Hughton and a hall of mirrors
In a week when plenty of people are talking about the things TV pundits and presenters say and do, I wanted to mention how impressed I was by former Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton on last Saturday's Football Focus.
The former Newcastle manager talked about the past and the future - and from the comments we received afterwards, it seems he only enhanced his reputation as one of the nicer men in football. He was a true gentleman before, during and after the show.
There were topics he did not want to discuss but the way he referred to Mike Ashley as "the owner" tells you a lot. The fact he was voted the BBC North East Sports Personality of the Year indicates he is still highly thought of by others.
What I found interesting was that Hughton hit all the targets he was set by Newcastle. When he was told he was no longer required, the club were 11th in the Premier League. If you want to hear a little more from Hughton, watch this week's Focus Forum below.
Last Friday was a busy one for Focus. The day began at the London Dungeon, where filming for the opening of last Saturday's programme took place in the hall of mirrors.
There were three of us in there - producer Michael, cameraman Craig and me. We took it in turns to headbutt the walls at various points and, after learning that walking backwards is a little harder than you think, we were happy with the end product.
I am not sure there is anyone in the world who can beat cameraman Craig when it comes to stories about baboons. During the World Cup in South Africa last year, one of the monkeys broke into his hotel room in the middle of the night and started rifling through his stuff. Craig sat motionless on the bed watching the event unfold. Eventually, the baboon discovered a bar of chocolate and got comfortable in the corner of the room. He then ate the whole thing while giving Craig the evil eye.
After leaving the London Dungeon, Craig and I headed straight to Arsenal's training ground to speak to Gunners manager Arsene Wenger. It is always a pleasure to chat with the Frenchman. I like the way he thinks about his answers before launching into his response and he very rarely wanders into the world of cliché.
So Friday was good fun but the real highlight of the weekend came on my way home from Focus on Saturday. I drove past a school about a mile from our house and spotted some kids playing 'W.E.M.B.L.E.Y.' against the school wall while I was waiting at a set of traffic lights. I was instantly transported back in time.
I spent many hours trying to hit the right target on a wall or fence at the same time as looking for the right angle to make it impossible for my mates to do the same. If you are unfamiliar with the rules, failure to hit the correct section of wall would result in you collecting a 'W', then an 'E', and so on. Good for skills and spelling!
I did a bit of Twitter research and it appears that the pastime, which can be played as singles or doubles, has a number of regional variations: 'Cuppies' in the North East, 'Spot' in the West Country, 'Knockout' in Wales, 'Knocky-Outy' in Shropshire and 'Slam' in the Midlands. Someone even claimed they played a version called 'World Cup Willy'!
As much as I loved - and still love - 'W.E.M.B.L.E.Y.' I feel it comes second in the list of childhood football madness behind clear winner 'Headers and Volleys'.
There is something quite magical about a game that can entertains between two and 22 people for up to week. I think 'Three and In' probably makes the podium, ahead of '60 seconds', purely based on the fact that any infringement results in the classic call of "penalties all round".
It is one of those tremendous phrases - along with "rush goalie" or "fly nets" if you are from Wales - that is sadly missing from the professional footballers' lexicon.
That is one of the great things about football - and many other sports. Away from the Champions League and World Cup finals, the multi-millionaire superstars and all-seater stadiums, there is something very pure and wonderful about a group of mates knocking a ball against a wall or trying to keep it off the ground.
So on to this week's Football Focus - and we have got another FA Cup beauty lined up for you. Martin Keown will be in conversation with former Arsenal team-mate Patrick Vieira, while a freshly shaved Lawro will be back on the sofa.
If you have any questions or comments about the show or you want to share your version of 'W.E.M.B.L.E.Y.' with us, then bung something down below. The best way to follow the build-up to this week's Focus is on Twitter at twitter.com/danwalkerbbc