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The wit of Boris Becker

22 Jun 09 | Re: Interview with world’s coolest man.

Usually I find that the covers of celebrity magazines give me all the gossip I need, so I never buy them. Faced this week with the opportunity to flick through a copy of Closer, though, I happily flicked through it and was rewarded by finding an interview with Boris Becker.

If anyone doesn’t know who Boris Becker is, when the tennis comes on, he’s the pundit who sits on the end of the row saying almost nothing and blowing John Inverdale and Pat Cash out of the studio with the sheer force of his coolness. Other pundits simply have no answer to it. If they don’t respond, he blows them away. If they do, well, woe betide anyone who tries to match Becker’s flamboyant style. So they just have to grit their teeth and fight it out for second. Even Sue Barker knows he's in another league altogether.

The interview in Closer was their inside-back-cover feature ‘My guilty pleasures’, where a celebrity lets us all in on their naughtiest secrets. Now, I’m guessing the subject of this feature is usually a woman, because the questions all play up to the kind of self-enslaving stereotypes that feminists rightly hate - things like What do you snack on, even though you know you shouldn’t? and Where’s the tackiest place you’ve been on holiday and loved?. Basically things that encourage readers to think that they too are air-heads who need to apologise to society for doing and enjoying supposedly ‘naughty’ things that are, in all probability, perfectly reasonable.

So Boris didn’t have a lot to work with but, relying on his unparallelled natural cool, he made the interview into a roaring success by (of course!) missing the point of the whole thing. He doesn’t actually answer or even appear to understand even one of the questions. Some fine examples:

The brilliance of it is that you get the impression this is how he lives his whole life: not really understanding what’s happening, not worrying too much, just breezing through in a blur of wind-tunnel hair and enormous collars that, once again, only he could pull off. And there’s the problem with all this - as great as Boris is, it’s impossible to learn anything from watching him because to live the way he does, you have to be Boris Becker. Still, if there is a cooler man alive I'd like to hear about it.

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