Hold on to your assets

5 Live uncovers a whole world of hell, with the help of Peter and Katie

On 5 Live Katie Price was preparing to run the London Marathon (Sunday 26 April, 9am-12am). “Are you going to love this?” asked the on-the-ground reporter, Sonia McLoughlin. “I am not going to love this,” said Price. “After about 15 miles, my legs go.”

“Don’t diss yourself, babe,” said her husband, Peter André, in the background signing autographs.

“Let’s look at your T-shirt, Katie,” said Sonia. “You’re running with a picture of your eldest son Harvey on it . . .”

“He looks like Obama, doesn’t he?” said André, fondly.

Sonia: “Erm . . .”

“Obama-ish,” qualified Peter. “You know – ‘I have a vision’ and everything.”

The sound began to cut out. Words segued in and out, seemingly unrelated and crackly, reminiscent of the moon landings.

“We . . . pasta . . . morning,” said Katie, her exquisite monotone surviving the distortion. “Porridge . . . Lucozade . . . need a wee.”

Back in the studio, John Inverdale patched over to a roving reporter asking people how excited they were to be running.

“I’m dreading it,” said one. “This is going to be a whole world of hell.” Other comments: “I was coerced into doing this”; “I’ve got to finish even if I crawl”; and “I always promised I’d do it when I retired, so I was in bit of a corner really”.

Elsewhere, with not much happening in the Elite Women’s competition (“What effect will this fine weather have on the athletes?” “They’ll run very, very fast”), the pressure was on to flannel wildly.

“I’m in Greenwich Park, standing just on the other side of the meridian . . .” said a reporter “ . . . the Thames is a kind of . . . chocolatey brown, today. Just looking at the City of London now. What a year they’ve had over there . . .”

“Yeah . . .” said John, in the studio. Do you think Inverdale is depressed? He was awful snitty, I thought. Even slagged off some woman he met at Middleton services carrying an isotonic drink and wanting him to wish her well on air. It can’t have helped his mood that Peter André was biting his wife’s neck for the cameras while she made innuendos about the weakness of her post-natal urethra. (Have you ever watched their TV show? André is always trying to get his hands up her jumper while she makes the toast. Only occasionally will she reward him – with a dry kiss, her face screwed up with heavy petulance, projecting a disdain usually reserved for people caught crashing through the cucumber frame. No wonder he adores her. So do I.)

“Over to Sonia,” gloomed John.

“Ooooh,” Sonia was saying, “do you think it really . . . ?”


“Cos I always think . . .”

“Sonia? You’re on!”

“Oh! Sorry. Just talking Vaseline with Katie and Peter. Now, have you got the right support underwear on, Katie?”

“I haven’t got any on.” (“God!” said André). “But my assets are strapped down.”

“Back to you, John.”

“Katie Price there, not running with any knickers,” said John. “And I’m just thinking of the whole Obama thing now actually. The whole Yes We Can thing is big on a day like this because there’s so much pain. All these people. Thousands. There are even people from the Dutch Antilles out there. Not that anyone knows where that is, or cares, but they are here . . .”

Antonia Quirke is an author and journalist. She is a presenter on The Film Programme and Pick of the Week (Radio 4) and Film 2015 and The One Show (BBC 1). She writes a column on radio for the New Statesman.

This article first appeared in the 04 May 2009 issue of the New Statesman, Flu: Everything you need to know