CHARLES GRAHAM - Missing a venue

WELL it’s been another high-profile week for this little old borough of ours.

In fact you couldn’t get away from the place on Sunday’s prime time telly.

First of all St Oswald’s Church in Ashton did us proud, looking its festive best while the massive congregation warbled lustily in the first of two Songs of Praises to be broadcast from there (the other will be screened in the spring).

Then Wigan was honoured with an auspicious first on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year show: a special spot on this year’s unprecedented rugby and football haul.

Clare Balding’s lazy, stereotypical references to pies, George Formby and Wigan Pier notwithstanding, it went on to present a highly favourable image of the place we all love and know, in no small way helped by adopted Wiganer Sir Wiggo.

Now the council has extended a slightly tongue-in-cheek offer to host the SPOTY ceremony itself in 12 months’ time.

Well it’s handily close to the new BBC HQ in Salford, but I wouldn’t push it, chaps.

Before even considering the offer, the corporation should be made aware that our borough is woefully ill-equipped to host such a spectacular, since we have nowhere near a large or spectacular enough venue to put it on (yes that old chestnut again).

They’d be struggling with Wigan Little Theatre, Linacre building or Scarisbrick Street Baptist Church, that’s for sure.

Maybe if the Beeb surprised everyone by taking up the proposal we might finally find the money to build one in double quick time.

But those unlikely imaginings aside, it was another very proud day for a place that continues to punch well above its weight.