an occasional series rating the modern British television presenting animal out of 10

#2: “The Curious Case Of” SUZI PERRY

Suzi Perry, for the unfamiliar, is first and foremost the presenter of the Moto GP (i.e. big fuck-off bikes ridden by tiny wee men) races on BBC 2. In that guise, she’s a woman in love with her job, a cheery, knowledgeable presence with a delightful Wolverhampton accent, a knack for getting good interviews out of the riders, and fine relationship with the rather wonderful commentary team of Charlie Cox & Steve Parrish.

However, Suzi’s got a problem. She’s not very good at working off a script. This is most painfully evident in her advert for Freeview that occasionally gets screened in the daytime. Suzi is sat on a sofa in a room, watching television. Then, very slowly – “Do you ever wish you had more choice on your television? Well, now there are six new BBC channels…” She carries on very slowly explaining, then very slowly walks over to the television and very slowly explains that it’s available on cable, satellite, and now also on Freeview (the process feels like it’s taken half an hour by now). Then she very slowly explains that Freeview is a one off payment with no contract and you get a small box that you plug in. Then she plugs in the small box. The whole thing is done in the manner of something designed to reassure Daily Mail readers that Freeview is not going to make their teenage daughters pregnant on illegal Eastern European nude swearing drugs. It is agonising. She then used to do a voiceover explaining what the six new channels are again, but the BBC presumably realised what a monster it was begetting and got someone who sounds like the boring, monotonous priest out of the Christmas special of Father Ted to do it instead.

And this is the thing – Suzi Perry is on quite a lot of television programmes now, and never seems quite sure why. She always looks cheerful and comes across as being entirely likeable, but talks like a particularly nervy and stilted GCSE German listening exam, as though all she wants is to be back in the pits in Assen asking Norick Abe about his levels of grip. It can get very nerve wracking watching her muddle through these links that you’re not sure she really has any clue about. You end up feeling sorry for her, which isn’t quite the purpose of an introduction to an item about some bald bloke dropping a Mac G5 off a balcony. 7/10 for Moto GP, 5/10 otherwise.