Warmest sunniest day of the year so far and I’m unable to bask in any of it with a show to do of course. I get asked – or accused - so often as to whether I present all my talkSPORT shows from some underground bunker in my house and ‘pretend’ to be in London. Well I can safely say that Football First on Sunday always requires an early train trip to either Euston or Marylebone (engineering work usually dictates which one) and a tube to Waterloo so I can get a good 3 hours of prep in before we go on air at 3pm.
I’ll happily admit that the home studio has been used a good few times in extremis when Alan Brazil has pulled out of his breakfast show at the 11th hour…or more precisely the 5 o’clock hour, which leads to a call to my mobile. I think most TS die-hards know when I’m drafted in from home, but do you know what? Most of the station’s listeners couldn’t give a tinkers cuss where I’m sat – they’re more interested in being interested in what we’re debating on the show.
The world record for last minute calls was 5.57am a couple of years back, but now and again the call has come in at the far more civilised time of 6.05am, which makes all the difference I can tell you :o)
Anyway, it’s vitally important for me to be in talkSPORT towers on days like today with games left, right and centre to keep on top of. That’s where the plethora of TV monitors in Studio 1 comes in. We have at least 8 screens at our disposal, so on a day like today we can have all 3 Premier League games, an FA Cup semi, Rugby Union and Golf as well as rolling Sky news and sports news channels in front of Ray Houghton and myself. Although I’d rather have switched Man City/Birmingham City to WWE wrestling by half time – bit of a 5-1 spanking for us today I’m afraid.
Which brings me onto some of the emails and texts I receive whilst on air. Most are funny, passionate and opinionated yet well reasoned and well intentioned – a select few, however, are anything but, and their whole raison d’etre is to pick the bones out of everything that comes out of a sports presenters mouth in a 4 hour live broadcast. So when for example today, one gentlemen on email asks me to “get my facts straight” and make sure I call Birmingham City by their full name and not just “Birmingham”, it makes you wonder why such mountains are made from such molehills. I guess some folk aren’t happy unless they’re unhappy as David Lee Roth so famously said of Eddie Van Halen. But they made up in the end, so perhaps that chap on the email can find it in his heart to forgive a minor indiscretion. Keyboard warriors don’t do apologies, though in my experience. Shame that.
Off to the local travel tavern with my big plate come 7pm as I’m covering for Big Al on the breakfast show tomorrow which means little point in commuting home really. Do I dare ask Ronnie about the Essex CCC match-fixing story on air tomorrow? Or do I just poke him with sticks at Man Utd’s failure to beat Blackburn? Decisions decisions…