The man who shouts “Come on, Tim!” when tennis star Andy Murray is about to serve is to get his own TV comedy show, writes Nigel Eels.
And Nigel Southmall, 43, a sales executive from Godalming, Surrey, is being tipped as the next Michael McIntyre after his hilarious centre court outbursts.
Divorcee Southmall has had spectators in stitches for the last two weeks by deliberately referencing former British tennis No 1 Tim Henman whenever Murray is on court, thereby creating a humorous anachronistic juxtaposition of player and shout.
In the last round, play had to be suspended for more than three hours as the umpire tried in vain to stop the laughter, while helpless BBC commentators John McEnroe and Sue Barker had to be given oxygen so
they could continue their match analysis.
Even dour Scot Murray admitted: “It’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. On more than one occasion I have been serving to save match point but been unable to see the ball for the tears of laughter
streaming out of my eyes.”
TV executives have been quick to snap Southmall up. Later this year he will appear in a pilot show entitled “Come on, Nigel!” in which he will attend various major sporting events and attempt to reduce the crowd to hysterics.
Producer Elmyra Cunde told TNG: “Imagine the scene: the final of the world snooker, and Peter Ebdon has to pot the black to win. As he draws back his cue, Nigel shouts out “Come on, Steve” – which of
course is a hilarious reference to former world champion Steve Davis. It’s a ratings winner!”
In the USA, truck driver Lloyd Travers became an overnight star when he shouted “Get in the hole!” as Tiger Woods hit his tee shot on a 550-yard par five at the US Masters in 2006.
Funnyman Travers was subsequently given his own show in which he was beaten to death by Woods and other top golfers using a selection of middle irons in front of an estimated TV audience of 45million.