Steve Colman: Cringing over Essien

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I’LL be going to Londinium this weekend and there are a couple of things I’m going to see there.

I found it a little strange that Mohammed Al Fayed has stated that he’s going to unveil a statue of Michael Jackson nearby to the Fulham Football ground.

It was originally going to be positioned at Harrods, but since commissioning it, the owner has sold Harrods of course and so it’s been relegated to Fulham (did you see what I did there).

I still like the idea if it is positioned somewhere in the park next to Fulham. That’s if the park is still there and hasn’t been built on, as it’s a while since I was last there.

Next on my list of things to see will be the Olympic Countdown clock in Trafalgar Square.

I have been very lucky and visited a lot of the Olympic venues in the past and one of the first things I took a photograph of in Beijing was the Countdown clock in Tiananmen Square.

I don’t know what it is, but everyone seems to like a countdown clock and I’m sure if they had had a problem we wouldn’t have known about it outside China.

But the world now knows about Trafalgar Square’s clock stoppage. I said on the air that I had fancied an alarm clock like it, every morning it could give me five rings.

One of the other things I’m going to see is the new musical ‘Betty Blue Eyes’. It’s based on the storyline of the film ‘A Private Function’ which involves bringing up some piglets in peoples’ homes for food just after the war. It was illegal and therefore there are some great fun twists and turns in the story. Sarah Lancashire stars in the Maggie Smith role. It should be good. I’ll report next week.

MY goodness, why oh why have our cricket team been so intent on making us sit on the edge of our seats? The game against the West Indies looked as if we’d blown it and then bang bang bang, the wickets fell and we did it. Why on earth couldn’t they have scored some more runs and got more wickets earlier to save all our nails? We now have to wait and see if other results mess us up or help us through until the next nail biting game. Oh my nails. Actually I don’t bite mine, it was my writing poetic license at work. Rubbish poet aren’t I?

I DON’T want to diss someone who is one of my favourite players, but I found myself cringing the other night when there was a feature on TV visiting the home of Chelsea midfiled utility maestro Michael Essien. He is a good friend of Sunderland’s Asomoah Gyan, but I hope Asomoah doesn’t have the sort of mansion Michael does and his disability to do anything off the pitch. It’s fairly typical I suppose that these highly paid footballers are going to be a little like this, but it really was blatantly obvious that someone from his background is spending money just because he can. He said that his agent had arranged the purchase of the house. No surprise there! And I wonder how much the agent had deposited in the bank for overseeing the sale. Essien has a huge kitchen probably the size of your house. He has two huge cookers which you and I would probably need a ladder to get anything into the top shelf - yet..Michael says he can’t cook. He has a stock of wine - can he recommend one? No, his agent bought them! He has a guitar used and signed by Bono from U2 which he can’t open the case of, let alone play. He has a beautiful indoor swimming pool - Yes, you’ve guessed it - he can’t swim! I could go on, but I won’t, suffice to say, thank goodness he can play football and score brilliant goals against Arsenal when needed.

FRANK Carson was playing the Tyne Theatre last Monday. I got an email asking if I wanted to interview him at 2pm Monday. I declined and then realised later that he is at The Customs House on Friday night. I should have done the interview but of course having chatted in the past I would probably have still been talking to him by Friday night. Funny, infectious man - enjoy if you are going to see him.