Day Twelve, and the first medal-less day for Team GB since that very first day of the Games. But as we all waited in anticipation of the expected deluge of negativity on the BBC’s Ten o’clock News last night, details began to emerge of an even greater mystery surrounding the whereabouts of their Doommonger-in-Chief, David Bond.
His obvious absence at such a time of negative opportunity was clearly unexpected, and the BBC even took the unprecedented step of drafting-in the Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King, to create the atmosphere of doom so badly needed at the end of such a disappointing day. However, his inexperience when dealing with sports reporting was quickly evident, as he embarked on a long explanation of the economy relative to conditions prevailing during the day. His final attempt at getting back on message was lost on an audience already retuning to the BMX highlights, as he concluded: “unlike the Olympians, who have thrilled us over the last fortnight, our economy has not yet reached full fitness.”
Huw Edwards did his best to inject a modicum of depression into the opening few minutes of the bulletin, but without his usual gloomy foil it was a forlorn effort. He did receive some support from Rachel Reeves, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, whose hint of a dour Yorkshire-accent was absolutely ideal when delivering the usual cracked-record of an opposition verdict: “the situation is getting worse, not better,” she repeated robotically as she glowered sullenly into the camera.
Even the appearance of the Prime Minister, smiling as he enjoyed himself ringside at the Olympic Boxing, was more upbeat than had been intended. Somehow, without the sinister presence of the BBC’s Super-Troll, his clothes sombre, the dark makeup causing his eyes to appear to have receded even deeper into their sockets, as if fighting some progressive inner battle with a dark force, it was not possible to convey the intended Nero-like connotation.
Late last night, the BBC played-down suggestions that the mysterious disappearance was in any way connected to the thousands of positive comments appearing daily on its website in connection with the Games. But what cannot be avoided is the fact that the last sighting of Mr Bond was in the Olympic Stadium on Saturday night, just after Team GB secured three Athletic Gold medals in less than an hour. One of the BBC’s continuity staff on duty that evening may have been one of the last to see him: “it was just after Mo Farah crossed the finishing line, I saw him give his microphone to his cameraman, and head for the exit. He appeared almost elated, which is very unusual for David.
A quick examination of Mr Bond’s social media sites shows that his last blog post was also on Saturday, and his final tweet the day before. There was no sign of him yesterday at his home either, the whole building eerily quiet except for the white cat wandering aimlessly around the garden as if looking for a lost master. Neighbours said they had not seen him recently, but that this was not unusual for the reclusive mediaman: “Since he was given the main Olympics job, we rarely see him, just the occasional glimpse in the street when the moon is full. We are normally aware that he is around from the noises coming from the building, and the sparks from the lightning conductor on the roof during thunderstorms.”
“We did hear him late on Saturday night, however, his hi-fi was playing quite loud. D-Ream it was, ‘Things can only get better,’ over and over again – very unusual.”