If you can remember the Sixties you weren’t there.

I’ll be taking my autograph book with me on Saturday for the West Ham v Newcastle game.

We have some legendary West Ham players from the sixties, coming down for a chat pitch-side before the game.

The  names I’ve been given are  Ken Brown, John Bond, Alan Dickie, Alan Stephenson, Ronnie Boyce, Brian Dear, Jack Burkett, Martin Peters, Dennis Burnett, Eddie Bovington and Peter Brabrook.

It’s amazing how many players we had in those cup winning sides of the sixties with surnames beginning with B.

The hard bit for me will be to identify them. I know what they used to look like, but chances are they might not look the same now. For starters I’ve only seen some of them in black and white, and I’m led to believe that they will be in colour on Saturday.

I remember a few seasons back when my guest in the technical area was Alan Devonshire. The curly haired, moustachioed, slim framed wizard of the dribble I was expecting, turned out to be much broader and balder. That’s the trouble with wizards, they can change shape at will.

Just looking at that list, I know Martin Peters of course. I’ve met John Bond and Kenny Brown before. Ronnie Boyce I know, and I sat next to Brian Dear at a game once.

The others I hope will walk out in the order I announce them. If they want to play a trick on me and mix up the order, then I will, not for the first time look a fool.

Still I seem to have made something of a career out of doing daft things. Being the West Ham announcer is not a full time job. I’m only at the ground on match days.

Since the Fulham match I’ve been filming a new series called Collectors.

The highlight is Britain’s top Roy Rogers collector. Dennis has all sorts of Wild West items crammed into his house. He’s a reputable collector but says he does come across a lot of cowboys.

I thanked Dennis for wearing Wild West gear for the filming.  Oh, it’s not for the filming, he said, I wear western gear every day. He didn’t flinch when I asked him how he got into Roy Rogers, what was the trigger?

I’ve also filmed with Britain’s biggest badger. I was expecting a large furry animal, but it turned out to be Frank who has 150 thousand button badges. He took some pinning down.

Next week it’s a man with a house full of vintage radios. I hope he’s on my wavelength.

I was filming with 70 year old Brenda the other day. She’s the laundry lady at Leicester Tigers rugby club.  One of the players, Boris Stankovich started rooting about in the dirty shorts on the wash room floor. He’d left thirty pounds in his pocket after training. Sadly, Brenda had already loaded his shorts into the washing machine. The burly Kiwi could only wait for his three tenners to come out.

Still it gave me a money laundering gag to end the piece with.

I’ve often given media training to sports people, teaching them how to come across well on TV and radio.  I’ve mainly worked with footballers and Olympians, but never rugby players. I don’t know why, but rugby guys always seem to be good talkers.

Even the laundry lady at Leicester gave me a great interview.

The other day I was dancing in the Blue Peter garden at Television Centre with Peter Shilton. It was a background feature on his participation in Strictly Come Dancing.  Because he’s so much taller, Shilts was the man and I was the woman.  I’ve met him many times at sports dinners, where one or other of us has been the after dinner speaker, but it’s the first time I’ve danced with him. I suspect it will be the last. I didn’t really take to it.

Peter gave me a terrific interview. He reckons his dance partner Erin Boag reminds him of Brian Clough, because she’s a great teacher and gets the best out of him.

Regular readers will know I have a bit of history with Cloughie.  I have to admit, I’d much rather have a lesson with Erin.

I’ve become a bit of a fan of Strictly. Who would have thought Felicity Kendall was so bendy?

Head judge Len Goodman is a West Ham fan. I bet his favourite player is Kieron Dyer.

‘Number Severrrrrn!!!’

I’m no expert on dancing but I think Anne Widdecombe is unlikely to win the competition. My mate Iain Dale has been known to host stage shows called ‘An Evening with Anne Widdecombe’. I’m hoping Iain will introduce a dance element into future evenings.

Anne has been saved by the public vote. The judges have given her very low scores like threes and fours. The meanest judge Craig Revel Horwood gave her one!

Which was brave.

I’m hoping to get home from the Newcastle game a bit quicker than I did last time. After the Fulham match I finally arrived home at 11.30.

It’s a long story involving Robbie Savage, a monsoon, some environmental warriors, an umbrella, a travel mug and orange feet.  You’ll have to visit MrMoonHasLeftTheStadium.com for the whole travel chaos saga. I find blogging about it much cheaper than therapy.

Jeremy Nicholas, October 22nd 2010, London.

Ten Unusual Things about Jeremy Nicholas

Jem with Lulu

1.  He was shortlisted for a job as a Blue Peter presenter, made it to the last three, fronted a film about recycling polystyrene, and….they gave the job to Anthea Turner. Why would they do that?

2.  When GLR Breakfast with Jeremy Nicholas and Clare McDonnell only won bronze at the Sony Awards, the table let out a gasp of disappointment, causing a Chinese lantern to catch fire and float into the air. Other tables thought it was a protest at the judge’s verdict.

3.  Jeremy was once punched in the face by maverick football manager Brian Clough, he fell over backwards and landed on Brian’s labrador, Del Boy. Later that year Cloughie gave Jeremy an exclusive interview in the changing rooms at Wembley to make up. Des Walker and Stuart Pearce were naked and drinking beer out of the League Cup during the interview.

4.  He’s been the voice of the stadium announcer for every Fifa video game on EA Sports since Fifa06 -The Road to the World Cup. He recorded Fifa10 back in April. Each year he adds ten personal announcements of his own, which play randomly during the game. Every car he’s ever owned has left its lights on and his nieces and nephews are all lost children.

5.  His first game as the West Ham United announcer was in 1998. It was David Beckham’s first away game after being sent off at the World Cup. The only thing that helped conquer Jeremy’s nerves as he announced ‘number seven David Beckham’ and a wall of boos cascaded down onto the pitch, was knowing that if he wasn’t the announcer he’d be back in his seat in the stands booing along with the rest.

6.  Jeremy was once ambushed by a bearded man in robes who claimed he was Jesus and was carrying a machine gun. The man wanted a statement reading out live on air and demanded to have his fingerprints compared to the Shroud of Turin. The man turned out not to be Jesus.

7.  His toughest gig was in 2007 when he was the after dinner speaker at the black tie gala dinner at the Professional Speaker Association International Convention. 120 speakers sat back and folded their arms and waited to be entertained. Jeremy was very nervous and wished he’d worn his brown corduroys. Fortunately the speech went down a storm and they asked him back the following year as compere. He is now a member of the PSA and on course to become a fellow in the future.

8.  For seven months in 2003 Jeremy presented a country music breakfast show from studios in Wembley. He doesn’t like to talk about it, but the pay was very good.

9.  He met his wife Jeanette Kruger on the internet dating site Match.com.  They were married at West Ham United Football Club on November 11th 2006.  It’s an easy anniversary to remember as it’s Remembrance Day. Each year when he sees people wearing poppies, he knows it’s time to book a table at a local restaurant.

10. Once when he was very tired from presenting GLR Breakfast, he was called to say Jeremy Nicholas was in reception to see him. He was so jetlagged as he walked along the corridor he wondered if he would get to reception and find himself.  It wasn’t him. It was an actor who’d used the name Jeremy Nicholas professionally since 1968.  The other Jeremy demanded that our Jeremy change his name, but our Jeremy refused on the grounds that he’d been born with it in 1962.

To book Jeremy as a professional speaker at your event please email jem@jeremynicholas.co.uk

Testimonials and all that malarkey can be found at www.jeremynicholas.co.uk

7 ways to be a MediaMaster- by my co-author, Alan Stevens

mm-cvr-redWhat Brian Clough could teach today’s TV performers

The late Brian Clough had great advice about sound bites. “If you think of a killer phrase that sums up your story, the media will swoop on it like vultures. Keep them fed and you’ll keep them at arm’s length with you in control.” If only media interviewees today knew that.
In a new book, MediaMasters, Alan Stevens and Jeremy Nicholas have interviewed many of the top media performers in the UK, to find out top tips that anyone can use. Here’s a collection of six more of them:
Former paralympic athlete Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson says “You are usually asked the same old questions, time and time again.” Her recommendation? “Practise your answers and make sure you get better over time”
George Galloway MP agrees. He doesn’t believe in being diverted by inconveniences like interviewer’s questions. He says “You should say what you want to say. If it’s a good point, repeat it.” Exactly. You should say what you want to say.
Comedy performer Phill Jupitus urges caution when making comments in jest, advising “They may not look good when printed in black and white and attributed to you. Always speak the truth, except in wedding speeches when diplomacy is more important.” How true that is.
The creators and writers of the “Alex” cartoons, Charles Peattie and Russell Taylor, also use humour, but emphasise brevity too. They say “We can create a story for Alex in just four frames of a cartoon, with a joke to end, so surely you can trim your message a bit?”
Turning to TV skills, Michael Parkinson tells you to befriend the camera. His best advice? “When you are talking on camera, imagine you are chatting to a family member or close friend”. It certainly worked for him with his relaxed interviewing style being much imitated.
Lastly, novelist Fay Weldon gives some great advice about writing articles. She says “I don’t believe in sitting staring at a blank page for ages. Write first, think afterwards and analyse later”
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. It’s all about preparation and confidence. There’s plenty more advice from the other MediaMasters in the book too (ISBN 1-905430-61-2), which is available from Amazon, or the authors’ websites at www.mediacoach.co.uk or www.jeremynicholas.co.uk.