The Full Wiki

Soccer AM: Map

  
  
  

Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:



Soccer AM is a Britishmarker Saturday-morning football show, predominately based around the Premier League. Presented by Helen Chamberlain and Max Rushden, it has been aired on Sky Sports 1 each Saturday morning of the football season since 1995 between 9am and 12pm. Since 2007, the show has been simulcast on Sky1, while in early 2009, the 500th episode was broadcasted.

The show's current sponsor is Frijj, a brand of milkshake, after Dairy Crest signed a £2 million sponsorship deal.

Parts of the show have remained since the beginning, whilst new items have been introduced each season. In that respect, it is almost the same every week, the difference being new football footage and comedy skits. Every week sees a new group of celebrity guests, generally featuring at least one footballer who is free on the Saturday, and a mix of musicians, TV personalities, and other sportsmen.

History

Tim Lovejoy transformed the show from a serious football programme to the current format when he took over as producer and presenter in 1996 and stayed on screen until Sky announced on 5 June 2007 that he had quit the show after 11 series as co-host. Sky announced Lovejoy's replacement on 22 June 2007 as Andy Goldstein. However, Goldstein lasted just one season as co-host, and it was announced on 10 June 2008 that Max Rushden had been chosen as Goldstein's replacement.

Spin-offs

In 2002, Soccer AM's All-Sports Show was launched for Friday nights, an hour-long show catering for a broader range of sports. Lovejoy and Chamberlain hosted the show initially until 2004, when Andy Goldstein replaced Lovejoy – just as he did three years later on Soccer AM itself.

The close of the 2005–06 season marked the completion of ten seasons of Soccer AM, and also heralded the beginning of its own spin-off, Cricket AM.

Crew

Current

List of crew members and jobs/characters:
  • Helen Chamberlain – Co-presenter;
  • Max Rushden – Co-Presenter;
  • Tubes (Peter Dale) – Guest interviewer;
  • Rocket (James Long) – Skill Skool presenter/That Is Life interviewer/2003,2005,2007,2009 Dance Off Champion; Soccerette Gag
  • Chris Nutbeam – The C Word/Soccerette Gag;
  • Steve Sutcliffe – Writer; Celebration; Soccerette Gag
  • Baby Elvis (Adam Smith) – Small Talk/Loose Men/Car-Park Goalkeeper/Soccerette Gag/2006 Dance Off Champion;
  • Trevor Giess – Referees Mark Battenburg and Jeff Winter/2008 Dance Off Champion/Brian the Bear/Man in the Caff
  • Dave Morgan – Loose Men/Soccerette Gag
  • James Kirtland – 3rd Place in 2008 Dance Off/New Lad/Brown Coat Man)
  • Lisa Hebden – Webcam & 2nd Place Dance off 2009/Cheryl Mole
  • Simon – Producer & Dance off
  • Devlin – Dance off/Newbie
  • Graham – Dance off/Slacks
  • Bobbie – Dance off/Pants
  • Stephen Yemoh – Dance Off/Brown Coat Man


Former

  • Tim Lovejoy – Co-presenter;
  • Gadzooks – 2000–01 Dance off Champion;
  • Fenners (John Fendley) – Stan Hibbert/Barry Proudfoot/Mike Schweinberger/Referee Gallagher;
  • Sheephead (Joe Worsely) – Topless Weather/Soccerette Gag;
  • Neil Smythe – Autobiography Reader/Randy Wakeman III/Yorkshire News/Angry Fan;
  • Robbie Knox – "That Is Life" interviewer/Fixtures Man/Tramp/2002 Dance Off Champion;
  • Jon Dyson – Writer/Yorkshire News;
  • Tom – Forces
  • Brian Regan – "Can He Kick It?" goalkeeper.


Fans of the Week



The "Fans of the Week" feature has been a mainstay of the show. Eight fans of a British football club come in as studio guests every week, seated in the "Luther Blisset Stand". They are featured in various aspects of the show, culminating in a team footballing challenge at the end of the programme.

Helen Chamberlain also interviews the fans, asks them to sing a song, and asks a few other questions.

The challenge, which takes place outside in the "Frank McAvennie Car Park", involves the fans attempting to kick a football through a hole as many times a possible within the time limit, generally sixty seconds. The challenge has been renamed almost every season, along with the props and background music for the feature. The other studio guests all have the opportunity to attempt to score as well. Its various guises through the years include:

  • "Hole of Glory" (2009–10)
  • "Road To Rome" (2008–09) – Fans now have a much larger hole to kick the ball through. The set now features a large Champions League trophy surrounded by players such as Steven Gerrard, Ryan Giggs, and Billy McNeill. Other features of the set include Julius Caesar holding up a red card and a red carpet displaying the Champions League logo along with the city in which the final will be played, Romemarker.
  • "Hollywood" (2007–08) – following David Beckham's move to the Los Angeles Galaxy, the game featured a Hollywood Walk of Famemarker-style "pavement" leading to the familiar target with a David Beckham mock-up alongside it. The stars included friends of the show with Jeff Stelling as the biggest star on the walkway. Noel Gallagher, Ricky Hatton, Mani, and Kasabian's Sergio Pizzorno also featured.
  • "Road to Wembley II" (2006–07) – a revision of 2005–06's "Road to Wembley" – a tongue-in-cheek response to the failure of Wembley Stadiummarker to be completed in time for 2006 FA Cup Final. On 26 August 2006, Kasabian guitarist Sergio Pizzorno scored what was hailed to be the best goal on Soccer AM by Helen Chamberlain – flicking the ball up in front of him and unleashing a spectacular right footed volley clean through the hole target whilst wearing cowboy style boots.
  • "Road to Wembley" (2005–06) – the original edition was named to celebrate the return of the FA Cup Final to Wembley Stadium in May 2006, although remained unchanged despite the The FA's announcement that the stadium would not be complete. The challenge was 'scoring' by hitting the ball through the hole in the letter "b" (of the inflated word "Wembley") as many times as possible in 80 seconds from 12 yards. Viewers are encouraged to text in and guess the amount of times the "Fans of the Week" will get the ball through the "b". This is done with the background music of "Que Sera, Sera". Teams who score seven or more times won an "Easy" T-shirt for each member.
  • "We Are the Champions League" (2004–05) – celebrating Sky Sports' purchase of broadcasting rights for the Champions League, the central star of a 3D Champions' League logo was removed and made the target from 12 yards. The background music was, "Blitzkrieg Bop" by "The Ramones"
  • "Feed The Iron Curtain" (2002–03) – fans had to kick the ball through the Iron Curtain as many times as possible in one minute. Meanwhile, the Eastern European substitutes (wearing red TCCCP tracksuits - a pun on the old CCCPmarker shirts and TCP the antiseptic) would warm-up, a memorable moment from "Feed the Iron Curtain" was when one of the celebrities missed the "goal" and kicked the rebounding ball in frustration and the ball hit one of the eastern European substitutes in the face. This celebrity was Frank McAvennie and Tim and Helen loved it so much that they renamed the car park The Frank McAvennie Car Park in his honour.
  • "World Cup 2002" (2001–02) – a giant face of Sven-Göran Eriksson with his mouth wide open was the target, with the background music of "Sven, 'Gor-don', Eriksson, tra, lala, lala!" (to the tune of Brown Girl in the Ring).
  • "Feed the Goat" (2000–01) – the target being the mouth of a giant goat, with the background music of "Feed The Goat And He Will Score" (to the tune of Cwm Rhondda) – a popular terrace chant for Shaun Goater at Manchester City.
  • "Lob Star" (1999–00) – The target was a large net, held up by a lobster. The object being to chip the ball into the net from distance. Notably, Neil Lennon successfully found the target, only to be told he had done so before the whistle. Following the whistle, he repeated the feat.
  • "Chips" (1998–99) – As the name suggested, the ball had to be chipped into the target. This had to be done over a short "brick" wall. The ball boys at this time were American state troopers in the style of those in the popular TV show CHiPs.
  • "Rob Jones" (1996–1998) – A round target with a head shot photo of Liverpool defender Rob Jones glued onto it. The target was on a spring sticking out of a small box. Each week Tim would joke 'because Rob Jones hasn't scored for Liverpool in the 2/3/4/5 seasons he's been playing for them'.


"Can He Kick It?"

Should one of the studio guests include a retired footballer, it is customary for them to take a penalty in the car park. A comedy character plays the role as goalkeeper, such as "Oliver Kahn't" (a parody of Oliver Kahn) and "Gianluigi Bouffant" (a parody on Gianluigi Buffon, played by John Dyson until 2005–06). The original keeper was former Brookside actor Brian Regan, who also featured in the show. Crew member Robbie Knox took over in 2006–07. The current goalkeeper is "Baby Elvis", another crew member.

Referees are also parodied in this feature. "Referee Gallagher" was a "merger" of former Premiership-referee Dermot Gallagher and Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, who welcomed viewers "outside to the sunshiiiinnnnneeee".

"Hugh Dallas" was a cowboy and a parody on Scottish referee Hugh Dallas; "Paul Guerkin" used a penny whistle (a parody on referee Paul Durkin); and "Mark Battenberg" (dressed as a Battenberg cake, a parody on referee Mark Clattenburg).

Soccerette



The Soccer AM Soccerette has been a feature of the show for several years, and is a young female modelling a Soccer AM T-shirt, which is redesigned each season and acts as a competition prize. Viewers can win the T-shirt by guessing the number of goals scored by the "Fans of the Week" in their team challenge later in the show. The Soccerette is introduced by the male presenter and is asked a series of questions that almost inevitably lead into premeditated gags and innuendo.

The Soccerette is asked about her marital status, which results in rampant cheers if "single", and boos if the Soccerette "has a boyfriend" or "married" (although the latter is fairly rare), and a crew member will run on without a shirt and react. Former host Tim Lovejoy used to declare that the Soccerette's relationship will "never last", regardless of how long they had been together.

The Soccerette is asked to play "Take it to the Max" with a choice of one of the "Fans of the Week". In the challenge, the fan must beat the Soccerette at her special skill (for example, breakdancing, volleyball, fire-breathing).

At the beginning of the 2009 season, a new game was revealed. Rushden roulette consists of Rushden spinning a wheel and the fan and the soccerette answering questions.

Footballing features

Nutmeg Files

A nutmeg is the term applied when a player plays the ball between his opponent's legs and regains control of the ball after going round him. Another ever-present feature of the show, the weekly edition of "The Nutmeg Files" shows a clip from the previous week's football matches of a player being nutmegged, while the "nutmegger" is superimposed shouting "NUTS!", "¡Caňo!", "Tunnel" (Italy) and "Petit Pont" (France), depending on which country the "nutmegger" is from). This feature is (very loosely) based on The Rockford Files.

Big Tackle

Big Tackle is a feature that shows a hard, but well-timed tackle from the previous week, but there are no fouls shown. The clip of the tackle is played with soothing music, with a smooth French accent talking over it. The feature begins with the French person saying 'Big Tackle. Sponsored by Claude Makélélé. Featuring... (the name of the "tackler").' When the tackle happens, a smooth "Oooh la laaaaaaaa!" is said by the French person.

Kung Fu Academy

Kung Fu Academy, by contrast to Big Tackle, shows a particularly grievous foul that would likely result in an injury and/or a card. The feature is introduced as the perpetrator's team's 'Kung Fu Academy' and the foul is shown and replayed twice (for emphasis), accompanied by stock Martial Arts movie music and special fx. Big Tackle has presumedly replaced this feature.

Third Eye

Third Eye has been a feature of the show from its outset, and involves viewers sending in often-comical mishaps from the television (generally football matches) that may well have been missed by the majority of the viewing audience. These typically involve people falling over or being caught doing something stupid. A classic was a Mancunianmarker woman trying to take pictures on her camera, realising half an hour later that the lens cap was on, or a Grimsbymarker ball boy calmly heading the ball back into play whilst slouched on his seat (the boy later appeared as a 'Stranger On The Sofa'), or one where, during a match, Liverpool's John Arne Riise fell victim to the schoolboy empty chewing gum prank whilst sitting on the subs bench.

Jimmy Bullard has also made a few choice appearances in this feature, especially his goal mouth leapfrog incident. Another infamous Third Eye incident was Manchester United Assistant Manager Mike Phelan bursting a balloon in the dugout, frightening Alex Ferguson and causing him to swear. Another favourite one was when a Chelsea mascot went to shake hands with Steven Gerrard, but went on to wave his hands away and shake it in front of his nose.

Taxi

The feature Taxi!, accompanied by the theme tune of the US sitcom, consists of yet more clips from the previous week's live football. The clips chosen are typically embarrassing displays of showboating gone wrong. The embarrassed player's name is then suffixed to the voice-over phrase "TAXI FOR...". Concluding with the quote "Taxi is filmed in front of a live stadium audience."

Recent seasons have seen the male presenter (currently Max) and Helen highlight several embarrassing moments from the previous week's football, the worst comes last and is usually introduced with:

Max: "It's time for a trip to (stadium)".

Helen: "Taxi for (name)!"

Team Mates

Team Mates is the section at the end of the show where a player from a football team, is given questions, which they respond by telling which team mate, is more related to the question. The questions are as followed:
  • Best Trainer
  • Worst Trainer
  • Most Skillful
  • The Joker
  • Fastest
  • Most Intelligent
  • Least Intelligent
  • Worst Dress Sense
  • Worst Taste in Music
  • And...Who's the longest in the shower (a double entendre that is often ignored)


I love football

I love football is a new feature added to the show this season. Each week either a current or ex footballer will answer a series of questions related to football, such as "i love football fans because", My favourite piece of memorabillia was", "my footballing hero was". The list of names that have taken part in this so far this season include Wayne Rooney, Pelé, David Bentley, Nemanja Vidić, Gary McAllister, Ian Holloway, Emmanuel Eboué, Joleon Lescott, and Rio Ferdinand. The song played in the background of this feature is "Watch Me Fall Apart" by Hard-Fi.

The Crossbar Challenge

"The Crossbar Challenge" is a relatively new feature to the show, and involves a weekly trip to the training ground of a British league football team. The entire squad, including willing coaching staff and managers, are filmed, one-by-one, introducing themselves and attempting to hit the crossbar of the goal from the halfway line. The feat is rarely accomplished - the majority of squads fail to hit the bar once. However, a successful strike generally provokes manic celebrations by the kicker and his team-mates. Normally, the background music is the instrumental "Seventeen Years" by Ratatat but has been changed recently to "Smiling" by The Beta Band.

The current record is held by Wolverhampton Wanderers who hit the crossbar four times on 25 April 2009, beating the previous record of three set by Northampton Town and Hereford United.

The current player record is held by Graham Stack who has hit the bar twice for two different clubs.

Soccer AM aim to, at some point, visit every team in the league, although this is likely to prove very difficult as clubs such as Manchester United are unwilling to allow players onto shows such as these. However, other clubs like Chelsea have appeared in the past (Arsenal appeared on a French show that had copied the challenge) Players who appear as guests on "The Orange Sofa" are always shown their attempt at the challenge if it is one of the many on the database.

The first manager to actually hit the bar is former Huddersfield Town Manager Andy Ritchie. Wolves gaffer Mick McCarthy's shot hit the crossbar and then bounced off and struck the up-right when Wolves took part in the challenge. This feat has never been repeated.

Skill Skool

A pre-recorded section where two members of a football team – usually a youth/academy side – pits their wits against each in showing off their best individual skills with the football. It involves a different side each week Rocket presents this part with the two opponents, surrounded by their team-mates, and with the appropriate drum and bass backing tune of "Don't Wanna Know" by Shy FX and T-Power. He begins by saying to the footballers (named Joe and Bob for example):

"Joe, Bob, Welcome to Skill Skool. You know the rules, three rounds, best skill wins. Let's get the lesson on!"

Sublime individual skills are shown by each competitor while being egged on by their team-mates. After each have completed 3 rounds, Rocket says:

"Joe/Bob, good skills. But there's only one winner....Guys, give it up for Joe (cue cheering and applause).Give it up for Bob (bigger/lesser cheering and applause)Bob, you're the Skill Skool winner. Skills!"

Rocket proceeds to thrust the ball into the midrift of the winner, while the team-mates usually mob and even sometimes perform some prank.

Recently, in 2008–09, the section has strayed away from youth sides to include different competitors. Young children from Africa (when Rocket visited a region to deliver football shirts to under privileged areas) were seen showing their undoubted abilities, and also when Chelsea Ladies were celebrating by bundling the winner to the ground, Rocket (in a comical attempt of male opportunity) joined in celebrations by diving on top of the ladies midway through celebrations.The only time when Rocket hasn't presented was when he took on Tubes (in which tubes lost and the rest of the crew jokingly mimicked the normal crowd)instead Trev dressed in a Battenburg costume took his place

My Favourite Goal

A famous footballer is asked to name his three favourite goals throughout his career so far, and the choices are played (in reverse order) at various stages throughout the show. Notable appearances have included Thierry Henry, Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, and Ryan Giggs. Ruud van Nistelrooy in this section was only asked to pick his top three favourite goals for Manchester United. The song used during the older version of 'My Favourite Goal' is "Strange and Beautiful " by Aqualung.

Terry V. Terry Shield

Introduced during the 2004–05 season, "the most important goals competition in football" as Soccer AM like to put it, focuses on the goalscoring form of Chelsea and England captain John Terry and his older brother Paul, currently playing for Rushden & Diamonds. The winner would be the player who scored the most in a season.

Hunt V. Hunt Shield

Introduced for the 2009–10 season, focusing on the scoring of Hull City midfielder Stephen Hunt and Reading striker Noel Hunt.

Ferdinand Vs Ferdinand III

This features the two Ferdinand brothers – Rio (Manchester United, defender) and Anton (Sunderland, Defender) – going head to head to see who can score the most goals in a premier league season. Only league goals count and whoever scores the most in the season will win the title of Ferdinand Vs Ferdinand, currently Rio has won all three seasons. There is now also a Wright-Phillips vs. Wright-Phillips, with Plymouth striker Bradley and brother Shaun at Manchester City. There is also Hunt Vs Hunt and Caldwell Vs Caldwell.

Golden Shoe/Espadrille

Soccer AM's own goalscoring competition, the "Golden Shoe" is the show's light tug on the Golden Boot award given to the top scorer in a league or competition. This competition is based on a goals-to-game ratio. Only league goals count and a player has to have played in at least half of their team's league games to be in with a chance of winning the shoe. The Golden Shoe is open to every player in the FA Premier League and the Football League.

The "Golden Espadrille" is the European equivalent to the Golden Shoe. The same rules apply, and the only real difference is that it is open to the Englishmarker FA Premier League, Spanishmarker La Liga and Italianmarker Serie A players.

Atlético Madrid's Diego Forlán is the new current holder of the "Golden Shoe", and the new holder of the Golden Espadrille.

100 Greatest Goals

The 100 Greatest Goals from the Games that Nobody Remembers except our Panel of Talking Heads was introduced in 2006–07 as a sarcastic take off of the many "100 best..." countdown shows on TV. A piece of unremarkable football action is used, typically a scrappy goal from a lower division game in the 1990s, which is analysed in the same way as these shows tend to do, with the action interspersed with different experts views of it. Jamie Redknapp, Chris Kamara, Jeff Stelling, and Matt Le Tissier are a few of the people who enthusiastically talk about the goal as if it were the most amazing goal ever scored.

I Want to Be Like Bas

After seeing the on-pitch antics of at the time Brighton & Hove Albion player Bas Savage, namely his moonwalk celebrations after scoring a goal, a feature called "I Want to Be Like Bas" was introduced in the 2006–07 season. If Savage scores in a game previous to the showing of Soccer AM, his goal and celebration is shown to the music of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal", as the video also features moonwalking.

Prediction Time

In this part of the show former footballer and current Sky Sports pundit Chris Kamara goes head to head with Mystic Ed, a horse that Soccer AM insist is magic and can predict the scores. Each week, Kammy and Mystic Ed must predict the score of a live game, usually from the Premier League.

Current comedy features

One of the strengths of Soccer AM is its talented crew members. Throughout the show's history, its various producers and researchers have contributed to comedy skits, playing various characters. The level of talent varies, but they are all excellent sports and likeable performers. The show's humour is generally of the corny, old-fashioned variety, but no less hilarious for that.

Current, and former performing crew members include "Fenners" (John Fendley), "Sheephead" (Joe Worsley), "Tubes" (Peter Dale), "Rocket" (James Long), Neil (Smythe), Robbie Knox (TRAMP! is sung every time he is mentioned to the tune of The Champ by The Mohawks), Jon Dyson, Chris Nutbeam and newest member Steve Sutcliffe.

Tubes

Crew member "Tubes" (Peter Dale) has had a regular feature on the show in recent seasons, where he has "one question and one question only" to one of the studio guests. Max asks "Who is your question for this week", and the answer results in a dimming of the studio lights and a spotlight on the questionee. After the question has been asked Tubes goes to shake the questionees hand thanking them as he does. Tubes' popularity has grown significantly - a public vote saw him being voted more popular than (crew member) Rocket - in part due to his woeful (but comic) rapping ability which he demonstrates every week before actually posing a question, his ability to keep a "straight" face is also one of his main attributes. Due to his weekly binge drinking exploits, Tim Lovejoy called for pub landlords across the country to ban Tubes from their establishments for his own good. Tubes' rapping has also been used in a parody of iTunes, where at the end instead of saying "iTunes", it says "iTubes". Some Of Tubes' Catchphrases include "Sickening" "Sick" and "Sickness".

A VHS video from 2000 was recently broadcast showing Tubes, dressed as a sailor, dancing on stage to the YMCA song.

The Dance-Off

Each year, the Soccer AM Dance-Off is held which is a dancing competition usually involving all crew members. The crew have 15 seconds each to dance before the next contestant goes on, and each dance usually receives good natured laughing and booing from the audience.

It is usually held on the first Saturday in January of each year, and viewers at home are encouraged to vote for who they thought was the best by texting in. However, they can also vote for "Don't care". The 2007 Dance-Off winner was Rocket, the 3rd time he has won the competition. In 2008 Trev won the competition despite being a 33/1 shot. Helen asked him how he felt about winning, he replied "It's alright I suppose." 2009 saw Rocket take the crown for the fourth time, however this win is debatable as Rocket used a prop (wheellies) during his performance. However joking about the current problems with phoneline rigging in dial-in contests, he was given the victory anyway (if he had been disqualified, Lisa would have been the first female to win the Dance-off)

Soccer AM Dance-Off Roll Of Honour:

  • 2000: Gadzooks
  • 2001: Gadzooks
  • 2002: Robbie Knox
  • 2003: Rocket
  • 2004: Tobe
  • 2005: Rocket
  • 2006: Baby Elvis
  • 2007: Rocket
  • 2008: Trev
  • 2009: Rocket


Soccer AM's own little sitcom stars Barry Proudfoot (actually Fenners) as Barry, Pugsy as Pugsy, and Vikki as Vikki The Barmaid. Set at The Wheatsheaf pub in Perivalemarker, Barry dresses in green seventies-style tracksuits and aviator sunglasses, and is known for his hatred of Northerners, and catchphrases "Oooh that's a right touch!" and "He's taking some right liberties". Some famous faces have appeared on this section of the show as well, including Tim, actor Tamer Hassan, West Ham fan Perry Fenwick (Billy Mitchell from EastEnders) and the band, The Rifles. "Two-Hits" and "Bob the Glare" have also appeared on a few occasions as "bouncers" and in one episode brought out their own DVD.

Barry also appeared in a Patrick McGuinness stand up. McGuiness asked Barry to come on stage and tell a few jokes to his audience, composed mostly of "Northerners". Instead of telling "tasteful" jokes to the audience, Barry started telling jokes that would be offensive to "Northerners" and got booed off-stage.

Recently Barry has been on a Soccer AM edition of Partner Swap, (take of Wife Swap), where he was partnered up with Theresa O'Sullivan. After constantly making jokes about Teresa being Mother Theresa, Theresa confronted him, pleading him that there be no more of those jokes. Having been asked this, Barry said there would be none - (nun). That is a right touch.

The "Love it" song

A cameraman and a man with a microphone went round asking pretend cockneys, who were actually acted by crew members about the TV soap EastEnders. At the end they would say "We larve it, larve it, larve it, larve it, larve it." It was eventually released before the World Cup 2006 as a song by the Soccer AM crew and rap artist MC Neat, with all proceeds going to Barnardo's Children's Charity. Obviously, the song was edited as it focused on the England football team, rather than EastEnders.

CCTV

Coventry City TV is inspired by the television channels of several of the larger clubs in British football. Set in the 1986/87 season, the fictitious channel brings us features which resemble Closed-Circuit TeleVision of funny and unusual behaviour. Usual topics of conversation include whether Keith Houchen should be selected by boss John Sillett, and that the club should never leave Highfield Roadmarker (which has of course happened with the move to the Ricoh Arenamarker)

The channel is presented by Paul Gardner (Fenners) and Brian Kildare (Sheephead). The two presenters also ask every guest whether they have a 'genuine Coventrymarker accent' and not a "Cod Birminghammarker" accent.

Dragons' Den

Introduced in the 2006-2007 season Soccer AM have done their version of the BBC Two programme Dragons' Den. Basically every week Sheephead shows the Dragons an invention which already exists. For example, he recently showed them crisps where you put the salt on them yourself although this already had been done. One of the Dragons tells him "It's already been done"; he then responds by saying "Oh has it! Oh, I'll be back. You'll see!"

Book Reconstructions

When a guest(s) or someone they talk to on the phone has written a book, Tim Lovejoy used announce, "I can't read very well, and neither can Helen or any of the crew, but Neil's a good reader, so we had him reconstruct the best bits", which Neil duly did, often exaggerating for comic effect. So far he has reconstructed scenes from the books written by footballer John Hartson, millionaire businessman and TV personality Duncan Bannatyne and Natalie Appleton and Nicole Appleton, ex-Liverpoolmarker and Real Madrid star Steve McManaman and horse racing jockey Frankie Dettori to hilarious consequences.

Other features

Soccer AM webcam

A new addition to the show, introduced in the start of the 10th season, is the Soccer AM Webcam. Refreshing every 5 seconds, it gave viewers the opportunity to view a live feed from the Soccer AM Office. Due to popular demand, it was later upgraded to refreshing every 3 seconds. The webcam soon gained its own feature on the show - a soap picking out the best behind-the-scenes moments from the office, and concluding with a cliffhanger of a will he-won't he. The webcam broke in between seasons in the summer of 2006, but at the start of the following season the team announced that a new webcam had been installed with improved pictures as well as the ability for the team to zoom in on certain aspects of the office.

The Ten-Yard Bucket Challenge

Borne out of the link between professional footballers and golf, "The Ten-Yard Bucket Challenge" sees a professional footballer attempting to chip a golf ball into a bucket from a distance of ten yards. The football-golf link exists due mainly to the amount of free time footballers are allowed in the daytime after training sessions, and Soccer AM's homage to golf involves a single personality from the world of football who attempts the challenge. One notable attempt was from Ryan Taylor, then of Tranmere Rovers, now of Newcastle United, who was not featuring in the challenge that week, but was accompanying team-mate Jason McAteer. While cameras happened to be rolling, he had a go and accomplished the feat in a single attempt (Taylor is also one of an elite few to hit the crossbar in the "Crossbar Challenge", and reportedly hit it in his practice attempt as well). Many over-confident amateurs have been known to run tallies of well over a hundred attempts. The background music to the challenge is Ladyflash by The Go! Team

"Show them the whole thing"

The part of the show, shown every week, where a member of the fans in the "Luther Blisset" stand do bodybuilding poses, and clips are sent in and shown of the public "showing them the whole thing" to the background music of Oxygene 4 by Jean Michel Jarre.

The sketch apes certain well-known scenes from the 1970s bodybuilding documentary film Pumping Iron in which Arnold Schwarzenegger taunts Lou Ferrigno and mentors other gym users in poses.

When Tim left the show, this segment was replaced by 'Lift Fun'

Achievements

As its audience share grew, its influence grew in turn. Some of the show's notable influences have included:
  • The Save Chip campaign saw large "Save Chip" banners appear all over the world, not only in football matches. The full tag line was "Save Chip... Don't Let Sarah win!". The campaign involved a football fan's plea to help save him from his girlfriend Sarah, who would not let him watch his favourite sport. It became a cult when banners appeared at countless televised football matches across the country and also made airtime in WWE wrestling events, rugby matches and many more televised sporting (and non sporting) events. The banner also appears randomly in the first screens of the PC video game Championship Manager: Season 01/02 released by Sports Interactive. Marc Bridge-Wilkinson also promoted the campaign after scoring the winner in the 2001 LDV Final for Port Vale, lifting his shirt over his head revealing a shirt underneath which said "Save Chip"
  • Getting a golden star on the England football shirt. Sparked after France 98, when the French national team added a golden star to their shirt as soon as they won the Football World Cup, the Soccer AM team successfully campaigned to get a golden star on England's shirt to commemorate winning the World Cup in 1966.


  • Getting the word "bouncebackability" into the English dictionary has been credited to Soccer AM. Its creation is generally accredited to former Plymouth Argyle manager Ian Holloway's reference to his team's return to form in 2005, and the Soccer AM team took it upon themselves to continuously refer to the subject until their feat was accomplished later that year.
The "Easy" logo from the male T-shirt




  • The World of Wrestling sketch exploded into British culture in 2005. After destroying his opponent in a public place (e.g. a swimming pool), the masked "red" wrestler began a chant of "Easy! Easy!, whilst clapping his hands above his head, before stopping telling an observer "You shut up!" and resuming his chant of "Easy! Easy!". The sketch is a parody and play on words of the World of Sport wrestling, which had been repeated on TWC Fight! starting in early-2004. In the sketch, the masked wrestlers are based on Kendo Nagasaki, whilst the chanting is taken from Big Daddy. This chanting action has since been reintroduced thanks to the sketch and is now seen across the UK at all kinds of events - sporting or otherwise.


  • On the Christmas Day Special 2007, The Pigeon Detectives became the first band to play live in the studio. The performance, however, was dubbed and led to criticism of the show and the band itself.


Other content

  • Tim Lovejoy offered five of "the queen's English pounds" to anyone who went to an English football match with a banner saying "Lovejoy is a legend", although he soon stopped after it ended up costing him too much money (mainly after Sky Sports's match coverage picked up on the competition, showing a number of banners before each match).
  • Tim Lovejoy and Bradley Walsh were flown by helicopter after the show to do Sky's fanzone commentary for the Arsenal v Chelsea FA Cup Final in 2002. Lovejoy has been ridiculed on Soccer AM ever since for saying "Oh it's okay, it's only Ray Parlour" moments before Parlour's spectacular opener in the 2-0 win, to which Walsh replied "That is some goal!". Whenever Parlour is mentioned, they find some way to bring this up.


  • Usually every time a Welsh celebrity or footballer is on the show they are required to say "Ian Beale" or "Ratatouille".


Another memorable aspect to the show was in 2000 when Tim started to tell the same gag every week. The gag revolved around steak and kidney pies, and the gag would normally see Tim and Helen discuss what they'd eaten. Invariably, Tim would announce that he'd had a "steak and kidley" pie, to which Helen enquired: "Don't you mean steak and kidney?" Tim would then reply "That's what I said did'll I". This running gag ran and ran, to the point where even fanzone commentators performed the gag. Following on from one such occurrence, Tim pleaded with Martin Tyler and Andy Gray to do the gag during a live game.

Another recurring gag is when someone with the surname "O'Leary" or "Riley" is involved. For example, Helen once announced that Dermot O'Leary was on the current show and would be talking about his role as Big Brother's Big Mouth presenter. Tim then asks "Oh really?", to which Helen reluctantly replies "... no, O'Leary". This is clearly a pre-determined gag judging by Tim's reaction which gains much laughter when done.

Lovejoy actually had a few ongoing gags back in the day including famous one liners as "Is it a record?" "Oi fish head!" "Double sweet double douvet!"

MMS Clips

One of the most popular mobile phone clips, sent in by Soccer AM viewers, is Crazy Dave. Crazy Dave is a young tractor driver who chooses to over take his Dad, driving another tractor, on a narrow strip of road - with hilarious consequences. He has many phrases which have achieved cult status amongst Soccer AM fans such as "but yeah, YEAH, I do fancy it, big time!" and "He's gonna have my f***ing pants down!". His antics have been parodied by many people which have also been shown on the mobile phone clip section of the show.One of the most notorious MMS clips was David Bentley kicking a ball from a balcony office and getting it into a skip.

Football League Trophy Play Your Cards Right

For the past few seasons, Soccer AM has had the privilege of being able to draw fixtures foreach round of the Football League Trophy (until recently known as the LDV Vans Trophy, it is now called the Johnstone's Paint Trophy).

This is normally done - in the style of British gameshow Play Your Cards Right - by Tim & Helen cutting oversized cards onto large holders, and turning them over one at a time to generate football matches, with Tim normally drawing the Home teams first, and Helen drawing the Away sides. This process is overseen by an independent adjudicator from the Football League (Up until the end of last season, this was a man called Ian Christian, who would often have the Hallelujah music himself out of humour.)

The fans of the week are usually from a club that is in the draw, and if Tim draws that team he will proceed to dive into the fans.

As of today, the cards have only been dropped on the floor once, for which Tim was responsible. Thankfully, this happened before any matches were drawn properly.

Strangely, before the quarter final draw, Peterborough United fans were asked who they would least like to draw, to which they replied Bristol Rovers. The resulting draw then gave them an away game against... Bristol Rovers, which made the Peterborough fans boo Tim and Helen for their poor fixture making skills.

DVDs and music

In November 2004, Soccer AM released a DVD, which became a success, mostly down to being the ideal Christmas gift for men. Since this date, more DVDs have been released. The 2005 edition self titled, Soccer AM II included the 10 greatest players of the last decade, which included David Beckham, Ronaldinho and Alan Shearer. In June 2006, Soccer AM went musical by releasing a CD with music they use on the show with such bands as Hard-Fi, The Automatic and The Ordinary Boys. Later that year another DVD was released titled, Soccer AM III- the greatest matches of all time including the 1982 World Cup Game, 1979-1981 and 2006 F.A Cup Finals. Also included is some extras. Current music in 2008 includes Liverpool five piece The Maybes? track 'Boys'.

See also



References

  1. Sky's Soccer AM secures FRijj sponsorship Digital Spy
  2. Lovejoy quits Soccer AM
  3. http://www.skysports.com/skysports/article/0,,17-1271750,00.html
  4. Andy is booted off Soccer AM thesun.co.uk
  5. http://www.socceram.com/story/0,21644,13873_5349712,00.html
  6. Tubes profile


External links

Official:

Unofficial: Soccerette Website
  • http://www.channelbee.com - Tim Lovejoy's new internet TV Channel
  • http://www.mysoccerpredictor.com - Predict & Win Soccer
  • http://www.soccerette.com/ - live football games and the latest news


References:


Embed code:






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message