Saturday, 21 April 2012

American-style ambulance-chasing legal adverts wouldn't half improve watching sport on Sky


There are two drawbacks to watching Sky’s otherwise impressive sports coverage. First,  some of the commentators are maddening – Bob Willis always sounds as if he’s just swallowed a bottle of quaaludes, Ian Botham never ever tells you anything you haven't already worked out for yourself, while Peter Fleming starts every sentence a minimum of three times, meaning it can take him up to five minutes just to tell us Nadal played better than the opponent he’s just massacred 6-0, 6-1. (Another five minutes will reveal that Nadal's quite good on clay.)

Then there are the endlessly repeated ambulance-chasing legal ads one has to endure between overs and while tennis players change ends. Currently, Andrew Castle is the main culprit: looking rather wan and careworn, this former British tennis player and GMTV presenter is currently pimping drearily for First4lawyers. Agreeing to front this type of ad is never a good career move – for instance, we had to endure years of Esther Rantzen and the bloke who played DS Beech in The Bill (and went on to murder people in Eastenders, I’m told) ploughing the same depressing furrow. And where are they now?

The answer could be to allow US-style ambulance-chaser adverts, which at least give you a good laugh, either because they’re as gung-ho as the one above, or because the selling point is so bizarre, or because they’re just unbelievably bad. (You can find all the ads featured in this post, plus half a dozen others, here.) 

Here’s a bizarre one:

And here’s an incredibly bad one:

I’ll finish with a divorce lawyer who's obviously concerned to ensure that couples give reconciliation their best shot:


  1. Oh dear. I can't get the sound of the Pay Me Now singers out of my head. Even Jess Conrad was rarely more than a semi-tone out of tune. The woman singer seems to have found the lost chord.

  2. I keep wondering whether the performers actually got paid for their contribution to the advert, or whether they were part of some "massage the jobless statistics" work experience scheme. I haven't witnessed a worse performance since the days when Fred Pontin appeared in adverts for his own holiday camps - "Remember - Boo Curly!".

  3. Don't forget Bernard Matthews flogging his compacted turkey meat. And at the moment, there's also a promisingly wooden chap called Victor who sells his own on-line betting service on Sky. As we're on the theme of the Bonzos elsewhere in your bog, who can forget Horace Batchelor from Keynsham who had "personally won over 500 pounds" with his pools winning method.

    But nothing comes close to Pay Me Now.

  4. Victor Kiam - Remington Electric Shavers.

    Living on a State Pension I cannot afford Sky Sports [if I still had my eye-teeth I would give them to see Barcelona - Chelsea to-night], but I would ask you not to make adverse comments about Beefy and Bob - they are Agincourt Britons and beyond criticism. Please see "From the Ashes" to-night at 8 pm on ITV4.

  5. starting at 1'58"