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Hemlock and Mandible?

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Robbo Robson | 11:08 UK time, Thursday, 20 May 2010

OK. First of all, why do we need to spend a shedload of cash on mascots for 2012?

What are they going to do exactly? Flounce about being really flipping annoying. Couldn't we have just used Timmy Mallet?

Incidentally, if there are some poor saps getting paid for dressing up as Wenlock and Mandeville, then can't we make some lunched-up, fizz-sorted, pin-striped city bankers do it while we toss IOUs at them or, even better, rotting fruit.

The names though, too. Wenlock? I read this on Wikipedia (so it must be open to doubt):
Olympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville
Olympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville
'The town is known for Wenlock Olympian Games set up by Dr. William Penny Brookes in 1850. In 1861 he was also instrumental in setting up the Shropshire Games and later in 1866, the National Olympian Games. Dr. Brookes is credited as a founding father of the Modern Olympic Games.'

Right. Now I know you Greeks are having a rough time of it a the mo, but get this, them Olympic Games you put on 1000 years BC, they're nowt when compared with the might of the Wenlock Olympian Games.

Mandeville makes a bit more sense - the location of the first Paralympic games - and they couldn't call a character Stoke or it would be assumed that all it could do was throw a football blinking miles.

But the main reason I'm a bit lost with them, apart from the fact that mascots are simply an irrelevance, is that they look like weird eyeballed thumbs with fused-on limbs.
They've got that cutesy thing going on, like in Gremlins. Any moment now the little aliens are going to jump on to your earlobe and suck your brain dry.

Presumably there'll be loads of plasticky or metally models made of these grim puppets, and presumably they'll end up in one refuse dump or another.

I always imagined a big wheelie bin outside the studios where they recorded Bullseye, overflowing with discarded Bullies. It'll be like that.

And how much did it cost to conjure up Manlock and Wendeville anyway?
They got Michael Morpurgo, a children's laureate no less, author of Warhorse - to which even grown men need to take a bucket to contain their tears - to mock up the story for the cartoon thingammy.

It wasn't Wall-E but it was OK. Until the damn things come to life and then got spray-painted by a blinking rainbow. I mean if you're going to go for the Rainbow theme then why not just bring in George and Zippy? They'd be cracking mascots and they could do with the work.

I suppose they're trying to attract the kids. Wenville and Mandylock are definitely in the same ball park as my grandson's current favourites, those primary-coloured psychos In the Night Garden, or the latest savage assault on me delicate senses, Waybuloo.

I dunno, couldn't the money have been better spent on, ooh, the buildings. Or the ceremony? It's not like we're going to have the most glorious opening ceremony is it? It'll be not much more than two (hopefully) bankers in alien costumes holding up a bit of ribbon while Her Maj gets out the scissors and Katherine chuffing Jenkins warbles some awful lament.
WaybulooWaybuloo - in case you were wondering
I just pray there isn't going to be some Olympic anthem - I bet there is, though. Some plodding pop-rockers'll knock out some heinous drone. Keane, probably. Or Coldplay. You can hear Chris Martin now, can't you, whining out one of his slightly-too-high- for-his-voice dirges: "I will be... Faster.... Higher.... Stronger..."

I'll stop there, 'cos that's just felt too real not to be true.

I was looking forward to the Olympics, me, but all this stuff's twaddle, isn't it? The reason we watch the Olympics is 'cos of people like Mr Bolt, surely the greatest sportsman on the planet right now?

He had another jog to victory on Wednesday. The man makes fibre-optic connectivity look pedestrian.

We don't watch the Olympics to enjoy the twee adventures of Manderwen and Lockville, or any other transient piece of animated tut. I don't even think children watch it for that, do they? Nah, it's the jumping, running, cycling, winning... that's it.

And there's summat else about Villwen and Lockerman I really don't like. I have this horrible feeling that next time the Prime Minister and his Deputy step out together on the lawn at 10 Downing Street, their voices are suddenly going to change, each of them is going to unzip himself and out'll pop these two rubbish aliens.

After that they'll be joined by all the other public school-educated politicians, and Chris Martin, unzipped and scary, all of them leaping onto our ears and sucking our brains dry.

Yeuchhh... sorry about that. Too much Doctor Who I reckon.

Actually, no. Too much flipping Waybuloo.


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