Inside track on Football Focus
I’m the Series Editor of Football Focus and I'm the latest author to join the cast list writing regularly on this blog.
As you know, Focus goes out on BBC1 on a Saturday .. so what do I do for the rest of the week you ask? Well, typically on a Tuesday morning I chair the Focus meeting. John Motson, Jonathan Pearce, Steve Wilson, Garth Crooks and Mark Bright gather with the rest of the production team to chat through what we should put in the weekend’s show.
I then have to choose which stories to commission off the back of this often excitable, always entertaining session. Ideally, at least one of our interviews will become the lead story on the BBC Football website come Friday.
By Friday afternoon, Mark Lawrenson will pitch up to tell me that I’ve picked all the wrong things.
In an attempt to cheer me up he’ll then tell a series of terrible jokes. The sort you’d vaguely remember hearing 10 years ago and not laughing at then either.
It’s always a late night on a Friday as our talented producers and reporters finish off the programme’s features.
Saturday 8am is the signal for myself, the programme director, production co-ordinator and presenter Manish Bhasin to have our ritual morning buttie. We then rehearse the show as much as we can. At nine and a half minutes past twelve, Mark Lawrenson is nowhere to be seen. Miraculously he always seems to appear on transmission. And he doesn’t tend to perform too badly - although the jokes rarely improve.
As far as my background goes, I was born in Leeds, grew up in Hampshire and became BBC Look East’s sports reporter in Norwich at the time of Alan Partridge. I was also East Anglia’s Pudsey Bear for four years. I’ve produced and directed documentaries for BBC1 as well as working in comedy and entertainment. I’m lucky enough to have produced the likes of Ricky Gervais & Steve Merchant, Jon Culshaw and Matt Lucas & David Walliams. I was privileged to be put in charge of running the BBC’s Munich production centre during the World Cup. An experience I’ll never forget.