Media: Things we like


Critics were quick to round on the authorities for taking live coverage away from Channel 4 in favour of Sky Sports. Yet Sky's match coverage has been exemplary and Cricket AM packed more ideas to widen the sport's appeal into just one episode than Channel 4 did in four years. There was Freddie Flintoff taking on Phil Taylor at darts; the England team trying to hit the stumps with their wrong arm and the ex-England cricketer David Lloyd giving a pitch report from a quarry. With ideas like these, here's hoping Cricket AM lasts all summer long.


Saturday night was Soccer Aid night on ITV1, with a football match between England and the Rest of the World. Despite fans being forced to watch the ageing legend Maradona suffer the embarrassment of being booed by a moronic section of the crowd and the indignity of being hacked down by the Coronation Street actor Bradley Walsh, Soccer Aid was a resounding success. The week of programming preceding the game made a good fist of building up anticipation and the big match itself was surprisingly good.


OK, so to some it's the equivalent of watching bird droppings dry, but we can't help liking Bill Oddie's nightly gentle amble through wildlife awakening for the summer months. It's the essence of what public service broadcasting should be - being both informative and entertaining - and last year's season won awards. There's no radical shake-up of format for the second series, but why mess with a successful formula?


The July issues of the big film magazines, Empire and Total Film, both boast clever lenticular covers based around the return of Superman. But, for once, Empire loses out in the battle of the covers, with Total Film's seeming much more elaborate and well-thought-out. It features a mock-up of the Daily Planet front page heralding the return of our hero in tights.

The clever bit uses the lenticular effect to move between an image of the new Superman, played by the relative unknown Brandon Routh, and the late, great Christopher Reeve.


Tabloid speculation on Wayne Rooney's foot

The medical bulletins, and the tabloid interpretations of them, have turned into a tedious national obsession. We've all become experts on oxygen tents, joint injuries and recovery times but still nobody is certain whether or not Rooney will play in the World Cup, so why bother speculating?

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