Smithy aka James Corden is a British comedian who isn’t terribly funny but does have a lot of front. And back. And sides. Especially sides.
You can watch his spot at the British Sports Personality of the Year Award, from which the Becks scenes above are taken, in full below. But be warned: it goes on rather a long time and features a lot of sports stars you’ve probably never heard of if you’re not British.
There’s also a lot of kissing of foreheads and tops of heads by Corden — which is a peculiar habit of British football fans when they’re feeling happy and affectionate but afraid of your actual lip contact (footballers here used to snog each other properly after they scored a goal, but now mostly do the forehead thing their fans do).
There’s a kind of double irony seeing Corden do this to Becks in bed in the context of their domestic girlie grooming/nesting send-up — especially since it looks really quite tender. Becks in particular plays it ‘straight’, eschewing campy insurance policies, and reaching for Corden’s hand — making their coupledom seem quite believable, or imaginable. I suspect that not a few footie fans, in between nervous giggles, suddenly realised that it might be quite comfy snuggling up in bed with Becks watching Neighbours re-runs. Even with that beard.
Actually, the Becks scene put me in mind of the domesticated bliss of sweet 1950s comedy couple Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. Though not as funny.
My congratulations go to Cristiano Ronaldo, who once again is stepping into Beck’s pricey shoes – and briefs. Ronaldo has just been named Armani’s new international ‘spokesmodel’. (Presumably his legs and packet are going to do all the talking.)
Poor Becks, Mr Armani’s previous sporno star, discarded by his Italian designer sugar daddy like yesterday’s trade, unpopular at Galaxy FC and currently sporting a Captain Birdseye beard, is increasingly looking like someone who was merely keeping that overpriced underwear warm for Ronaldo. In fact, being appointed Mr Armani’s international flasher – rather than the record-busting transfer deal to Real Madrid earlier this year — is the 100% cotton proof that Ronaldo has now finally and officially eclipsed Becks bulging profile in the metro-tarting stakes.
The crown of metrosexuality — and more importantly the pants — have been passed on to a new generation. Cristiano Ronaldo, ladies and gents, is the new metrosexual king/queen. (He may not have much taste, but that’s the wonderful thing about being king or queen: you don’t have to.)
Becks may have blazed a trail for footballing metrosexuality, but Ronaldo is looking like the finished, total product where Becks was merely the prototype. Ronaldo is genuinely, boyishly (and annoyingly) beautiful, where Becks, well into his thirties now, increasingly looks like mutton very expensively dressed as lamb.
I don’t think though that Becks will fade away any time soon. Despite all the talk about his his fetching looks, he never was a great beauty. No, really. It was the passion of his desire to be desired that was always the compelling thing about him — and as he gets older that passion will probably only increase.
How much bigger can the cotton-clad packages in men’s underwear ads get, I wonder, before they are literally shoved down our throats? And if they are, will any of us be so impolite as to gag? Even though good quality cotton is so absorbent?
Above is Beck’s latest sporno for Emporio Armani underwear, due to air in early 2008. Below is fellow-footballer Freddie Ljunberg’s 2006 Calvin Klein campaign.
Do these chaps live together? I mean, they seem to share the same type of fancy underwear, the same kind of bed-linen, the same barber — and the same dodgy shaver. They also seem to favour the same saucy bedtime positions — and apparently use the same b/w digital camera. They even look like one another, in that slightly disturbing twin-ish way that some boyfriends have.
In fact, the shots are almost a mirror image of one another: are they looking into our eyes, their own or each others? Even if they don’t actually share the same bed, it’s clear that Becks is doing Ljunberg doing Becks: which is impressive. Auto-fellatio and 69-ing at the same time. Just as well these guys are supple athletes.
Becks seems to sport an even larger Ljunbox — though seems to be less well-endowed when it comes to lighting. (Becks is two whole years older than Freddie.)
Is Beck’s bigger basket a case of post-production spornographic one-up-manship? Or is it just that Beck’s Brit meatballs are bigger than the Swedish variety? (Which at Ikea at least seem to be a little on the mean side.) I think we need to be told.
In the meantime, I must commend Mr Armani’s decision to draw a veil — or a white linen shirt — over Beck’s seriously daggy arm and shoulder tatts.