Heckler July 16, 2012
Illustration: Caroline Adaszynski
I FIND the studied camera-concentration on various celebrities at grand sporting events, such as Wimbledon, a bit of a challenge. When things on court are becoming a little tedious because either Roger Federer is clocking an avalanche of forehand winners, or a physio is performing a minor miracle of restoring to full flexibility an ankle, leg, arm or back that has moments before appeared as if amputation would be the only answer, the cameras play over the crowd for familiar faces.
The trouble is, the cameras do not dwell on the faces long enough for us to decide on a positive identification, and then it's a lounge-room battle.
Scenes such as this must be fairly common.
''Isn't that Lady Gaga in the second row? See? She has that overdone eye make-up, and the big hair!''
''Don't be ridiculous, that's Andy Murray's mother, she's always there, what's wrong with your eyes?''
''No, not that one, I know Judy Murray as well as I know my own mother, I mean that one in the row behind her,'' as the camera does a quick pan. ''See, she's munching on a bread roll now.''
''Oh yes, I see her, but I doubt it's Lady Gaga - anyway, didn't she land in Sydney the other day?'' An aggrieved silence follows, but only for a while.
''Hell, isn't that the British Prime Minister, what's his name, Campbell?''
''I don't suppose you mean David Cameron …''
''David Campbell is a singer.''
The problem is that the announcers have not been given advance warning of the names of the celebs, so either there's a stunned silence, or a hopeful guess. A camera pans lovingly over a person in a prestigious seat, but it's obvious neither Newk nor Todd has a clue, so while they are awkwardly quiet, the lounge room battle continues. Some of the big shots are easy-peasy.
''Oh, look at Cliff Richard - where on earth did he get that strange jacket?''
''I think it's supposed to be the Union Jack.''
Various aged and balding (that's mainly the males) people pop up, where the tennis enthusiast hosts are fully at home: ''That's Simon Somebody, he won the singles in '48, the men's doubles in 1950, and the mixed doubles in 1953.''
But when Becks and Posh come into view, the room falls silent. That one is far too simple.
However, there is one aspect of this casual camera-play where its practitioners do deserve praise. They always speedily move on when a nose-pick or injudicious scratching appears imminent.