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Cliché of the week: “Where’s the cue ball going?”

James Lamming pleads with John Virgo to cease from using his favourite catchphrase

Where indeed is the cue ball going, John Virgo?

Is it really heading directly for the pocket, or have you merely chosen to remind your listeners of your single amusing moment in the hope of cheap laugh?

What once, and I mean once, was genuine and amusing has now become hackneyed and stale, trotted out for any loose white or misjudged safety.

Even worse, his time in the commentary booth is now spent waiting for just such an occurrence. No matter how fine the pot, how tight the safety, the audience knows that John Virgo is secretly disappointed that the white did not rattle the jaws.

Indeed, John Virgo no longer contains his catchphrase to the white ball.

Cries of “where’s the yellow ball going” and “where’s the black going” now echo through the halls of the Crucible. They haunt even the greatest players with their sheer mediocrity.

Yet Virgo seems somehow not to realise what any comedian will tell you—he is overdoing it and it is no longer funny.

You can hear the arena ripple with exasperation while Willie Thorne purses his lips as the words slip from Virgo’s.

Please, John, it is well and truly the right time to give up the ghost, because quite frankly it’s killing us.

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