This is my first contribution to this page for a while. Usually, I only have laziness to blame, but this time is different of course. In fact, everything feels a bit different.
As I write in early June, it’s almost exactly 3 months since my last day’s work. It’s also more than 2 months since my own encounter with “The Virus”, which began even before Lockdown did. It obviously wasn’t much fun, but just as obviously I was one of the lucky ones. After about 3 weeks I made a full recovery and have been fine since. So fine, that sadly the weight I lost when I was ill (quite a bit!) has all returned with a vengeance.
Thankfully, my family wasn’t seriously affected, and we managed to get through April and May without too much drama or anxiety. I accepted the work (or no work) situation for what it was and kept myself busy. Of course, it was a bit harder to bear how freelancers like me fell through the cracks in the Government’s support!
Now we have restart dates for the Premier League, Football League and Serie A on the horizon, so I’m hopeful that my diary will start to fill up at least a little. But I fear that the next few months – and perhaps years – will be an uncertain time for the industry, and not just for the freelance workforce.
I suspect it will be the other side of summer before I update again. I hope the outlook is a little more hopeful then!
I started the new year in reasonably familiar fashion, dividing my time between Football – with EFL Highlights, Premier League Review and Serie A Highlights at IMG, and Rugby – with Premiership and European highlights for Channel 5, BT Sport and News UK.
For family reasons, I decided that I wouldn’t make myself available for a trip to this summer’s Euro finals with HBS, but was hoping to pick up some UK-based work on the tournament, as well as my usual bookings on County Cricket. However, my vague plans – and everyone else’s – then fell foul of Covid-19…
Autumn is traditionally my busiest time of the year and 2019 was no different. I worked on BT Sport’s Champions League highlights shows every 2 (or 3) weeks, provided voiceover for UEFA’s Europa League coverage at Input Media and also worked on my now regular gig providing scripts and voiceovers for preview features on the European qualifiers at IMG.
An extra booking I really enjoyed in October was voicing IMG’s Rugby World Cup Preview Show for the governing body. This was a daily news and features show, produced by Danny Prior and his team. Despite the tight schedule it was a really good product, although all I did was tidy up the script and add the VO so I can’t claim much credit. Working on it was a decent consolation for not being in Japan!
As well as all that, I worked as a commentator and reporter on Premiership rugby for BT Sport, Channel 5 and News UK. I also did a little VO for ITV and even less basketball commentary for IMG.
I spent a month in Paris at the Women’s World Cup for HBS. I was producing, scripting and voicing preview features, so my knowledge of the teams and players grew reasonably quickly.
The tournament was clearly a major breakthrough for the women’s game, but perhaps the biggest compliment I can pay was that it felt no different to any other major competition I’ve worked on. For instance, I saw two games at Parc des Princes – South Africa v China, which was terrible, and Scotland v Argentina, which was dramatic, controversial and extremely entertaining. So, a mixed bag – just like a men’s World Cup.
Here’s an edit of some of the features I produced. It was good to be involved with the whole process, rather than just adding the voice at the end.