TVP’s Wiadomości (News) called me yesterday and asked if I could comment on the fact that England is to play Germany in the World Cup. I explained carefully that not all English people know about football or have opinions on it. They replied that time was short and I decided an on-camera interview might be a fun thing to try at least once in my life.
Getting on Polish TV is about as difficult as coming down with flu in December: it gets everybody in the end. If you’re expecting stretched Hummers, behind-the-scenes wining and dining or the proximity of an unusual number of bikini models, you’re in for a disappointment. The set-up call came while I was in the pasta aisle at our local supermarket. The location was to be a rain-soaked Pl. Matejki fifteen minutes later. I turned up hooded in my best rainwear and practising my umbrella work.
The whole thing lasted three minutes, which they wisely cut down to about five seconds for the report. I carefully avoided revealing my ignorance and said something highly profound and amusing about England-Germany matches being shown in black and white and the advisability of having the commentary done by a Churchill impersonator. I also said something about 80 percent of English people being uninterested in football but compelled to watch England-Germany matches and the inability of the average Englishman to behave appropriately in a winning scenario. They cut it all out, which is just as well or I might now be in real danger of assassination.
My wife, who is beloved by the camera and appears in the background of the set-up shot, has so far received three fan emails, what with her being a famous kabaret-type person. I have received the assurance of fellow Polandian Scatts that I “didn’t look like a weirdo” and “held my umbrella well.”
Watch it on the TVP website. The report starts at about 21 minutes (you can click on the bar to skip to that point) and features a lot of far more enthusiastic football people than me.