Millwall’s Danny Baker: Redemption of a Leeds-Hater – by Rob Atkinson


Baker: Machiavellian Machinations

Baker: Machiavellian Machinations

Last August I was forced to publish the shameful revelation that Danny Baker – word-smith extraordinary and the planet’s only intelligent Millwall fan – was guilty of the heinous crime of match-fixing, blatantly fixing his show’s legendary “Sausage Sandwich Game” such that the hapless Leeds United fan got beat by the evil, sneering, plastic Man U armchair supporter he was up against.

Today, though, another Leeds fan was on the show and, glory be, he won through to the whitewashing extent of 3-0.  Not against a glory-hunter this time, but a humble Cambridge United fan.  Still, even though it was through gritted teeth, Mr Baker ended up congratulating Leeds on a clean-sweep victory. On this occasion of Danny’s redemption, then, I publish again my account of last year’s tawdry and shameful event, together with my appreciation of a Millwall fan who has somehow managed to climb out of that gutter and give us an irreverent and entertaining view of football and the world in general that elevates him above the common herd.  Read on now, as Baker was bang to rights as a Leeds-hating match fixer – for shame, Danny!

(Article below originally published 31 August, 2013)

This week’s Danny Baker show on BBC Radio Five Live thankfully lacks the sinister Machiavellian overtones of last week’s offering.  This week, all is sweetness and light, fun and games with the characteristic chirpy wit of Britain’s favourite Millwall fan. It’s Baker’s Banter that makes his show such required listening every Saturday morning and which makes the task of the boys from Fighting Talk, the unfortunate forced comedy offering which follows DB, so very difficult and thankless.  Fighting Talk lacks the effortless knockabout originality of Baker, so it has to settle for a gang of moderately famous, moderately funny desperadoes, sound effects so that the listening audience knows when to smile wanly, and of course some mutually supportive, falsely raucous studio laughter as they congratulate each other in those special “comedy voices” that so make the teeth curl. It’s pretty unedifying stuff, particularly straight after the unique offerings of Danny and his cohorts. So Baker rules the Saturday morning airwaves – and rightly so.

But last week, a serpent entered this light entertainment Eden.  The iconic and pivotal “Sausage Sandwich Game” (SSG) has been the comedy mainstay of Danny’s show for many a moon now.  Last Saturday, though, as the competing fans in the SSG metaphorically donned the rival colours of Leeds United and Man U – a horrible reality dawned on the minds of those attuned to examples of media prejudice where Leeds United are concerned.  At first, it was just too distasteful to contemplate, or to allow to grow into a fully-formed conclusion.  But ultimately, there was no escaping the dismal truth.  The Sausage Sandwich Game – humorous cornerstone of the whole Danny Baker legend – was FIXED.  (Sensation, gasps of horror).

I forget all the grisly details.  It may well be that my mind has blotted out the finer points of the dastardly deed.  That’s quite understandable, as my innocent appreciation of a regular Saturday morning humour-fix was being corrupted into something foul and repellent.  Suspicion turned to certainty and my paranoia circuit glowed into activity.  The Leeds lad hadn’t a chance – the game was bent against him, warped so that there was no possibility that the Man U contestant – smug, complacent article that he was – might have to walk away empty-handed.  And so it panned out; Man U won 2-1 in last week’s thoroughly rotten-to-the-core SSG, and my child-like belief in Danny Baker and all his ways collapsed into a pile of rubble, ruined beyond hope of reconstruction.

Well – not really.  It’s still Sir Dan for me, Millwall fan that he is and his frantic game-fixing activities notwithstanding.  Seldom can there have appeared such a thoroughly original wit from the ranks of genuine old-school football fans, and long may he continue to thrive.  A cancer survivor and irreverent observer of the game of football’s many quirks and blots, he has my admiration and esteem on both counts. It’s a shame he has to be devoted to that particular Bermondsey club, and therefore has to be counted among its not-so-pleasant (on the whole) supporters – but we’re none of us perfect, and each of us has our idiosyncrasies. Overall, Danny Baker adorns the airwaves in a way that most other BBC “comedy” personalities signally fail to do.  He’s a breath of fresh air to start our Saturdays, before all the self-important nonsense of the Premier League gets underway again.  He hasn’t always been the BBC’s favourite son, but they must know, down the Corporation, that he’s by far the best they have when it comes to raising the giggles and snorts that pay the Light Entertainment rent.

Danny Baker – cockney wide-boy, cheeky and chirpy as any jellied eel-reared costermonger cliche, you are gold-dust on our wireless sets.  Do keep it up – but take it easy next time a Leeds fan is up against one of them lot from Devon that supports the Forces of Darkness from the Theatre of Hollow Myths.  We Leeds fans have a sense of humour – honest – but we take that kind of thing very seriously.

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26 responses to “Millwall’s Danny Baker: Redemption of a Leeds-Hater – by Rob Atkinson

  1. this is a fat not pretty and ugly man
    but i am not sure ?! Is this really a man ?

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  2. Agreed! I thought something was up when his guest, Mike Gatting, was being pushed for references for songs from Oliver.

    The contestants were asked if Gatting could name, “None, one or more than one song, (from Oliver)? After the Leeds fan said, “More than one,” DB asked Gatting to name the “More than one” he said he could name. As he (Gatting) thought a while, DB pushed him saying something about having “to go the the travel soon.” DB then awarded the point to the Man U fan as Gatting tried to interject.

    The next one was along the lines of, “Have you ever had nail varnish applied to your fingers? Never, once or more than once?” (May be slightly paraphrased) Again the Leeds fan said, “Never.” DB then asked Gatting who said he’d had something applied to his fingers but it wasn’t “nail varnish.” Again DB awarded the point to the Man U fan saying something like, “If people saw you having something applied to your fingers they could assume it was nail varnish,” even though the question was narrowed down to “nail varnish!” Again Gatting tried to interject but was drowned out by DB.

    And there it was. Another ref’ siding with the opposition. What would DB have done if it had been a Leeds fan vs West Ham, BHA or Palace fan, I wonder?

    P.S. Good radio show though.

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    • That was it, Hughie, exactly. You’ve brought the traumatic memories flooding back. Gee, thanks 🙂

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      • I’ve been suffering the trauma for a week now.

        What makes it worse is DB admitted today he “doesn’t like BHA,” as he introduced the BHA vs Wolves fans today.

        Ah well, BHA won 2-1.

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  3. ropey wyla

    ‘millwall fan’ says it all, even if you get them all together they still don’t have two brain cells to rub together, pond life scum

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  4. Ropey. Did you think that comment up all on your own?. Or maybe the kids under your bed helped you? ‘Scum’ sums you lot up!.

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    • Haha, a Karen Matthews dig, very lame, get with the times son Its all about Savile for now. Millwall, no, nowt there to have a go at hmmm.

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  5. I just can’t abide listening to baker, the bloke loves the sound of his own voice and adores his own anecdotes. Every programme this plonker is on he tries his damnedest to but in and take over. Being a millwall fan just rounds this self absorbed numpty up.

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  6. Intelligent? Danny Baker. How the hell did you come to this conclusion?

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  7. remember the anthem fellow loiners, MARCHING ON TOGETHER WERE GONNA SEE YOU WIN NA NA NA NA NA NAA WE ARE SO PROUD WE SHOUTED OUT LOUD WE LOVE YOU LEEDS LEEDS LEEDS

    Like

  8. I can’t stand Danny Baker nothing to do with Millwall.

    I do feel sorry for Millwall though, if it wasn’t for Her Majesties Prison Service they’d have so many more fans attending.

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  9. Wish the elitist bbc had more people like Danny baker from good working class stock makes a change from there stiff upper lip presenters can’t wait for the bbc prom season to kick off well worth me licences fee on it own just hope they win the rights to show live polo as well a pie and a pint and polo what what what MOT

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    • Spot on. The decision to employ the likes of David feckin’ Mellor and Alan chuffin’ Green, in a slot made unique and unmissable by Danny Baker, says all you need to know about the bleedin’ BBC

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  10. You are a witty writer.

    Like

  11. Just read your post regarding kids eating from dustbins in the uk which made me feel sad and ashamed that are main stream media don’t see fit to broadcast such a story just shows that its rotten from top to bottom and from left to right as long as the rich get richer the rest can go f&ck them selfs

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  12. Don’t like him being like a typical Leeds vs man u ref.

    But brushing up on is an excellent programme and I like his rock documentaries too.

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  13. You run a wonderful blog. You are a very talented man.

    You continue writing about the conflict between Millwall and Leeds, and your pen is mightier than our sword. You have the perspicacity to call my club supporters scum and I can’t in all honesty argue with that. We Millwall fans need to take a long hard look at ourselves in the mirror, especially with all of the Galatasaray shirt stuff that’s gone on.

    I humbly apologise for all of that.

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    • Perspicacity!!!? On the evidence of that one word alone you are clearly not a Millwall fan- sure it’s not Fulham? NUFC.

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  14. David Smith

    Rob – I suspect you remember like me, Danny Baker presented the original 606 radio football phone in programme and from fairly early on in the 1991/92 season predicted that Leeds would win it ! Respect.

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  15. I used to listen to Danny Baker when he did 606 many years ago now it seems. He was brilliant, then one day he was replaced by David bloody Mellor, He wasn’t brilliant. I stopped listening to 606- enough said. He also got through cancer and he’s the first radio personality that I’ve ever said a little prayer for- certainly wouldn’t wish Stuart Hall any good wishes!!- Great man with terrific insight into the game .He is partially responsible with keeping us all in touch with how the game used to be and the principles at its core, and perhaps more importantly than this, we all know he’s not going to turn out to be a wrongun!!lol NUFC.

    Like

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