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Thursday, February 11, 1999 Published at 18:20 GMT

UK Politics

All-party backing for 'youth icon' Hall

Stuart Hall: "Rich mellifluous voice redolent of Gielgud"

TV and radio presenter Stuart Hall has been given all-party backing for what is described as his "unique" style of broadcasting.

Stuart Hall: "An icon of youth? I think it's wonderful"
More than 50 MPs signed a House of Commons motion, congratulating Hall - renowned for his over-the-top metaphors - on celebrating 40 years in broadcasting.

The motion, by the former Labour sports spokesman Tom Pendry, says Mr Hall is an "icon with the youth of today" with his football reporting on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Stuart Hall: Liverpool 1-3 Leeds, 15 December 1998: "A French farce even Jacques Tati could not plot"
It says "his rich mellifluous voice is redolent of Sinden and Gielgud intertwining Shakespeare, Keats, Wordsworth et all amid the mud and tears at Accrington Stanley".

It goes on to say "he recently forced the country into discovering Ozymandias, thus reinventing Percy Bysshe Shelley as a popular poet, and made the 1970s TV game-show It's a Knockout into a "surreal quasi xenophobic art form".

Liverpool 2-0 Sheffield, 19 December 1998: "The Colisseum was a mausoleum"
The MPs admit he is "at times overcome with the exuberance of his own verbosity", but wishes him "many more years of broadcasting and laughter".

Mr Hall told the BBC: "I can't believe it really. It's so nice of them.

"It's a real accolade and I'm overwhelmed."

[ image: Maine Road:
Maine Road: "Theatre of Base Comedy"
So well known is Mr Hall for his verbiosity that mobile phone firm One2One recently hired him to promote an unlimited talk service.

He won fame as presenter of It's a Knockout, but it is as a football commentator on BBC Radio 5 Live that he now has a chance to exercise his larynx - and his imagination.

The Mancunian motormouth is renowned for his nicknames for football grounds.

Sheffield 0-1 Derby, 30 January 1999: "A thick mist hung over the Pennines, the moorland bleak"
Manchester City's Maine Road ground is the Theatre of Base Comedy, which is pretty self explanatory.

But more mysteriously, Liverpool's Anfield ground is the Colisseum.

Everton 0-0 Derby, 26 December 1998: "I wonder what Sharon Stone is doing tonight?"
"That comes from the Bill Shankly days when the Christians were devoured by lions," said Mr Hall.

The School of Science is Everton's Goodison Park and The Shrine is Old Trafford.

Everton 0-0, Chelsea 5 December 1998: "It is a bright day that brings forth the adder"
"People call Old Trafford the Theatre of Dreams, but I have always called it the Shrine because all the patrons are supplicants at the shrine of 1958 and the Munich team."

This Saturday Mr Hall will be at the School of Science reporting on the FA Cup clash between Everton and Coventry.

His prediction? "It will not be égalité."

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