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Some hard acts to follow for the new presenter of Scotsport SPORTS DIARY

WITH the intrigue around the country now reaching feverpitch, I can exclusively reveal that the new Scotsport presenter is just days away from being announced. Let it be said, too, that TV football fans are going to be pleasantly amazed by the appointment.

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Just to reassure a number of worried citizens . . . neither bumbling Hugh Keevins nor I have come anywhere near to being considered.

It is incredible to think that the new anchor of Scotsport will only be the fourth in the programme's 49-year history, following in the footsteps of Arthur Montford (pictured) , Jim "Red, Blue And"White, and Jim Delahunt.

Of course, the reason for so few presenters over such a prolonged period is rooted in the monumental innings of Montford, a man who saw off seven prime ministers, three wars, and spanned the advance from paraffin lamps to nuclear power plants during his time in the chair.

I still say that next year, for Scotsport's glorious 50th birthday, Arthur should be wheeled out, polo-necked and check-jacketed, for The Big Show. In fact, knocking up nearly 150 years between 'em, they could have Arthur and Archie Macpherson as one-off co-presenters.

On Tuesday night, STV fans will have seen the Scotsport Champions League special being presented by Jim White . . . not as in "Red, Blue And" but the very fine sportswriter of the same name. However, this particular MrWhite, a mega Manchester United fan, will not be the new regular Scotsport presenter.

I know who my smart money is on . . .

SITTING in a disastrous tail-back on the M90 last week en route to the Dunfermline-Rangers game, a reporting colleague and I were delighted to look straight across to a gigantic car sitting adjacent to us and note the portly figure of Ian "Corky" McCall plumped behind the wheel.

I've long been fascinated with McCall, ever since that Friday evening of around 17 years back when, in our younger days, I met him propping up a bar in a heaving Glasgow pub at around 11.45pm.

"What are you doing tomorrow?" I asked the bold and somewhat well-oiled Corky.

"Playing for Rangers, " he replied. If I remember correctly, it wasn't long after this incident that Graeme Souness sent Corkers off to Bradford.

Now I am informed that he is to come out of retirement and reregister as a player - or at least, a reserve player - for the club he currently coaches, Queen of the South. To this end, I have also divined that the bold Corky is to embark on a diet, which will involve - and I hope I've got my figures correct here - plummeting from 15 stone to 12 stone in a matter of three months.

I'm a big fan of McCall as a BBC cocommentator, though I might add, one of my huge reliefs in recent years was that he didn't gravitate to become the manager of either Rangers or Celtic.

I used to live in dread of the day, as a reporter, when I'd have to attend one of those solemn Rangers press conferences where, with McCall sitting in the manager's chair, I'd have to chime up: "Tell me, Corky, what's your take on the latest shenanigans at the SFA?"

I wouldn't have been able to keep a straight face.

I'VE always been a major fan of Jeff Randall, the slightly in-yer-face former BBC business correspondent, who a number of years ago came out as quite an in-yer-face Rangers supporter.

Some of you might remember the day the bold Jeff abruptly popped up on BBC1's Football Focus one Saturday lunchtime, with seagulls flying above his head as he presented himself live from Pittodrie prior to an Aberdeen-Rangers game.

Coming from England, Jeff could pull off that trick that no hack - and certainly no sports hack - could ever do in Scotland, which is brazenly come out as a fan of either half of the Old Firm.

In Scotland, on the contrary, if you are in the media and you are a Rangers or Celtic fan, it almost seems akin to having a skeleton in your closet.

How I laughed the other day when Randall told a conference of the time when a BBC producer tried to stop him wearing a pair of Union Jack cufflinks on air.

"They thought they symbolised the BNP and that I shouldn't wear 'em!" snorted Jeff, the indignation still quivering in his voice.

Needless to say, he wore his cufflinks.

Jeff should rest assured that, on his not infrequent visits to Ibrox for major matches, there would be no problem with him wearing said cufflinks.

Indeed, if he could possibly bring a Union flag with him as well, all the better.

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