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It must be difficult to be Clive Tyldesley on a
Champions League night. You spend your nights next to a jibbering simpleton who states only the obvious, yet are charged with elevating the experience to something memorable, even if it is unlikely that something memorable will occur.

So, when Real Madrid scored a goal with around seven minutes to go of last night’s semi-final, he shouted ‘Ignition!’. It might have sound a little pre-planned, but it was an accurate description of the
game he was hoping for. No qualms with that. He needs to build up the excitement, so a sonic lighting of the blue touch-paper is fine by me, even if it was probably (and so proved) a little too little too late.


In the moments that followed that word, there was a silence in the commentary box. Play resumed.

A few seconds after that, Tyldesley spoke again.

‘Ignition’, he said, repeating himself, ‘and every man in here wishing’.

He said it quietly, almost apologetically, as if it was a thought running through his mind and he wanted it to remain off mic. It did not remain offmic, though; it was audible to all. A great man once told us that, ‘that which has been said cannot be unsaid’. That Clive Tyldesley, in a pivotal moment of a Champions League Semi-Final, thought it appropriate to quote Ignition by R. Kelly is beyond inexplicable. What depths can Sky plumb tonight? If I Could Turn Back The Hands of Time? I Believe I Can Fly? I know, I know. More likely Bump’n’Grind as they embark on their attempt at four-play. I’m done now.

Ignition, though. Really?