Gabriel Clarke is a painfully boring and exaggerratedly self-important TV journalist. In dovetailing with the equally twattish Peter Drury, he creates a line-up of presenters of which ITV should be ashamed, and the general public fearful.
With his shrew-like features, Clarke has been squirreling away for sound bytes and acorns to store away for the harsh journalistic winter. Determinedly setting about his task with the mindless tenacity you associate with a fly when it insists upon flying into a window as well as the manner and arrogance of a leading FIFA executive.
It is often believed that Gabriel Clarke is the reincarnation of William Shakespeare. His tediously verbose and needlessly postulatory presenting style has lead notable football pundits to condemn the comparison. Alan Hansen was noted as saying "I mean, it's juuuust utttterr noooonnnnnnsense, you look at his body, his body o' work and s'a shambles, noone of the erudition and incisiveness that marked out Shakespeare as a revelation", gifted wordsmiths Alan Shearer and Mark Lawrenson were approbatory in their response. Lawreson going an record as saying "Clarke is Shakespeare? Do me a favour, if that comparison is sound then I'll eat my hair". It is suspected that Lawrenson used that proposition as a decoy, as by the look of things he had already half-finished munching on his tired barnet.
These erroneous analogies began when Clarke decided to ape Peter Drury's decision to turn a football match into a self-masturbatory odyssey. Clarke presumably failed to realise that a football match is an entirely human event which comprises of 22 variables made of blood, sweat, bones and synew. Acting under this mis-apprehension he has attempted to treat footballers and the game itself as some kind of shit play, with a narrative that invariably ends with him asking leading one-word questions, much to the incandescent fury of all involved.
Examples of him fundamentally misunderstanding the nature of the game are below
- Handing the players scripts before the game so their performance could conform to the farcical pre-amble that he had inflicted upon people.
- Demanding that Robin Van Persie repeat a celebratory knee-slide more than 78 times so that he could getting the lighting and camera angles exactly right.
- Refusing to allow Wayne Rooney access to the pitch before a crunch European Cup semi-final and stating "You have got to be joking me, you can't shine a shit and expect it to sell. The ugly tree was feeling pretty nasty that day eh Wayne?". Mike Phelan was ordered to deal with the press and with customary diplomacy manage to defuse things by saying "I think everyone can see that we shined Wayne this morning, he has a lovely gleam thank you very much. That's how we do things at Manchester United".
- Contacting Sky after the 2008 European Cup final and insisting he was given access to the "alternate ending" as well as the director's cut with special features and commentary from cast and crew. Sage doctor on the touchline Jeff Shreeves was sent to placate the rambling Clarke.