WHEN you spend as much time as Sporting Declaration does slothing on the sofa and watching sport, you get to know certain advertisements off by heart.

And hate them.

During the winter, it was Gai Waterhouse’s young bloke, the L-plate bookmaker, popping his head up every five minutes, just begging to get trampled by a footballer or – even better – a racehorse.

More recently, this columnist has developed an irresistible urge to throw a stubby through the TV screen every time those McDonalds and KFC ads have interrupted the cricket.

You know the ones. 

The awful Maccas production that bangs on about ‘‘Johnno the ambo’’ for no apparent reason.

Then there is that series of KFC commercials featuring Michael Clarke and those American blokes from the band Good Charlotte.

All summer the irrelevance has infuriated me.

Not to mention the thought that some advertising agency has no doubt pocketed a six-figure sum for the whole brainless concept.

I’m guessing Good Charlotte are pretty cool if you like tattooed yanks who wear silly hats and facial piercings.

But I don’t – which may come as a surprise given my reputation as a tolerant soul.

I can’t cop them one bit, even though I wouldn’t know a single song in their repertoire.

So when they popped up last weekend as the ‘‘half-time’’ entertainment in Australia’s T20 clash with Sri Lanka, I found myself teetering on the edge of a meltdown.

What tipped me into a full-blown psychotic rage was the appearance at the end of Good Charlotte’s brief set of someone I find even harder to stomach – Channel Nine commentator Mark Nicholas.

Honestly, enough is enough.

The joke is over, David Gyngell.

It must have been a good five years since this painful Pom minced into our lives, and his presence has become beyond intolerable.

Just how Nicholas got a start is beyond me.

Apparently he worked with Richie Benaud on English TV, prompting Richie to conclude that ‘‘the camera likes him’’.

My guess is that the mirror does too – and that the feeling is mutual.

But if that is the sole selection criterion, why hasn’t Jennifer Hawkins got a gig?

Once upon a time, the Channel Nine commentary booth was a holy place reserved for former Test cricketers, preferably ex-captains. 

Nicholas, however, was regarded in the 1980s as one of the best county players never to have represented England, which in those days was no great rap.

Wikipedia states that Nicholas is ‘‘known for his suave appearance and urbane manner’’ and that he once hosted a cooking show called Britain’s Best Dish – which may or may not have been referring to food.

It makes no mention of his unnerving tendency to sway from side to side while doing a stand-up in front of camera.

If we have to have a token Pom behind the microphone, give us David Gower or ‘‘Beefy’’ Botham, Geoff Boycott or Mike Atherton.

Even Hugh Grant would be better than Nicholas.

Alarmingly, Nicholas seems to be entrenching himself deeper by the day.

He hosts the Allan Border Medal each year and has been ‘‘multiskilled’’ into Nine’s coverage of the golf and – heaven forbid – the Olympics.

Next he’ll be sitting alongside Rabbits Warren and Gus Gould and making pithy observations during State of Origin showdowns.

The real fear is that Nicholas has been earmarked to succeed Benaud when the great man eventually declares his illustrious innings closed, at the age of 96.

The 55-year-old could become Nine’s cricket anchorman for the next decade at least.

There should be no need for an advertising campaign to save Aussie cricket tragics from this fate worse than death.

CAMERA-READY: Richie Benaud with his anointed successor, Mark Nicholas.

CAMERA-READY: Richie Benaud with his anointed successor, Mark Nicholas.


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