#oneaday, Day 122: Wencock and Wankdeville

So not satisfied with a logo which looks like Lisa Simpson doing something that she’s really rather too young to be doing, the Olympic organising committee now have some stupid mascots to go with it. Unveiled today to a combination of indifference and disbelief from various corners of the Internet, the mascots “Wenlock and Mandeville” are apparently designed to appeal to children. Because, after all, what is the Olympics but a big kids’ party?

“They connect young people with sport,” said Lord Coe, chairman of the organising committee. “And [they] tell the story of our proud Olympic and Paralympic history.”

Do they? Do they really? Let’s go and watch their “story” together. Ready? Click here. Go on, I’ll wait.

Right. So apparently our proud Olympic and Paralympic history involves some retired steelworker from Bolton nicking two pieces of discarded steel and fashioning them into a likeness of Captain Fwiffo from Star Control II before a rainbow bursts through the window, brings them to life, gives them irritating squeaky voices and a desire to mimic every photograph they see nearby. The clearly able-bodied Mandeville mimicking a wheelchair race is a particular highlight.

An actual proper author – Michael Morpurgo, to be precise – was paid to come up with that bollocks. Well, I assume he was paid. I wouldn’t churn out something that shit for nothing. Or maybe he churned out something that shit because he wasn’t being paid anything.

The point is, they’re rubbish. But as Claire Balding’s report on the BBC site says, Olympic mascots hardly have the best reputation. How many of them can you remember? I certainly can’t remember many. Thinking about it, I can’t even remember having seen them at the time the Olympics were actually on the television, leading one to wonder what on Earth they were doing during the Games. Probably face-down in a pool of their own sick at the nearest bar.

Anyway, do the Olympics even need a mascot? I always saw the Olympics as pretty serious business. Having some irritating computer-generated twat jumping around all the time surely cheapens the achievements that the world’s best athletes are busy accomplishing, doesn’t it? Oh, but it’s for the children. Because computer-generated twats that have nothing to do with sport (oh no, wait, his head’s shaped like the stadium, so that’s all right then) are exactly what we need to get children interested in sport. They can get interested in sport while they sit on the couch watching the Olym… wait a minute, there’s something wrong with that theory there, but I’m not quite sure what it is. I’m sure it’ll come to me.

Still, they’re here to stay now and we’re promised more movies in the run up to the Olympics. I’m sure they won’t get annoying at all throughout the course of the next two years. Particularly as you can follow them on Twitter, too. Should you really want to, here’s Wenlock and here’s Mandeville. Why not go and ask them a few offensive questions and see how child-friendly they manage to remain? Not that I’m condoning the abuse of a pair of silver buttplugs via the medium of Twitter of course. No no no. I simply provide you with links to their pages as a courtesy, should you wish to stay up to date with their tour of the UK in the run-up to the Olympic games.

Yes, tour. You know what that means. Some poor sods are going to have to dress up as those bloody things, and probably have to drink the official drink, eat the official food and insert the official suppositories up their rectal cavities, all in the name of publicity.

I weep for the world. Can’t a sporting competition just be about, you know, sport any more?

Published by

Pete Davison

Southampton-based music teacher, writer and enthusiast of Japanese popular culture.

7 thoughts on “#oneaday, Day 122: Wencock and Wankdeville”

  1. Pete, the only way to make a mascot is AFTER THE OFFICIAL ONES have been released. You’d be hard-pressed to find an Australian who doesn’t have fond memories of “the Battler’s Prince” or “Syd, Ollie and Dickhead”.


    To think the United Kingdom used to control over half the world and be a global cultural and scientific leader. Now, you’re offering up Amy Winehouse, Olympic logos that seem to have fallen out of a department store summer catalogue and mascots resurrecting an aesthetic we saw in after-school, government-broadcasted edutainment shorts from the Mid-Nineties.

    Mother England, why not just have Tinky-Winky, Dipsy and co. waddle out as well!

    1. I know! Shameful, isn’t it. And I had no idea Fatso the Fat-Arsed Wombat existed. Maybe we actually could get Captain Fwiffo to be the unofficial mascot for the London Olympics? Let’s make it happen.

      1. I am behind this 140…no, 170% percent! You also need daily run-downs and event commentary such as:

        …that commentary indeed delivered by the creators of Fatso. Pete, we need to salvage these games, lest they turn out like the Atlanta games – described by H.G. Nelson as “the toilet games”.

  2. Ok now they’ve served up that shit, we do need a comedy mascot for the olympic games. I propose we have “Gav the angry Chav” as our unofficial mascot he can drink the official beer and abuse the spectators in a light hearted manner before getting the other mascots hooked on drugs dispensed cheerfully from his back pocket

    1. Yes! Let’s embrace our new dominant culture: the chav. Let’s celebrate their binge-drinking, casually violent, promiscuous ways. Maybe we can get all the female athletes pregnant before they leave, and all the “running” races can be turned into “staggering and vomiting” races. Then all the racists who get so precious about their England flags and football shirts can stand at the side of the Marathon circuit shouting “GET BACK TO WHERE YOU COME FROM” or something.

      No? No. Actually, all that will probably happen anyway, mascot or no mascot.

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