Brolly stunt leaves its mark
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.
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.
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.
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.