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Countdown to the Third Test (from a hostel in Perth)

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Colin Paterson | 15:29 UK time, Wednesday, 15 December 2010


Greetings from a country obsessed with the thought that a coveted item is about to leave the country. Yes, there is widespread sadness that Oprah Winfrey's whistle stop tour of Oz has come to an end. It's been the main news item across the board - maybe just as well for them, given what has happened in the Ashes.

So what am I doing here? Well, in perhaps the most surprising Ashes call up since Peter Taylor in 1987, I was phoned on Friday and asked if I could report on fans in Perth.

I've only managed one sleep since Matt Cardle was crowned X Factor champion three days ago, and it could be difficult getting any shuteye tonight, such is the anticipation. England are one win away from regaining The Ashes here in Perth.

Aussies are frightened. Indeed, the one I put on Breakfast this morning to illustrate this used rather unfortunate terminology to describe just how nervous he was. I had to apologise on air for the second time in four days - I knew Shaun Ryder was a risk, but not a cricket-loving stockbroker.

I have been here 15 hours. The last person I saw on the front of the tabloids at Heathrow was also the first person I saw at the WACA, because coming out of a commentary box was Shane Warne. I almost blurted out "Well done" without thinking.

The highlight of my day has been arriving too early for my hotel room, straight from the airport and being asked to return later only to find that it had been given away and the hotel was now full. I write this from the local hostel (the one remaining room in the whole city), an establishment where towels have to be hired and sheets are an added extra.

Just scoffed a delicious kangaroo pie, had dinner with the 5 live team (Mark Pougatch has come through the England v Australia press football match), and had a natter with Alec Stewart in the street. Apparently Perth Glory's Robbie Fowler turned up to watch the nets today. First time for a while he's found the back of a net.

Right, time to collapse. My first hour of tomorrow will be spent on the last hour of tonight's Tony Livesey show.

Hoping for a swear-free broadcast. I've had enough dashes for one Ashes.

Related Posts
The perils of the Test Match Special nightshift - Kevin Howells on emergency commentary

Colin Paterson will be reporting from Perth during the Third Ashes Test for 5 live. You can listen to the commentary on 5 live sports extra and Radio 4 longwave from 2.30am.


  • Comment number 1.

    What a waste of money. Aren't there enough people out there already? And if it wasnt necessary to "report" on the fans for the first two tests why now?

    Colin, perhaps you could seek out Carrie, she's a 5Live regular and will be sure to tell you what she thinks of the BBC Ashes bandwagon.

  • Comment number 2.

    The BBC haven't been interested in cricket for decades, you have little coverage (but endless expenses) and your attempt to prop Extra is futile as DAB is still-born.

  • Comment number 3.

    I do found this completely bewildering. Send a reporter (entertainment I believe) all the way to Australia to gauge the opinions of the crowd. It's on in the middle of the night! Even die-hard cricket lovers are struggling to stay up with it.

    It takes AVK's obsession with listener content to new heights (or lows in this case). On what grounds can the expense be remotely justified? As I have posted before ... I'm justing waiting for Campbell to blag a trip, particularly if we are winning.

  • Comment number 4.

    When I read this earlier, I wondered who this Colin Paterson was as the only one I knew about was the Scottish entertainment 'reporter/red-carpet/ person and concluded that there must be a Sports reporter of the same name that I hadn't heard of - but turns out that this is indeed the red carpet bloke? Eh? What's the point?

  • Comment number 5.

    Colin is a huge cricket fan. You may remember that in 2006 he won the Telegraph's fantasy cricket competition! This Ashes series has been terrific so far and hundreds, if not thousands, of English fans have travelled to Australia in the hope of watching England win an historic series. Thinking back to the World Cup, as a 5 live listener, one of the things I enjoyed most was hearing from England fans in South Africa and I suspect many listeners will enjoy Colin's conversations with England supporters in Australia.

  • Comment number 6.

    So now we know. Nigel is as supportive of the tedious listener involvement as his boss. Nigel, this radio station is massively over reliant on listener input - most of it usually banal, biased or simply ill informed. I ask again - as have many on this blog - who cares what Bill from Barnsley thinks on a topic? (Sorry ficticious Bill). Phone in's and presenters reading out texts and tweets are indicative of lazy journalism and programme production. Sorry, but it has to be said ... again.

  • Comment number 7.

    It does seem unnecessary to send your "red carpet bloke" to Australia. Even before I heard this I was wondering just how many BBC staff are avoiding the British winter at our expense. Can we be told this? It is our BBC after all. This also gives me an excuse to mention my pet subject. Why isn't your best cricket reporter in Australia? Pat Murphy is left shivering at West Brom and Wolves matches while Mark "Not Very Good" Pougatch winters in the Southern Hemisphere. So Mr Controller Of Five Live, tell us, how many BBC staff are covering the ashes?

  • Comment number 8.

    ... oh, and Nigel - I'm also a huge cricket fan and reckon I'm more than capable of rounding up a bunch of inebriated people who have been out in the sun too long to add a bit of 'colour' to your programming. I also fancy an all expenses paid freebie to Aus but am, I suspect, not remotely qualified. So how do I apply?

    And in support of Johnny Red - yes, where is Pat Murphy? He's probably not been considered as he's much too good.

  • Comment number 9.

    ....and has Pougatch got his family out there like last time?

  • Comment number 10.

    Well, now I'v found out the name of 5 Live's controller, so Adrian Van Klaveren, please tell me, how many presenters/commentators are in Australia to cover The Ashes? It must be costing us a fortune keeping this unnecessary army of staff in expensive hotels for a couple of months! And don't tell me they're staying in budget accommodation 'cos I won't believe you. And tell us (after all, we're paying for it), are their families there too? If that is true you should resign! You can start saving money now by sending Pougatch & Patterson home, their contribution is minimal.

  • Comment number 11.

    what a pathetic response nigel !!!!!!

  • Comment number 12.

    "Due to the unique way the BBC is funded" - nearly everyone will be off for 3/4 weeks!

  • Comment number 13.

    ryanw, Colin should indeed have sought me out. Having been on the Aussie cricket grounds up until Perth I am positive I could have saved a fortune for the BBC. Not only that, despite not proving my cricket knowledge/skill by winning a fantasy game, I probably know as much about cricket, know more cricketers, and have seen more first class games than Colin has had red carpet experiences.................

  • Comment number 14.

    Mr Van Klaveren, it wasn't a rhetorical question, I REALLY want to know how much The Ashes coverage is costing us. And as for Mr Paterson's rib-tickling blog entries, look at the lack of response to what he's written. Nobody is interested in his trivial scribblings.


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