Bradley Wiggins’s Graham Norton chat was just a bit of fun

Cycling may have gone mainstream but we’re still not at ease seeing our stars on the TV judging by the fallout from Bradley Wiggins’s appearance on The Graham Norton Show on New Year’s Eve.

I was flicking through the channels and stumbled across it by accident. It was pretty unassuming, the usual Wiggo banter, no more, no less. Just a bit of fun in the countdown to 2015 that didn’t reflect badly on either the man or his sport. So why did so many cyclists get so upset?

Anyone familiar with the Norton programme or chat shows in general shouldn’t have been surprised. It wasn’t meant to be a serious interview; it’s comedy and Wiggins was a willing foil for his Irish host. The ploy included showing Cath Wiggins in the audience looking suitably embarrassed when her husband described her as “a bit of a panel beater”.

There were other exchanges. “If it’s raining and it’s freezing cold, you do it in your shorts, because it warms your legs up,” was his advice for on-bike urination. Then on Paris-Roubaix: “It’s pretty painful. You can never have kids again.”

And that was it, a bit of harmless fun designed to remind the nation of who Bradley Wiggins is on the eve of the launch of his new team. It was a job of work, Wiggins was promoting Wiggins and he did it well.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly

  • ryan

    so well said, they really need an ex pro working for their cycling team!

  • nortonpdj

    What do you expect? The BBC does about as much for Cycling (be it British or otherwise) as Dave does for makers of new drama!

  • Peter Marlow

    Brad is fine – I have no problem with the man at all. The problem is the BBC. I would urge all our top cyclists to be very careful in their dealings with the BBC. From Adrian Chiles to Graham Norton, the BBC has a habit of of trying to ridicule or marginalise cycling and cyclists.

    It doesn’t always turn out that way, but it happens enough to make a few of us wonder about the BBC’s real motive. At the end of the day, the BBC are immensely skilled in terms of presentation and image making – they can make or break anything or anybody they choose.

  • Neil Mannix

    I gotta say it.. I didn’t take any notice of his banter, or lack of, but I was appalled by his new hairdo!

  • Claire Read

    What I found most striking about it was how awkward and inarticulate his banter appeared in comparison to that of the others on the show. I know it’s to be expected – he’s a cyclist, not an actor – but it was really interesting that a guy commonly regarded as one of the most charismatic of the bunch really doesn’t look that way outside of it.