If there are two stereotypes that I know about the British, it’s these: They are incredibly polite and afraid of offending anyone, and they have horrible teeth. The second one is apparently true, based on a documentary I saw on TV last year called “Britian’s Worst Teeth.” These people made Shane MacGowan of The Pogues look like George Clooney.
But after hearing about what happened at the Grand National - Britain’s version of the Kentucky Derby, except with jumps - I’m starting to wonder if the whole “polite” thing is true or not, at least with the TV reporters. Because the DAILY MAIL reports that BBC presenter Clare Balding has had to apologize to winning jockey Liam Treadwell after humiliating him about his teeth (or lack thereof) in the post-race interview.
Video of the infamous interview after the jump:
Yes, there’s nothing like having the feeling of elation after riding a 100-1 shot to victory totally sucked out of you when forced to show off your Jaws-like chompers to a national TV audience. I don’t know if my favorite part is when Balding forces Treadwell to take his hands off his mouth and give a “big smile” for the cameras, or when she says, “now you can afford and get them done now if you want.”
(Although the whole incident did serve one purpose: It should give all of us pause when we consider if a nationalized dental care system might work in the US.)
Balding has since apologized to Treadwell - but via text, and not in person. I can understand if she didn’t want to come face to face with his teeth again, but maybe at least a phone call would have been nice. But apparently Balding is the only sports commentator who has less tact than Jim Gray, so what can you expect?