A tip-off from leading boot-polish company Kiwi has unearthed a plan by BBC bits-and-pieces man Jake Humphrey to ‘black up’ in order to garner increased air time at the 2010 World Cup.
South Africa will become the first African nation to host football’s biggest event next summer and if the Confederations Cup is anything to go by (which it isn’t) it will be a feast of unappetising fixtures, strange results and deafening horns.
The BBC intend to take nearly six million staff to the event, using the compulsory license fee levied on UK residents for the right to watch anaemic bilge like The One Show and Strictly Come Dancing and adverts telling us how much we like watching The One Show and Strictly Come Dancing.
However, the amount of face time the BBC’s anchors accrue is up for grabs. While the unbearably smug faces of Lineker, Hansen and Lawrenson are guaranteed the hours they demand, the lesser lights are fighting for every minute they can get.
A leaked memo in Broadcasting House last week stressed the need to ‘treat this like the African Cup of Nations and have loads of black guys in the studio with it being in Africa and all’.
It also outlined plans to ‘get Garth Crooks out there in a garish t-shirt’ and ‘put Marcel Desailly pitch-side so he can bellow gibberish and refer to both sides as ‘we’.’
This top-secret document seems to have found its way to former kids TV man Humphrey, who laboured his way through last year’s African Cup of Nations, prompting him to take desperate measures.
An insider at Kiwi told us: “We received a bulk order from Mr Humphrey and the girl on the phone remembered it because he kept asking if it was safe to use it on human skin.
“When she said she wasn’t sure, he told her: ‘You see I’m a struggling BBC presenter looking to break through in football with limited credentials and no discernable appeal. I feel I’d have a better chance of getting segments at next year’s World Cup if I can temporarily use this polish to appear black.’ That was when she told us she thought something funny was going on.”