Stuart Hutchison - Late Kick Off London & SE on the 'joys' of late breaking stories...
I don't like Mondays.
I know as a programme editor my first reaction to a breaking story should be 'LETS AV IT' before throwing myself into a bubbling cauldron marked 'News', but 12 weeks into the current run of Late Kick Off, I could really do with a quiet one. We were soooo ready for a straightforward show today when at 10am Queen of The Voiceover and Lower League News Caroline Barker drifted past my desk, breezily announcing that her pre-weekend hunch that Martin Allen would be joining Notts County, had proved to be more than a hunch.
We already had a strong lead - spending the day filming behind-the-scenes at Millwall, for a feature on their chariman John Berylson, and their fan representative on the board, Pete Garston. Pete's 'real wall' as they say down there, and John's a Massachusetts Milionaire, so it was interesting to see how their relationship had developed. It also helped the piece that MFC beat Leeds to move right into play-off contention.
Anyhoo, so we dropped that piece down the running-order and made room for Barnet. Reporter and news hound Chris Slegg made off for Underhill to interview the vanquished chairman Tony Kleanthous, while we tracked down Allen to Keele University where he was doing something for his football talent spotting business (we wont name it, but other football talent spotting businesses are available). As a proud London and South East show we wear as a badge of honour the fact that we have no knowledge of anything that happens north of Watford or west of Wycombe, so a quick look on the Internet revealed ''Keele'' to be somewhere near a place called 'Stoke'...so a quick call to our friends at LKO Midlands, and they dispatched a star reporter and crack cameraman to track down The Dog.
So in rapid quick time we managed to get quotes from the two main characters in this sorry saga. The only trouble is the show has to be 29 minutes 10 seconds long (there's seven regional programmes and they press 'play' at exactly the same time all over the country, so all seven shows have to finish simultaneously) so we had a great guest this week in Charlton's Johnnie Jackson, and our time to chat about The Mighty Addicks was shorter than we'd hoped.
Never mind, he'll be on again soon no doubt. Made for telly, that boy. I understand he's a Springsteen fan too, and if we had a spare 2 hours 36 minutes, I hoped to sing an air guitar version of Thunder Road with him. But those plans are in ruins too.
And it's all Martin Allen's fault.