John Gibson: Wot a clot, and he’s first to say it

Norrie Rowan. Pic: Ian Georgeson

Norrie Rowan. Pic: Ian Georgeson

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Winter blunderland. Don’t talk to Norrie Rowan about it. Rugby’s ever-quotable roustabout has had a rough old Christmas so far.

He had his suitcase nicked, in it his passport and his “best suit”. Readily admitting: “My own fault I left the case in the back of the car in full view. The sort of thing I’ve repeatedly screamed at the kids for doing.”

So no trip to Tobago with Rugby Ecosse, the all-female seven-a-side tournament won by the Scots last year, Rowan their mentor. They lost in the semi-finals this time anyway.

Muttering about how Scotland are progressing this season when I left him: “The SRU realise everything’s not hunky-dory but work is progressing. Things have to get better.

“Hey, do you like my watch?” His parting shot: “It’s a Rangers watch.” The time-piece had Mickey Mouse on the face. Typically Rowan.

The full Nelson

You’ve formed an orderly queue to ask me how I, a non-participant, non-Afrikaaner, viewed Madiba’s funeral. Way, way over the top and then some. Was it a celebration of Mandela or a celebration to the eternal glory of the BBC, who sent more reporters there than . . . well, than everyone else put together.

It’s been labelled a charade and its authenticity was, to my eyes, dodgy up to the moment velvet-voiced John Simpson materialised. When ultimately they wheeled him on we realised this had to be the right stuff. The Beeb’s world affairs correspondent, to my ears, had the last word.

What was the Beeb’s bill for the full Nelson? For George Alagiah alone?