I’ve decided that the only thing I dislike about the Olympics is the music. Not so much the playlist: it’s the Led Zep to Arctic Monkeys mix via Soul II Soul and Adele you’d find on the iPods of almost any of the middle aged Englishmen running the show.
It’s the sheer bloody intrusiveness of it, flung in over scratch PA systems anywhere there’s a space in the timing. Competitors walking on, walking off, taking water breaks, even, during Saturday’s thrilling women’s fencing final, over the top of the voices of the two expert commentators analysing the action between matches, making them inaudible and thus pointless.
It would have been right for WWE Smackdown, just not the enthralling vision of grace, speed and coiled power the women’s fencing actually was. Every broadcast before a live audience these days seems to require spectators to be whipped into frenzy with pompy pop music and shrieky warm-up artists, needed or not.
Mind you LOCOG’s choice of unemployed music video show presenter as warm-up man brilliantly cocked that up at the fencing finals (a clean sweep of medals for Italy). “There’s a word in Italian,” he bellowed. “It means power, force! Forza! So let’s hear it! Forza Italia!” As one, thousands of ecstatic Italians sucked in breath and fell silent. Forza Italia is the name of Silvio Berlusconi’s political party. They no liked. What’s the Italian for berk, I wonder?