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Aargh - it's Starmers! ROB'S TELLY VIEW.

AMAZING what you stumble across when the temptation to have one last flick through the channels proves stronger than the need to climb off the sofa and go to bed.

This week it brought a blast from the past - and one which really should have stayed there.

In case you hadn't noticed, the future of international rugby has been on display in Wales for the last couple of weeks in the IRB Junior World Championships.

But for their coverage, the Beeb dredged upa bit of rugby's past - Nigel Starmer-Smith.

He wasn't at the forefront, but lurking behind the red button and on the late-night action, waiting to jump out and stun the unsuspecting couch dweller.

For those of you who have grown up on a diet-to-diet of round-the-clock rolling news sports channels, where every forward pass, Henson haircut and Wilkinson injury has got its own camera trained on it, here's a quick history lesson.

Onceuponatime, thereused to beonly three television channels.

Shocking, I know.

Live football was restricted to the FA Cup final, highlights to Match of the Day and - for a young boyuppast his bedtime-a scary man with a big chin.

Rugby was even worse, one highlights package from a match which meant nothing - normally involved Leicester or Harlequins - a bizarre theme tune and Starmer-Smith, the very essence of public schoolboy-cum-schoolmaster which has so infuriated the Welsh for so long about the English game.

The English weren't that keen either.

But the advent of Sky sidelined Starmers until his return from nowhere this week. His commentary from the England v South Africa semi-final was pure old school tie.

Armed with a summariser (Gareth Llewellyn), and analyst (Mark Taylor), Starmers opted to eschew their insight to fill us in on what he felt was important - whichschool successivemembers of the England side had "made their name" at.

Strange howquickly the energy to get off the sofa can be found
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 22, 2008
Words:318
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