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Smallscreen: World Cup TV

From hope through despair, then laughter, with some dodgy performances in between, TV’s World Cup journey mirrored our own

James Corden’s live World Cup show was car crash television

In the traditional British summer of sport there are eight stages that the mood of the nation goes through before its eventual catharsis. These are: 1. Optimism (despite evidence to the contrary). 2. Raging nationalism (flags, T-shirts and the rest). 3. Early disappointment (resolutely ignored). 4. Blaming the referee (as our performance crumbles). 5. Disbelief. 6. Depression. 7. Naming the guilty men (FA, Lawn Tennis Association, Gordon Brown and so on). 8. Laughing it off. How has British telly been performing in pandering to this ritual? Magnificently.

As we…

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