Blog

Write your own introduction

As well as speaking for a living, I often act as the MC or compere at an event. It’s not rocket science. I  tell people where the fire exits and toilets are located and glare at them until they switch their mobile phones to silent. Then I pop up in between speakers, make a few light hearted comments, based on what they’ve said.  I always challenge myself to think up

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Get back on the stage

You’re brilliant. You should be on the stage. And there’s another one leaving in fifteen minutes. This is an old joke from the days of the Wild West, as told by members of the National Speakers Association of Dodge City. Of course, stage coaches are long since gone. They would have been gone a lot quicker if their wheels hadn’t gone backwards in the old films. Something to do with

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Speaking in South Africa

I’ve just arrived in Cape Town after a brilliant three days at the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa (PSASA) in Johannesburg. I was the only European speaking on  the main stage at the event at Emperors Palace. It was a brilliant convention and I met some lovely and inspiring fellow speakers.  I’ll post some pictures and audio clips  in my speaking tips blog over the next few days, so

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Hillsborough

In April 1989 I went to Hillsborough for a football match, an FA Cup semi final between Nottingham Forest and  Liverpool. I was commentating on the game for BBC Radio Nottingham.  96 Liverpool fans lost their lives in a dreadful crush on the terracing behind the goal.  20 years on here’s my  account of the day for The Times newspaper. Witness: We went to report on a football match  and ended

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Sound decision

I’ve just missed out on a speaking job for a bizarre reason. It was to compere the end of season dinner for a well known English football club. (Not West Ham, but not one of our rivals, so stop looking at me like that, it was a paid gig!) They contacted me. I gave them a quote and they gave the job to someone else. I never mind missing out

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The man with his head on upside down

It’s been raining a lot lately, so it must be time for the cricket season to get underway.  In fact it’s the earliest ever start to a county championship season. I filmed at Derbyshire this week. The county have performed a huge about turn. After years of playing with the sun in their eyes, someone had the bright idea of rotating the pitch ninety degrees.  So now at the end

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The man in the Yellow Socks

One of the worst jobs as a journalist is to do an obituary on someone you knew and liked. Keith Alexander was the first black football manager in England. He once gave me his coat to wear when I was filming training at Lincoln. It was way too long. Lovely bloke. He died aged just 53.

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Curling tongs and Anita Roddick

I had a horrible journey from London to Nottingham this morning, with driving snow in my face most of the way. I really must get a new windscreen fitted. It would be so much warmer for one thing and besides the snow goggles leave red marks around my eyes. In the old days I would have mixed up my journey with 5Live and Radio 2 from 6.15 to 8.00 and then moved

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Ski cross

My mate Dave is a big Hull City fan.  Last season he was at the Boleyn for the match which marked my return as the announcer. It was a brilliant night, I walked around shaking hands with everyone and was so happy to be  back. Especially when we won under lights to restart our season.  I think the Hull fans were a bit surprised when the West Ham announcer wandered

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