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Brolly stunt leaves its mark

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Dan Walker | 12:59 UK time, Wednesday, 9 September 2009

What a great morning I had on Tuesday. While devouring a chocolate croissant in the Focus office, I had the privilege of John Motson, Steve Wilson and Jonathan Pearce chewing the football fat.

One of the things under discussion was JP's interview with Steve McClaren last week. For all the rights and wrongs of his England career, it was fascinating to hear Macca's take on it. I'm sure it won't be long before a club in England take a punt on him.

One thing is for sure, Mr McClaren will never again make the mistake of using an umbrella on the touchline. Never in the history of rainfall has one man been pummelled so much for the use of a brolly.

Steve McClaren takes refuge under his umbrella as England blow their chances of qualifying for Euro 2008

Incidentally, how hard can it be to get hold of a copy of the exact England umbrella that Mr McClaren was floundering under almost two years ago? I'd have thought it would be fairly straightforward. Not so.

We needed one for our opening to last Saturday's programme. The editor of the show - Stephen Booth - had come up with an evil plan to get me drenched whilst using the aforementioned umbrella as a prop. The problem was that the aforementioned umbrella is no longer in circulation.

Rumour has it the Football Association removed the brolly from their shops the day after Mr McClaren made it the most famous rain-stopper in the country. There aren't even any available on eBay! Someone at the Football Association was clearly aware that the now FC Twente boss had made a bit of a PR boo-boo.

It took the best part of a week but, eventually, a flurry of phone-calls resulted in the red and blue number turning up in the office ready for the trip to Wembley. The producer on the day was Julia Cooper and the cameraman was a very excited Keith Wade.

Anyway, Lady Cooper was the one responsible for hurling the water at my face. I have included the out-takes from the shoot at Wembley so you can see for yourself how Cooper aimed a bit low on the first take getting me clean in the groin area. On the second effort, she missed the face, blaming a combination of my height, the slope on Wembley Way and the unpredictable wind for her wayward shot. Apparently, throwing a bucket of water is a lot more complicated than it looks.

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Away from a rather wet Friday, one of the things I wanted to do on this blog was to give you a bit more of an idea of what goes on at Football Focus. With that in mind it's now time for the grand unveiling of... BEHIND THE SCENES AT FOOTBALL FOCUS, PART 1.

I know it's not the catchiest title out there but hopefully the feature will prove to be popular. This first part will show you the fabled Focus and MOTD production office (I made up the fabled bit to make it sound more exciting) and a few extras as well.

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If there is anything else you'd like to see over the course of the season, anything you have wanted to know for years but haven't been able to ask, then this is your chance.

One other thing I can tell you is that this season we are planning to take the whole programme out on the road once every six weeks or so. The first of those outside adventures comes your way this week. Focus is live from Eastlands ahead of Manchester City's game against Arsenal. We are on the early shift because of the Formula One.

See you at 1130 BST.


  • Comment number 1.

    Nice, so you guys get to watch every game even 3pm Kick offs live? We have to used "other" methods. Why don't you tell them to make the studio abit more colourful like it was for the Confederations Cup?

  • Comment number 2.

    That's the spirit Walker - only three weeks in and you're already stuffing your blog with videos so you don't have to write so much.

    If you insist on this ridiculous practice, can I please request a short video depicting you riding through the forest, clutching a small bear?

  • Comment number 3.

    I think blog vids like these should be made a somewhat a regular feature as I love TV production and it is a mystery to so many who are not involved and yet probably do have at least an interest in the workings.

    Behind the scenes are always exciting to me and I would recommend more TV stations show what their studios look like and who does what and where.

    It was very interesting to me to see where the MOTD and Focus presenters sit whilst watching those tv screens just infront of the directors seat and all those remotes too, lol!

    Please do more of this kind of thing, it's fantastic.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    I'd quite happily chuck a bucket of water at you aswell, given the chance. No offence, like.

  • Comment number 6.

    All that effort - I didn't recognise it as the exact type of FA brolly anyway. I thought the whole 'getting wet' scene was a little puerile anyway.
    Could someone explain why FF is only 30 minutes long?

  • Comment number 7.

    Dan, are you very tall or is Mark Lawrenson shrinking as he gets older ?

  • Comment number 8.

    I think video's in blogs or vodcasts, whatever are a great idea (admittedly though both of these were a bit boring!). Who's to say blogs can only contain writing??

    Think the behind the scenes vid would have been much better if we could have seen Gary and the team on the job as opposed to the ghostly stale studio we were presented with!

  • Comment number 9.

    love these behind the scenes stuffs. you dont get to see these out-takes alot.

    keep up with the videos. would be brilliant if there are more interesting stuffs though. good job nonetheless.

    and yes, why is football focus only 30 minutes long?

  • Comment number 10.

    Ah - the question of the half hour show.

    It is all down to the power of Formula One. Whenever there is a race in Europe (or near enough) then they need to start at 12 to build up to the qualifying session which normally starts at 1.

    When that happens - like this weekend - we get shoe-horned into half an hour that starts at 11:30. This should be the last one of 2009 though.

    By the way... almost there with your request sausagearms... just need the small bear!

  • Comment number 11.

    Great videos!

    I wish that all football programs were like yours and showed us what happens behind the scenes. By the way, could we find Butragueño's interview in your website?

  • Comment number 12.

    love the blunders! think there should be more of them!!

  • Comment number 13.

    Loving the blog Dan. Keep up the good work. And please can we see more outtakes?

  • Comment number 14.

    Manchester united vs. city;
    In football focus today, one analyst said that after all it is united that went on to score in the rather long injury time.
    But he should note that, if more often than not, it is when united is losing or drawing that injury time is rather long or for that matter they are the ones who get away with not getting red cards and more likely to be awarded a (‘controversial’) penalty and even get away with some that would have been against them, by the end of the season, it adds up!
    Look at all united games, going three years back.
    Scholes and Neville have always been the worst culprits in committing fouls. How often have they gotten even just a yellow card?
    Vidic and Ferdinand have too often got away with what would have been penalties for the opposing teams. But just ‘touch’ Rooney,...!
    One goal maybe the difference between 0 point or just 1 point and three points!
    How can one say it does not matter?


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