The Wrestling by Simon Garfield
Turns out that many other people didn't watch it either, and in 1988 it was binned from ITV's World of Sport programme for good.
However, it seems I've been at best callously indifferent and at worst wilfully disrespectful of what had been, for a time, the most popular entertainment** on TV, and, it also seems, a truly colourful cast of rogues, roustabouts and rapscallions who were left to wither and die in obscurity.
|Mr TV's inside story!|
Packed with whimsy and nostalgia, old codgers limping and griping, road trips with Giant Haystacks, people mythologising Kendo Nagasaki and Les Kellett (a hard bastard, mean as anything, and rubbish at replying to letters), this is a very British book. with more than one or two particularly cracking lines. I feel disloyal to let Mr TV, Jackie Pallo have the last word, but it is a good 'un:
Mick [McManus] had that know-how: a great performer. Horrible bastard, but a great performer.
*Which was awesome when I finally got it, but terrible when I realised it was a two-player game and that my brother would relentlessly cheat in order to win, or else refuse to play...
**According to the wrestlers themselves, but then they are all irredeemable braggarts and liars.