I am exactly one Kirsten Dunst in height
- Credit: PA
When making comparisons maybe we should stick to areas the size of Wales and widths in double-decker buses.
The World Cup (it’s all right, I’m not going to write about football and show my ignorance) has thrown up an interesting new concept in descriptiveness.
Let’s call it the Mel and Dunst measure.
Celebrities were among those to react after ITV football commentator Sam Matterface made a reference to TV presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc during live coverage of a World Cup match.
It happened when Argentina’s Cristian Pavon came on as a substitute during the South American side’s group D match against Iceland. Describing Pavon, commentator Sam Matterface said: “He’s only five-foot, five inches tall, which is the same height as Kirsten Dunst or Mel from Mel and Sue.”
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Immediately, Perkins and Giedroyc began trending on Twitter in the UK and Cristian Pavon’s Wikipedia entry was also altered so that the second sentence of the opening paragraph said: “He is the same height as Kirsten Dunst and Mel from Mel and Sue.” This has since been removed.
But Mr Matterface has provided us with a new and interesting entry into the Journalist’s Book of Useful Comparisons. Until now the most frequently used seem to be “an area half/twice/the same size as Wales”; “The width/height of three double-decker buses” and, of course, “the same size as four football pitches”. In the case of the World Cup, each venue has a playing area the same size as one football pitch although, as it happens, the size does vary.
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But perhaps it is time to spread our descriptive wings and find new ways to give readers or listeners a better grasp of feet and inches (that’s metres and centimetres to the under-50s). In the case of Mel Giedroyc and Kirsten Dunst, I confess to having little idea of their actual height, having only seen them on screen – as with Argentinian forward Pavon. Consequently, knowing that they are all 5’5” is little help... except, fortuitously, I am 5’5”, or at least I was until recently. I think I may have shrunk a little due to pressure of gravity.
But maybe we could now introduce Mel and Kirsten to the general run of such comparisons.
A cricket pitch, for example, which older people like me will know is a chain (22 yards) could be explained as “just over four Dunsts”.
An athlete in the 1500m would need to run the length of 908-and-a-half Mel-from-Mel-and-Sues. A Blue whale, meanwhile, is a mere 18 Mels. Who knew?
A male Africa elephant can weigh between two and seven tons and I can tell you that a car weighs about a ton and thus we’re looking at filling the spaces at my doctor’s surgery with the number of cars it takes to equal the weight of a big elephant. Sometimes this sort of thing can become over-complicated.
You have to wonder about Sam Matterface’s notes. I presume the commentators are armed with all sorts of handy facts to cover the minute or more while one player leaves the soccer field to be replaced by another – who will no doubt be the same height as a well-known TV celebrity or film star.
Here are some of those must-have statistics (thank you, Fox Sports - the comparisons are mine)
• The heaviest: Panama’s Roman Torres, at 99kg - equivalent to 990 blueberry muffins according to weightandthings.com
• The lightest: Japan’s attacking midfielder Takashi Inui weighs 59kg. Oddly, on the weight and things website, this is the same as 590 blueberry muffins... or, presumably, 59 bags of sugar.
• The tallest: Croatia goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic, 201cm, or 6ft 5in - two inches taller than Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones)
• The oldest: Goalkeeper Essam El Hadary, aged 45-years and four months, is in Egypt’s 23-man squad - born the same month as Finnish cellist Antero Manninen.
• The youngest: Daniel Arzarni (Australia) 19 years, 5 months - around the same age as Brooklyn Beckham
So while a football is approximately the size of a football pitch, this equates to around 69.7x13.6 Dunsts. I trust this now makes everything clear.
Over to you, Sam Matterface.
My friend, Cherry, from Aylsham, read about my dismal dancing and wrote that it reminded her of when, aged 12, she attended the Peggy Carr School of Dancing. “We were doing ‘My Old Dutch’ with black shawls and skirts. Ms Carr yelled out, ‘That one at the front, go to the back!’ – which was me.”
Cherry adds: “Some of us are not meant for dancing.”
How true, Cherry. I was definitely made for something else... I wonder what it is.
Beryl, from Ipswich, picks up on my piece about jeans. “I am 88 years old and have never bought or had a pair jeans for myself, my husband, or my children when they were school age. Beryl says her husband did, at one point in his later career, toy with the idea of a pair of jeans for work but as she cannot stand older men in jeans, he never bought any. “As for the modern jeans with holes in the knee... I just look the other way,” she writes.