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TV review: Closing Ceremony

The Closing Ceremony had the feel of a Hogmanay party: a brilliant night to kick up our heels but all the while knowing that the morning after brings hangover and January. Tomorrow, instead of headaches, the discourse in Scotland turns away from its joyous two weeks of sport and goes back to the grind of the indyref debate.

The politicians have already emerged from their self-imposed exile, popping up today to spoil the fun, like a stern granny at that Hogmanay party, watching the time, frowning at the songs, putting her glass down at ten past midnight to shove her feet into her furry boots, announcing 'that's us away.' The party's over, they're saying. Back to work tomorrow. Oh, stop reminding us! Tonight it was still party time at Hampden. All Back To Ours, as the Ceremony's title went.

Some people mock the Commonwealth Games because it omits the sporting titans of Russia, China and the US, but we cleverly got round that by having people with American accents launch the opening and closing ceremonies. Antique Lulu was brought out, and thankfully put away quite soon after to make way for Deacon Blue who sang their mighty Dignity. On hearing this rousing song played so early in the programme, hopes were raised that The Proclaimers would surely come on to finish the show. We all know the only way to top Dignity in terms of Scottish foot-stamping is 500 Miles.

The singing of Dignity was accompanied by trucks, fire engines, bin lorries and paramedics trundling past. A nod to the workers of Glasgow who made the Games run so smoothly. It was good to see the sentiment behind 'People Make Glasgow' have some sturdy recognition and not just be words fluttering on a banner. These are the real people of Glasgow, not the dafties in tartan we saw capering at the Opening Ceremony.

But then the mood was killed. No - not killed - massacred, tortured, hounded and crushed by a parade of men in suits making speeches. There was the patronising toff who told us we'd been a good little Glasgow, then came a bunch of others making near-identical speeches. What kind of party was this? Who chose to dump these blazered bores smack in the middle of the festivities? The buzz of Dignity died. As we eventually shook ourselves awake, the entire grinning staff of the Australian Tourist Board came on to yelp about their beaches and sun and surf. If we want to know about the Gold Coast's fabulous tourist facilities then we'll look it up on Wikipedia sometime but, for now, clear off! We were promised a party.

They eventually retreated but the damage was done. The ceremony had wobbled and slumped. It was going to take The Proclaimers strapped to nuclear-powered rockets piloted by those Scottie dugs to recover from this.

The organisers must have anticipated the dip so they gave us Kylie. The crowd went crazy and did The Slosh, but even this paled after a while. The Pop Princess overstayed her welcome by about two or three songs and this hefty section of the show saw it begin to lose its identity. It became misshapen. It was no longer a Closing Ceremony, but just a Kylie concert.

Apart from these wobbles, the tone was upbeat and cheery, and the set was better than the clutter of the Opening Ceremony; it was a simple but massive coloured star, calling to mind the iconic Barrowlands. The remainder of the space was full of tents which made the Ceremony camp in an entirely different way from the gaudy Opening Ceremony.

But it felt less co-ordinated than the Opening. It gave the impression of being just a big jumbled party. In that respect, it did exactly what it said on the tin - All Back To Ours. Although, to be fair, the Opening Ceremony did exactly what it said on the tin, too. It just happened to be a shortbread tin with tartan and Highland cows and other lazy cliches on the lid.

Yet, despite the cringing horror the Opening Ceremony provoked in me, at least it was never dull. This one often lapsed into boredom or just plain indifference. It did indeed feel like a party, but the lack of co-ordination made it seem loose and shapeless. As with every Glasgow party, some folk drift off into the kitchen, some wander outside to smoke, some vanish into the bedroom under the coats. There's no order and no unity. This works well in your flat, but not on TV.

The frenzied pantomime tartan may have gone but, with the endless pop and dancing, we seemed to exchange the Barrowman cringe factor for an Aussie X-Factor. Was it worth it?

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