Date:Wednesday June 7 2006
Arlo White was the host for an evening of chat concerning all things Germany2006. A panel of guests that included former internationals Graeme Le Saux, Darryl Powell, Nigel Martyn, (tripping on to the stage to chants of 'Dodgy keeper') and by far the most popular with the 200 strong audience, former Forest and England legend Viv Anderson. Mark Clement interacted with the audience in his usual, lively and entertaining way, making sure that anyone who wanted to could have there say.
The questions were many and varied. From could and would England do it? to squad selection, formations and of course Rooney's foot. Any Vital forum member who attended, was given strict instructions from Chairbear to plug the site at every possible opportunity.
Just as we were thinking we had missed our chance, up popped Mark Clement with his microphone. 'What's your name sir?' 'Wiggy' came a delayed reply. Just as we thought he had crashed and burned, he burst into life, not only finding his voice, but also a surprising and detailed knowledge on all things England. More articulate and intellectual than he would have people believe. There was no stopping him. Yes we can win it without Rooney. No, Theo should not have been picked. Yes, Owen will be fit, on and on like a man possessed. So much so, that the BBC was late with the news for the first time ever.
During the break, a fans panel, representing all 32 teams in the competition were introduced. Only three turned up. One each from Ukraine, Brazil and Australia. A man with headphones on was arguing with Mark Clement in the doorway. Pointing at his watch, with a screwed up face. Mark Clement started pointing in our direction with a screwed up face and we started pointing at Wiggy with lots of screwed up faces. Apparently the Beeb have a very tight time schedule and don't take to kindly to people hijacking the airwaves.
The fans panel gave reasons why there respective teams would win the cup. The guy from the Ukraine said his heart told him they would, but his head was telling him something else. The chap following Brasil, said Brasil would win, because they were Brazil and that is what they did. The Ozzy fella had a different take on the beautiful game, by stating that Australia would win because they were by far and away the best team equipped to kick teams off the park! Quite proud of that he was. He even boasted they had been successful with these tactics in a recent game against the Netherlands. So much so that at least two members of that squad probably wouldn't make the tournament.
After a prompt news break, it was back to the chat. Discussing everything from using video technology in helping referees, to gamesmanship. I was surprised to hear Darryl Powell say there was nothing wrong with diving to win a penalty. Viv Anderson was disgusted and made his feelings clear. Well done Viv. We were all waving frantically all night long, to try and make our point, but by this time Mark Clement was avoiding our side of the room like the plague. He wasn't going anywhere near Wiggy with a microphone.
After another prompt news break, it was into the home straight with a world cup quiz, which was won by cheating, by our side of the room. The evening ended and a good time was had by all. The guests mingled with the audience afterwards, signing autographs for those that wanted them and chatting. No mention on 5Live for Vital, but a new star was born. Hail, Wiggy. Last seen leaving the Robin Hood Suite, mumbling that he was off to his trailer, as he was sick of dealing with amateurs.
One last thing for those who want to know. Graeme Le Saux is not gay. He is married to an Argentinian Woman.
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