A Senior Moment: What has happened to the spirit of the Olympics?

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It was good to see London 2012 organisers have reversed their decision and that 78-year-old Shirley Waller will now be carrying the Olympic torch in her home town Market Deeping. (Mercury, April 6)

For a blind, elderly lady to have learned she had been allocated a section of route almost 60 miles away must have been devastating and one has to question how such a daft decision could be made in the first place?

Didn’t they read the nomination properly? Didn’t they realised how impossibly difficult it would be for her and her guide dog Alfie and how disappointing for all her family and friends? But thankfully common sense prevails and hopefully all’s well that ends well.

Regrettably all is not well for those athletes unable to share their hard earned achievements with family and friends because they cannot get enough tickets.

Why? Because, it seems to this old codger, far too many have been provided to sponsors now bombarding us with promotional activities which have nothing whatsoever to do with athleticism or sportsmanship.

And if it wasn’t bad enough expecting athletes to represent their country in debased versions of the union flag, now we learn these ghastly “Disneyworld” outfits, are being manufactured in Indonesian sweatshops. Outrageous!

Far from showcasing Britain, I fear we are in danger of losing sight of the spirit of the games and becoming lost in a welter of politics, pop art and commercialism, attracting more than a modicum of criticism in the process. I’m glad I shall be watching from the peace, calm and comfort of my armchair!

And speaking of armchairs, what a delight for us oldies on Easter Sunday to enjoy some good old-fashioned entertainment by way of “The one and only Des O’Connor” show, in celebration of his 80th birthday.

What a refreshing change from smutty comedians who wouldn’t understand a clean joke if it hit them between the eyes, unintelligible presenters firing words like machine gun bullets and toneless-tuneless and talent free tonsil twitchers who wouldn’t know a melody if they heard one.

Ah, those were indeed the days, when you could look forward to a weekend TV feast of fun and frolic from real entertainers like Morecambe and Wise and the two Ronnies. Unlike today’s re-runs of re-runs, job lot B movies, wannabe reality hopefuls and an extraordinary collection of bizarre oddities – not to mention late night porn shows and a hundred and one ways to loose your money without even trying.

Where do all these weirdo programmes come from I wonder? Who grants them a licence or can any old Tom, Dick, or Hairy start one up? I must say it seems like it sometimes.

Noel Coward reputedly once said “Television is for appearing on not looking at”. How sad, but these days, how very true.