I must confess, I'm not a fan of Vinnie Jones. The man has made a career out of being a thug. He made his name as a very average footballer where his main asset appeared to be intimidation (see pic).
He made a short foray into the world of football management at QPR as assistant to then manager Ray Harford. I was reminded of this a couple of weeks ago when I was queueing for tickets at Loftus Road. The two guys behind me in the queue were discussing buying tickets for a particular game in the Paddock, an open terrace just behind the dugouts at Rangers. Years ago, they had season tickets there but decided to move when VJ became assistant manager - they explained, half jokingly, that they were scared that he might eat them during the game!
When Harford was dismissed, Vinnie received a tidy pay off from QPR, at a time when the club was beginning to slip into financial difficulties. It was around this time that his Movie career began to take off.
You may argue that he wasn't bad in his first major role as Big Chris in Guy Ritchie's Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels. I would counter that he wasn't really acting; he was merely being himself. On the morning of filming that infamous scene where his character batters 7 bells out of another gangster using a car door, Vinnie was in police custody after attacking one of his neighbours - an incident for which he received a community service sentence. Nice guy! Since then he's become a bit of a Hollywood star, albeit playing 'Hard Men' roles.
I see that Vinnie is up to his old tricks in a series of TV ads for RAC. In one of them, he is taking his daughter to a fancy dress party, and keeps getting delayed on the car journey, until finally his car breaks down. He gets on the phone to RAC Breakdown, but is too worried about living up to his hard man image to say the name of the town he has broken down near - 'Crapstone'. WTF?! So he puts that above getting his daughter to her party - what a crap parent! In another ad he fails to stop in time to hit a reversing car in an underground car park. "Look what you've done to my motor!" he exclaims - erm, I think you'll find that you are the blameworthy party, Vincent. He then bullies the other fawning driver, who is clearly bricking it, into giving back one of his sweets "Not the orange ones.....they're my favourites".
I can hear Michael Winner's voice in my head right now, screaming "CALM DOWN DEAR, IT'S ONLY A COMMERCIAL!!" Yep, I must admit that I have had a sense of humour failure here. It's all down to jealousy - Mr. Jones has clearly made a small fortune from limited talent, and in a way, fair play to him. I can kind of see where the phrase "Money for old rope" comes from. And I'd say that to his face. Honest.