30 December 2012

More than just an excuse

In England, we call tomorrow New Year's Eve. The Scots call it Hogmanay. For Scottish football fans, that means only one thing.

On the night before the New Year, viewers on BBC Scotland are treated to the funniest football-related sketch show of the year, if not the ONLY football-related sketch show of the year.

Every Hogmanay since 1993, Only An Excuse? (which started as a radio show in 1987) has been broadcast in a 30-minute shot late at night. It stars actor, impressionist and Rangers fan Jonathan Watson, and the first couple of episodes also featured Celtic supporter Tony Roper, but he's long gone.

Watson's most popular characters are his impersonations of Sir Alex Ferguson and the Rangers-obsessed presenter Chick Young, but he also stars as other Scottish footballing figures like Denis Law and Graeme Souness.

Obviously, being a Scottish show, nearly all of the sketches are Scots soccer-related, but having a joke at the expense of their national team never gets weary.

As an Englishman looking in, I've watched the annual show from 2009 onwards and it is always a fantastic end to the year for me. If you want to see for yourself, switch to BBC One Scotland (Sky channel 951) at 11:00pm tomorrow night. It'll be the funniest half-hour of the footballing year, I can guarantee.

Until then, here are some highlights from previous years of Only An Excuse?

This sums up Derek Riordan's Celtic career:

Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor celebrate a rare good result for Scotland:
Chick Young isn't a fan of Susan Boyle:
And here is the aforementioned Chick Young talking to Paul Le Guen:
And finally, Phil Collins the Rangers fan:

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