Chris O (follow on Twitter: @COakleyFtbl)
Wed 28 June 2006

Big Bluffer

Welcome to Big Bluffer.

From now until the end of the World Cup, 20 TV presenters and pundits will be living together in the Big Bluffer house, but day by day they will be ejected if they fail to meet the standards set down by you, the visitors to this blog. The winner of Big Bluffer is the pundit that avoids being voted out due to incompetence, incoherence or annoyance.



And so our 20 familiar faces enter the Big Bluffer house - 10 from the BBC World Cup team and 10 of their ITV counterparts. They are as follows:

Gary 'Loynacre' Lineker (BBC)
BBC's main anchorman. Former Spurs, Barcelona and England striker. Winner of the World Cup Golden Boot in 1986 and stuntman for Walkers Crisps.

Alan 'Terrible Marking' Hansen (BBC)
Liverpool and Scotland stalwart during the 1980's. Known for his severe criticism of bad defending, a subject he knows a lot about as his former teammates will testify.

Martin 'Alexander' O'Neill (BBC)
Former Nottingham Forest and Northern Ireland midfielder. Previously manager at Leicester City and Celtic. Role on TV: "Canny Ulsterman".

Leonardo (BBC)
Played in the Brazilian team that won the 1994 World Cup. Unnaturally good-looking and for that reason out of place on a BBC World Cup panel, but slightly less incoherent than Gordon Strachan.

Ray 'Stubbsy' Stubbs (BBC)
Understudy to The Boy Loynacre on 'Match of the Day'. Once spent five years on the books at Tranmere Rovers before the ultimately more rewarding job of keeping Des Lynam's chair warm on Grandstand came along.

Gordon 'Advertising Hoarding' Strachan (BBC)
British journeyman who played for (amongst others) Manchester United, Aberdeen, Leeds United and Coventry City. Known for being deadpan, blunt and ginger-haired.

Alan 'Super Alan' Shearer (BBC)
Officially regarded as one of FIFA's 100 greatest living footaballers. Top scorer in the Premiership from 1995 to 1997. PFA Player's Player of the Year in 1995 and 1997. Team honours: none.

Ian 'Wright Wright' Wright (BBC)
Arsenal legend and all-time top scorer for the Gunners until Thierry Henry came along. Old friend of Peter Schmeichel. Prone to wearing leather caps and other strange attire, as testified in the TV ad for Privilege Insurance with Joanna Lumley.

Lee 'Diddy' Dixon (BBC)
Member of the legendary Arsenal defensive line under George Graham. Never played in the finals of a major competition despite being a regular for the Gunners. Faced the ultimate humiliation when replaced by Gary Neville in the England line-up.

Marcel 'The Rock' Desailly (BBC)
Real name: Odenke Abbey. Originally born in Ghana, which didn't stop him breaking the record for most appearances in the French national team. Ruud Gullit's favourite centre-back while at Chelsea but ended his career in obscurity following a move to Qatar. Now avoiding a TV career in obscurity after signing for the BBC rather than ITV.

Steve 'Winona' Rider (ITV)
Successor to Des Lynam's throne on BBC's Grandstand programme. Devoid of any personality which thankfully allows viewers to concentrate solely on appropriate sports action. Supports Charlton Athletic. Don't let this influence your voting.

Jim 'Pointy Nose' Rosenthal (ITV)
Sports journalist who, over several years, has presented football, boxing, Formula 1 motor racing and athletics, thus proving he's not overly fussed about what crap he's associated with, as long as it pays well.

Gabby 'Token Female' Logan (ITV)
Daughter of former Leeds United and Wales player Terry Yorath from whom she gets her looks. Former gymnast who reached 8th place in the 1990 Commonwealth Games competition, an achivement overshadowed by her ability to hold down a presenter's job during the World Cup on prime-time TV.

Terry 'Hazell' Venables (ITV)

Former England and Australia manager. Played for QPR, Spurs, Crystal Palace and probably every other team in London. Regularly linked with or actually working for Middlesbrough.

Ally 'Number 3 please, Sue' McCoist (ITV)
Ex-Rangers and Scotland striker, currently one of the team captains on BBC's 'A Question of Sport.' Once played for Sunderland but doesn't like to be reminded of the fact.

Andy 'Tactics Truck' Townsend (ITV)
Former Chelsea and Aston Villa midfielder who captained Republic of Ireland at the 1994 World Cup. Now appears on ITV's Champions League programmes, 'On The Ball', TalkSport radio and anything else that requires a cockney wide-boy to spout waffle endlessly.

Sam 'Big Sam' Allardyce (ITV)
Former Bolton Wanderers player and now Bolton manager. Was hoping to get the England manager's job after Sven leaves, but is still waiting for a call from the F.A. Perhaps they've lost his number.

Stuart 'Psycho' Pearce (ITV)
Archetypal penalty-villain-turned-hero during Euro 96 following dismal end to Italia 90. Fixture in defence under Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest. Ended career at West Ham United as most great players do when they're past it.

Ruud 'Sexy Football' Gullit (ITV)
Hit the heights during Euro '88, giving numerous fine performances for Holland. Went onto play for and manage Chelsea, the latter of which proved to be a serious error of judgement by all concerned.

Robbie 'Duke of' Earle (ITV)
Member of the Wimbledon 'Crazy Gang', renknowned for their long-ball tactics on Centre Court. Failed to develop fruitful international playing career on account of being Jamaican. Oh, and he's got an MBE, you know.

So as our bluffers settle into their new surroundings, they'll no doubt be wary of the fact that tomorrow will see the first two evictions take place. Smart will make his choice and news of who's for the chop will be posted here...

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