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When Cazza met Podge and Rodge
Cockney football pundit Tony Cascarino recently paid a visit to the Ballydung abode of potty-mouthed puppets Podge and Rodge. Here both sides reflect on the historic get-together.
Craig Fitzsimons, 10 Dec 2007
The Christmas spirit has kicked in all across the nation. Everywhere except Ballydung, that is, where the Republic’s favourite puppets Podge and Rodge await the festive season with complete dread and hostility.
“Let’s be very clear about this – we both hate Christmas” testifies Podge. “Can’t stand it. There’s too much disappointment. You see, we never get any action. We’re 65 now – 65 years of getting no action, it begins to piss you off, it wears you down in the end. Sure, it’d have you depressed for the entire Christmas. We don’t give presents to one another.”
“No. What we do is, we buy ourselves a surprise, every January in the sales. So we’ve already bought ourselves a surprise in January, wrapped it up, put it in the cupboard and forgotten what it was. So when we open it, it’ll be a surprise. Though I can’t remember what cupboard I’ve put it in. We’ve put landmines down in the front garden for the carol singers. We can’t stand them either, they should be beaten up.”
Though one often wonders what compels sane people to subject themselves to television’s equivalent of the electric chair, Podge’n’Rodge’s most eminent guest of the year, hotpress football sage and all-round top geezer Tony Cascarino, bizarrely claims to have enjoyed his recent appearance on the show:
“It was good fun” he deadpans. “It’s very scary, talking to two puppets. When you’re doing the interview, you forget they’re human, you forget they’re just two guys with their hands up their backsides. It’s an extremely weird experience. But good fun, and I felt flattered to be asked onto the show. It was a bit of a trip into the lions’ den.”
Were you looking forward to it?
“No, I have to be honest, I was dreading it, wondering how far they were going to take me off. In a strange way, it was one of the hardest moments of my career. You have to roll along with them, you can’t try and be too clever or you’ll look like an idiot. We traded a few jokes and it worked well. I’d seen the show a few times, so I’d an idea what to expect. They seem to be harder on the women than they are on the men.”
Cazza’s fond recollections of their encounter aren’t mutually reciprocated. “He fleeced us, the fucker” seethes Podge. “At the cards. He took us for every shilling we had. We thought we’d be good at it cause we have poker faces, we’ve trained ourselves not to blink and we have Superglue on our eyes. But he took us to the cleaners. Rodge is going to have to sell his other kidney now. Not that it’s going to be any good to anybody. Me liver’s no use either, I think I’ve shat it out several times at this stage. None of our organs are in great shape, to be honest.”
Cazza aside, the lads’ favourite guest of 2007 appears to have been George Best’s widow Alex: “A fine thing” leers Podge. “Nice bit of wallpaper. Not too much going on upstairs, though. And yer man Cheggers – he lights up a room, he does. Despite the depressing alcoholism of his past, he’s a very chirpy fella. Pierce Brosnan, he was a right pain in the hole. I’ll tell you who was great – Mary Coughlan. Not the politician, the singer. I tell you, I nearly would.”
“Well…(pauses for thought) I’d let her touch me mickey. I’ve had many a good pedal over her. We asked her how she felt about Sinead running off with her husband, and we were expecting a box for that one but she took it really well. She reckons she got the better of the deal, she’s sorted with a toy boy now. Then there was yer one Cheryl Baker, the good-looking one from Bucks Fizz, who did a rehearsal for the Eurovision without wearing any knickers. I tell you… ah, stop, I have to take me mind off it. Pete Burns, there’s another guest we had. That’ll take me mind off it.”
Ah, him. Would you?
“God, no. Jaysus, what do you take me for? Not even with a blindfold. He’s a bit confused, that fella. He wasn’t playing ball. We asked him about his lips and he got very irate, very offended. Told us we couldn’t be making fun of him… I mean, what’s he there for? Punched us in the face, he did. But it was good crack.”
Photos by Emily Quinn