It's Saturday morning at Television Centre and just minutes to go before I set off on the first leg of my BBC Radio 5 Live Euro 2008 Road Trip...

What I'll be doing over the next three weeks is discovering a bit more about the 16 nations taking part in Euro 2008 by meeting the far-flung ex-pat communities dotted all over the UK.

Today I'm heading for Norfolk, where I hope to meet up with a load of Portuguese. Apparently, over the past decade, 50,000 of them have settled there.

On Sunday, I'll be in Richmond-upon-Thames, watching Germany take on Poland at The German School. Then I'll be with the Italians in Bedford on Monday - one in seven people in the town is of Italian origin.

On Tuesday (10 June), it's off to Birmingham city centre to watch the defending champions Greece take on Sweden - there may even be one or two belly dancers joining us at the Athens restaurant...

Wednesday (11 June) sees me drive up to Newcastle to the Sports Café to meet the Turks who are descending on the city from all over the north east. Then it's on to Edinburgh on Thursday (12 June). It could be a little lively, with 800+ Poles expected at the Three Sisters pub on Cowgate to watch their country take on Austria.

Clem will catch up with the Poles in Edinburgh

I can relax a bit on Friday (13 June), with a picturesque journey north to Aberdeen to visit the Dutch oil workers who are getting together to watch the Netherlands face France.

A mammoth journey ahead of me the next morning as I drive to Ilkley to meet Billy Smart's Circus. I'll meet a French aerial silk acrobat - whatever that is - an Italian illusion artist and candy floss man, a Romanian fireman and some Polish technical guys. I may even get my first stint as a ringmaster, wait and see...

Onwards to Merseyside on Sunday (15 June) for the Liverpool International Tennis Tournament. I'll be watching the Czech Republic's Jana Novotna take on Switzerland's Martina Hingis and also meeting a group of Czech people, one of whom hosted the Czech team at Euro '96.

I cross the Irish Sea on Monday (16 June) to visit Belfast and World United - a team of Poles, Portuguese, French and Russians. They'll be joined by a local Polish football team as we settle down to watch Poland v Croatia in the Garrick Bar.

Back over the water to England on Tuesday (17 June) and straight on the road down to London to catch up with the French at Le Bouchon Bordelais. A great atmpsphere is guaranteed for the big one - France v Italy.

The last day of the group stages on Wednesday (18 June) sees me head west to Swansea and an afternoon and evening with Roberto Martinez, the Spanish manager of Swansea City. An interesting one this as we watch his country take on Greece.

From then on it's all a bit of an unknown. But, with the quarters and semis beckoning, you can be sure they'll still be plenty of miles left in the tank...

Mark Clemmit is a 5 Live reporter. Please check our FAQs if you have any questions.


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