Having tired of waging war on poor Johnny P, I decided to read this week's Press Gazette, which landed on my doormat this morning. The Axegrinder diary column is always worth a midnight skaz. Today it contained an entertaining yarn poking fun at an interview with Frank Lampard conducted by Jamie Redknapp. For your delectation, I reproduce it here...
MISTY-EYED members of the England football squad can console themselves — they have the next issue of Icon magazine to look forward to. Icon is the glossy publication, produced by former England footballer Jamie Redknapp and his wife Louise, aimed at footballers and their WAGs. You really have to know the right people to get a copy, but Axegrinder has obtained a couple of back issues and the editorial is a must-read. It's Hello! meets Loaded — a sheer joy because of its saccharine sweet approach to the hardmen of soccer.
One of the highlights has to be Jamie Redknapp's interview with Frank Lampard. Remember these two guys are supposed to be tough nuts. But when they come face to face in a Chelsea restaurant they chat like a couple of ladies who lunch… Take a sip of latte decaff and settle back for Redknapp's report, which is accompanied, incidentally, by snaps of Lampard in a Vinnie Jones pose. "As I sat by the window in Scalini, our family's favourite restaurant, Frank strolled in looking every inch the footballing icon that he is. Even though he looked immaculate in his sharp tailored suit, it was his beaming smile that instantly caught the eye… The conversation was soon flowing… ‘I suppose this year has had everything really,' admits Frank. ‘First of all having the baby is the most important thing and easily the best thing that has ever happened to me.' His face visibly lit up as he talked about his baby daughter, Luna, and he can't quite believe what an impact fatherhood has made on his life." The Hello! style interview continues and then Redknapp delivers a penetrating and provocative question. "‘What about nappy changing?' I asked." Lampard skilfully dodges the question ("I don't want to be the sort of Dad that doesn't share any of the everyday chores."), but Redknapp isn't done yet.
"As Frank tucks into his favourite grilled chicken and penne arrabiata, I'm eager to delve deeper into his career." There follows some quotes from Lampard about how he decided "I wasn't going to let anything stop me". And then the two bruisers are stopped — by a waiter with a menu. "We paused momentarily to cast our eyes over Scalini's dessert menu, but by now I'm embroiled in our interview… We both just ordered a cappuccino… Frank burst into infectious giggles when I told him just how much he'd given me the run around last year." Lampard then reveals that after a match he has "one or two drinks… I eat pretty well… outside of training I'm either at home or shopping." The waiter brings the bill and Redknapp bangs this pay-off into the back of the net: "As Frankie took one last sip of his cappuccino, I couldn't help but think it won't be the only cup he gets his hands on this season."
Perhaps if Axegrinder knew a little about football, he or she would have been able to poke even more fun at the interview by pointing out that Frank and Jamie are first cousins. Jamie's father Harry (still known to we Hammers as 'Arry) is married to Frank's mother Pat's sister Sandra. With me?