Allowing for those in catch-up mode due to COVID-19 related postponements, the EFL Championship is into its 2nd half of the campaign. And looking at the table I have to immediately offer an apology to fans of the 3 relegated clubs who I believed - before a ball was kicked in September - would not ALL be a competitive force this season. Perhaps one or two of them would compete up there in the top 6, but not the lot of them. I reasoned to myself that the division was weaker for the promotion of Leeds, West Brom and Fulham coupled with the 3 coming down.
Another season draws to a close - one that nobody will ever forget for very obvious reasons. I thought I’d attempt to pick my way through it from my perspective as a commentator, particularly after last week (22nd July) where the Championship’s final set of regular season fixtures threw up the sort of stuff that still has you gently shaking your head and unable to sleep hours after the fact.
First of all, I do hope this blog finds you safe and well in amongst these extraordinary circumstances we’re all experiencing.
At present, there’s not a lot of work on for football commentator types, and the lockdown made me think that it was time to revisit the past and do something I’ve been threatening to do for well over a decade - namely, bring my old BRMB & Heart FM comedy shows back to life.
First off, I hope everyone reading this is finding their way as best they can through the current lockdown situation we all find ourselves in.
The lockdown has prompted many of us with free time to pursue things not normally planned, no matter how much fun they might be! In my case, it does now give me a chance to complete the guitars and vocals for my third solo album. But also I’ve finally got round to locating all the old radio show material I had on minidisc and make a show out of it all.
As I type in late-September, work is well underway on creating my 3rd solo album to follow on from 2013’s ‘Prove You Wrong’ and 2015’s ‘Second Time Around’. I’ve mentioned before that the follow up to my debut wasn’t in the plans originally, so to be toiling away on yet another collection of songs is way off my original radar.
This was the very definition of ‘bittersweet’.
I’ve just made a brew at my brother’s flat in North London having completed my 96th and final live football commentary for this season. So now is as good a time as any to reflect as I sup on Phil’s superior supermarket brand of Sri Lanka’s finest.
It’s been 20 years since talkSPORT moved offices from Oxford Street to Hatfields just south of the river Thames, largely due to a need to save money at the time, and find somewhere cheaper to run their operation outside the West End. Now as I type, talkSPORT have found more than a chunk of extra cash down the back of the metaphorical sofa and are on air for the first day from our incredibly opulent new studios a bit further down the South Bank at London Bridge.
Music festivals have radically changed since I first visited the Donington Park site in the 1980’s, but in this modern era of 16 stages, split timetables and countless bands meaning posters advertising events usually end up looking like reading that sequence of tiny letters in opticians, one festival unashamedly harks back to a simpler time – and it’s far, far better as a result.
Radio can either be the perfect medium to listen to some sports, whilst others leave potential punters scratching their heads and saying ‘Oh come on – really?’
Football, cricket, athletics and horse racing have been staples on the wireless since well before I came into being at the end of the 60’s, and nowadays with the advent of talkSPORT and the BBC’s increased sporting portfolio on 5 Live, more sports have been introduced in the last 50 years with a variety of success.