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Rip it up and start again

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Dan Walker | 12:01 UK time, Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Well last week was further proof that it's always dangerous to think you've got the show sorted on a Thursday.

I remember a few years ago, when I was a reporter on Football Focus, that the whole programme was ripped up on a Friday night when Big Phil Scolari decided to join Chelsea. The running order was changed completely and interviews were hastily arranged.

Last week we saw something similar. Our editor, Mark Cole, always leaves a bit of wriggle room but on Friday we were hit with the double whammy of the Wayne Rooney news and the latest palaver at Portsmouth.

We already had a Rooney piece but it was filled with stuff Garth had filmed in Manchester on Thursday. By Friday morning - when Manchester United announced that Fergie & Rooney were best mates again - everything was out of date.

The script was rewritten, the story retold and Oliver Holt of The Mirror was reinterviewed.

Later in the afternoon came the news about Portsmouth possibly going out of business. This one was out of the blue so Coley shuffled the programme around, dispatched someone to cut a piece and called Super Steve Claridge to see if he could come on the sofa.

Sandwiched between Claridge and Lawro, I really enjoyed having Jamie Mackie on Focus who seems to be a thoroughly nice bloke (as you'll know if you watched the Focus Forum this week).

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He has already confirmed he did get stick for one comment he made on the show. When asked about Portsmouth he said that it was sad to think the club could be "liquidised"! We had a good giggle about it afterwards. I know going out of business is a serious issue - particularly if you're a Portsmouth fan - but the thought of being turned to mush as punishment is perhaps a little harsh.

We also had to make a change to the running order once we were under way. Alex McLeish had agreed to come on live from St Andrew's and those things are never set in stone because guests turn up late, cameras are sometimes dodgy and circumstances can change at the last minute.

McLeish actually turned up early and when our director, Ian Finch, told him we were due to come in five-six minutes he understandably looked a little miffed, so we decide to move him up the order. It's great - and increasingly rare - to get managers on Focus on a match day so we were more than happy to accommodate him and hopefully he'll see us as a lucky mascot after Birmingham's win.

We had a frantic 60 seconds trying to decide what to put where and how to reorder the programme but hopefully you didn't notice anything. If you want to have a look yourself and hear from McLeish, Fabregas or Milner then you can check out our online edition.

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Perhaps the biggest story of the weekend came from Lawro in the production office before the show. The man is like a machine on a Saturday. He turns up at nine, reads all the papers and then has two crispy bacon sandwiches with no ketchup at about 9:32. Last Saturday when the order went out he shocked all those present with the following... "not for me, I'm off bread".

It's got to be one of the saddest moments when you have to turn your back on a bacon sarnie. I've recently upped my intake to one and a half on Saturday mornings but, in honour of Lawro last weekend, I knocked it back down to just one.

Lawro, with or without his bread intake, will be back on this week's show alongside Mr Dixon. We'll get the inside track at Villa from Richard Dunne and speak to Kevin Nolan at Newcastle, ahead of important derbies for both. You'll see the best of the Carling Cup action and - if last week was anything to go by - strange things could well develop over the next 48 hours! Also, Robbie Williams will be the latest celeb to take on Lawro. Last week Lord Sugar went joint top on 11 points with Alastair Campbell - Mr Campbell has been tweeting that he is still in top spot alphabetically.

Talking of Twitter, if you want to follow the build up to the show that is the best place to do it. You'll find me at In recent weeks, twitterers have been trying to come up with themed Football XI's.

I shall leave you with the Cake XI this week. See what you think and if you've got any others let me know.

Team name
Nottingham Forest Gateau


Graeme Tiramasouness
Stuart Pineapple Upside Downing Cake
Ji Sung Parkin
Patrick BattenBerger
Juan Pablo Angel Cake
Lemon Drizzle Diallo
Djibril Souffle
Wes Brownie
Benoit Assou Pannacotto
Quinton Fortune Cookie
Efan Ecoconutcake
Yum Yums Toure
Flapjack Rodwell
Basile Jam Roly Boli

Management team

Spotted Dick Advocaat
Jaffa Benitez
Howard Kendall Mint Cake


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