Colin Murray's Gold Run: celebrating British Olympic gold
During this summer’s Olympic Games in London you’ll hear countless pointless statistics, like how the BBC is using enough cable to stretch to the moon and back five times and how visitors to the Velodrome will have drank enough bottled water to fill the Brent Reservoir. But here are some different kind of figures for you…
Over 7,000 miles travelled, 746 coffees consumed, 3 flat tyres, 47 arguments, 35 budget hotels and 4 broken and/or destroyed sat-navs. These stats relate to Colin Murray's Gold Run: my attempt to track down every single living British Olympic Gold Medallist to mark the arrival of the 30th games of the Olympiad. On January 1st I began the biggest broadcasting challenge of my career, and the most ambitious documentary series ever commissioned by BBC Radio 5 Live.
The idea was born two years ago during a conversation with my friend and producer Nick Etherton. Persuading our bosses that we had the bottle to follow it through was our first challenge, but once deputy controller Jonathan Wall gave us the green light we were ready to embrace the Olympic motto; to go 'faster, higher, stronger' than we had ever gone before.
Even as I write this, just days before the first episode is due to air, I can’t tell you whether or not I have managed to track down all 114 heroes - because I am still trying! However, I can confirm that the stories along the way are full of passion, humour and Olympic insight, never before gathered at one time for a single radio series.
Episode One sees London 1948 and London 2012 united, as I meet 90 year old sailor David Bond and modern day legend of the waves Ben Ainslie. But every programme is bursting with different sports, different eras, and very different experiences. Along with my boating biggies, this first offering brings us Victoria Pendelton, Allan Wells, Tessa Sanderson, The Searle Brothers and Bob Braithwaite.
So, tune in at 11am this Sunday, May 20th, for the first leg of a journey that has left me exhausted, exhilarated, and feeling like the luckiest broadcaster on this planet.
Colin Murray's Gold Run is on 5 live at 11am every Sunday in the run up to London 2012. There will also be a podcast - Colin Murray's Gold Run: Extra - with extended interviews from the series available after every programme.
For the latest news, clips, images and videos from the series follow @bbcgoldrun on Twitter.