Dear Doctor Evans, I’m a BBC sports journalist and I can’t help mentioning the amazingly loyal Liverpool superstar footballer Steven Gerrard every time I open my mouth. Am I sick? Is there any cure? BBC Cliché (The Wirral)
Dear BBC Cliché, I’m afraid you are very sick, but your condition is curable.
You are suffering from a mass form of hysteria which occurs all too frequently when media types seize a landmark (such as the resignation of a politician like Ed Miliband, 0r death of a celebrity like Jimmy Savile, or the retirement of a footballer as in the case of Steven Gerrard) to heap false praise on the individual. As more and more journos queue up to add their tributes the media reports become increasingly frenzied until the supply of clichés is exhausted and they all move on to the next landmark.
Fortunately, the sanity of sufferers returns just as soon as they realise that the subject of their illness was a perpetual underachiever or worse who will probably be forgotten in a few short years.
There is only one known variant of this affliction which is entirely resistant to reality [See Beckhamitis].