Six examples of the ITV curse

ENGLAND fans are worried because tonight’s semi-final is on ITV and we always lose. Here are six examples of the dreaded ITV curse: 

England vs Croatia, 2018

Unable to finish the game in 90 minutes, Perisic flicked into the area while John Stones was distracted wondering if ITV still have those betting adverts with Terry Venables during extra time and how they do them. Mandzukic scored as a direct result.

England vs Iceland, 2016

The tournament finishes in disaster at the group stage as Wayne Rooney has a shocker. He admits that his bad run of form began when ITV announced that the X-Factor judges would be Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne even though they’re shit.

England vs Portugal, 2004

David Beckham misses a crucial penalty, later confirming that it was because ITV decided his run-up was dead air and broadcast a trailer for Ross Kemp in Ultimate Force live over the stadium speakers to increase market share.

The election of John Major, 1992

Experts believe that election night coverage on commercial channels, because they are so base and money-grubbing, actually leads the count towards the Conservatives. If only respectable BBC coverage was allowed we’d have had Labour governments for four decades.

The Royal Wedding, 1981

Unlike the Coronation, which was signed to the BBC in an exclusive 500-guinea deal and has performed flawlessly since, ITV were allowed to screen this one. Their presenter and Diana-lookalike Selina Scott turned Charles’s head and ensured his infidelity.

Launch of Teletext, 1978

ITV launches Teletext, which evolves into the internet which has polarised Britain, caused Brexit and Trump, and torn families apart. Raheem Sterling will be thinking of the abuse he’ll receive on that same internet when he misses tonight’s crucial penalty.

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Five hauntingly mental adverts from your childhood

BACK then everyone left the door unlocked, children played outside and TV adverts were frothingly insane. All of these would be certified 18 today: 

Smiths Jacket Crisps

Do you think about what you want to happen to you after death? These anthropomorphic potatoes certainly did, creating an acapella group to sing about how much they wanted to be cooked alive with their skins still on. They were joyful about it.

Trebor Softmints

Count yourself lucky that the terrifying Mr Soft isn’t around nowadays, or this boneless monster in his melting world would interact with you on social media. Even in the 80s he was so trippy he inspired Oasis lyrics. Be glad he can’t reach you.


Weird and impeccably racist, this cinema advert featured a black-skinned boy in dungarees refusing to share his orangey drink with a gang of creepy crows who then assured him in gravelly tones: ‘I’ll be your dog’ and followed him forever. And the drink had nothing on Um Bongo.

The Cadbury’s Caramel Bunny

Yet another off-putting anthropomorphic mascot came in the form of a soft-spoken rabbit with a coquettish pink bow urging us to give in to the sexiness of… caramel. Allowed pre-watershed, it created a whole generation of blokes desperate to bonk a cartoon.

The Daz Doorstep Challenge

Remember when you lived in constant fear that Danny Baker would turn up at your doorstep and ask how white your whites were? Why he, or anyone, gave a shit is anyone’s guess, but it certainly stuck in your mind every time you spilt red wine down your shirt.