same spectacle might be organised for London. What price the hire of a pneumatic lift for a day and what’s there maximum capacity? Would a Ginger Spice and a Will Young be too much? As soon as I’d put my mind to this question, I asked myself another. Why must the Olympics always life performers above the crowd? It’s become a rather tired cliché.
The Madeley Suggestion: Let’s make depth the new height. I want to see Tom Jones singing from a deep pit dug into our Olympic stadium.
I worry too that we won’t be able to man the Olympics. The only solution is forced labour camps or at least some nefarious scheme involving Polish workers and the promise of a better life. Of course, we might simply bring in the Beijing performers to do the same jobs over here for a couple of pounds per hundred feet they’re asked to climb on top of some unstable temporary structure symbolic of something or other.
The Madeley Suggestion: We should offer free passports to anybody willing to sign away their human rights and be worked like a mule for the next four years. In a way, it will be an extension to the current YTS and the New Deals Scheme for the long-term unemployed.
The BBC commentators might need extra training. They’ve enjoyed the spectacle of Beijing so much that it might be difficult for them to commentate on any ceremony that’s lacking similar organisational skills.
The Madeley Suggestion: We should send Huw Edwards to North Korea for the next four years to train in the art of political propaganda and to realise that not every spectacle is an innocent display of a people’s passion.
Which leads me to my final thought. Even though it’s four years away, we should begin to think about the closing ceremony. Shouldn’t it be our main goal to close the London Olympics with something that will leave the world amazed?
The Madeley Suggestion: We could do worse than hiring five pale and chubby male strippers in thongs. It worked for Judy. It worked for me. It could work for London too.