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Saturday, 8 January, 2000, 15:02 GMT
Football pundit accuses Posh

The Beckhams David and Victoria Beckham are permanently in the public eye

BBC football pundit Mark Lawrenson has accused David Beckham and his pop star wife Victoria of "courting publicity".

World Club Championship
Lawrenson, an analyst on BBC1's Football Focus, spoke out during a discussion about Beckham's sending off in Thursday's World Club Championship match.

He said the temperamental footballer fully deserved his red card in the match against Necaxa for a high tackle on Jose Milian.

Beckham has come under an intense media spotlight following the incident, which echoed his sending off during last year's World Cup.

Lawrenson, who played for Liverpool and the Republic of Ireland, said he sympathised with Beckham's high profile.

But he added: "We are on his case so much because he is such an outstanding footballer and a young footballer and he has a pop star wife and lives a kind of pop star life.

Mark Lawrenson Mark Lawrenson speaks his mind
"He is in the glare of the spotlight but I think he courts it sometimes.

"Jamie Redknapp is married to pop star Louise but you don't see them on every page, every day."

He then suggested David's cause was not being helped by his wife's attempts to promote her own TV show Victoria's Secrets, being broadcast on Channel 4 on Tuesday.

He said: "I think you'll find Victoria has her own TV programme starting this week and this is all fantastic publicity for her - it's not for him but it is for her.

"It's the Beckhams - front pages, middle pages and back pages, and she has a programme on next week."

Victoria's revelation last week that her husband liked to "borrow her knickers" was also criticised by Lawrenson.

Posh Spice Posh Spice said her husband liked to borrow her underwear
He said: "I feel sorry for them in the sense they can never go anywhere, but I do feel they court the publicity sometimes.

"Some of the stuff she said last week - someone should have said to her 'Hang on a minute you don't need to say that', but she has her programme so she's bound to say it."

Beckham's manager at Manchester United, Alex Ferguson, said earlier he took the point that great players could "handle pressure" and that perhaps David Beckham was finding it hard.

But he said: "I don't think it would be right to say that the pressure caused him to be sent off - I think if it had been any other player in my team they would not have been sent off."

In Victoria's Secrets, the Spice Girl interviews fashion designer Valentino, footballer Vinnie Jones, James Bond star Roger Moore, and Ruby Wax.

The one-off show has been slated by several reviewers, one of whom said of Posh Spice's interviewing technique: "Michael Parkinson has nothing to fear."

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See also:
07 Jan 00 |  Talking Point
Beckham: Help or hindrance?
07 Jan 00 |  Football
Beckham drama scores BBC hit
07 Jan 00 |  Football
Man Utd's flawed genius?
07 Jan 00 |  Football
Beckham banned
07 Jan 00 |  World Club Championship
Ferguson defends Beckham
04 Jan 00 |  Entertainment
Posh Spice's brief confession
16 Dec 99 |  UK
Posh Spice floors baby-grabbing fan

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