John Woodhouse: They'll need a big couch for Crouch, but will he be sexier than a night in with Emmanuel?
With Peter Crouch apparently poised to make his debut as a talkshow host, The Sentinel's TV critic John Woodhouse considers just what the big man might serve up on his show
I WOULDN'T quite put it in the bracket of Monkey Tennis, but 'On The Couch With Peter Crouch' does have an uncomfortable hint of coming from the mind of Alan Partridge.
I do hope the Stoke striker hasn't been offered it simply because his name rhymes with an item of chat-related furniture. We all remember the televisual disaster that was 'On The Settee With Emmanuel Petit'.
Nevertheless, the Stoke striker is set to follow in Britain's great tradition of chat-show hosts, the most famous of whom is Michael Parkinson.
The beanpole can thank his lucky stars that Rod Hull is deceased ... although there have already been reports of his emu being spotting in the environs of the Britannia Stadium.
Many will be bemused at Crouch's invitation to become the next Russell Harty, although in some ways it does make sense. At 6ft 7ins it should be harder for Grace Jones to batter him.
"Peter has a good command of the English language," says a Sky insider, an attribute he's clearly picked up from his boss, Tony Pulis.
"It's a vital ingredient for this kind of show and not something many footballers have." No, although Wayne Rooney is said to be able to more than hold up his side of the conversation with a potato.
Crouch, it is said, hopes to land superstar Liam Gallagher, the former frontman of Oasis, as his first guest. It's already being billed as the next Frost/Nixon.
Other guests are being kept under wraps but the insider says Crouch "has a long list of people who he considers heroes, in comedy, music, and food". Which at least rules out Alan Hansen.
But it seems you don't have to be a superstar to appear on Crouch's show. "The idea is he'll go and visit people at their homes or workplaces," says the source, "and chat to them in a quirky way." Presumably stooped beneath a lightshade.
"It's more Ruby Wax than Michael Parkinson," adds the insider. Whether Crouch suits leather skirts and maroon lipstick we'll soon find out.
The set for Crouch's show is being kept under wraps but recent trends, say for the likes of Letterman and Jay Leno in the States, have been for the host to be seated before a big city skyline. Letterman has New York, Leno Los Angeles. Look out for Crouch sitting before a backdrop of Fenton at dusk.
On this side of the Atlantic, Jonathan Ross always used to start his show to the accompaniment of musical combo Four Puffs And A Piano. Homosexuality, however, is taboo in football, so expect 'On The Couch With Peter Crouch' to use Four Heterosexuals And A Harmonica.
Crouch may yet surprise us all by being the saviour of a format which has floundered somewhat since a tired and very emotional Oliver Reed publicly relieved himself on Wogan.
My guess is it could be a ratings winner, especially if he interviews Bob Diamond before an invited audience of Millwall supporters.
Certainly it'll be slightly surreal for Potters fans to see one of their players hosting such a programme.
Not since Wayne Biggins's ill-fated stint on Crackerjack has a Stoke player fronted a TV show.
Of course, at this stage, 'On The Couch With Peter Crouch' is mere conjecture, so don't be surprised if Sky go with 'On The Chaise Longue With Nigel de Jong' instead.