I’m tempted to say there isn’t any, but thankfully that isn’t entirely true. Lockdown 3.0 has been more comprehensive and therefore worthwhile than the pointless Lockdown 2.0, but it’s had one important difference to Lockdown 1.0. Thankfully, elite sport has continued and so has most of my regular work at this time of year. By the way, I love a good sequel but I really hope we don’t see Lockdown 4.0.
So, since my last update I’ve worked on Premier League, Football League and Serie A Highlights shows, all for IMG. I’ve had a few bookings at BT Sport on FA Cup and National League coverage and also provided match reports on DAZN’s Premiership Rugby highlights for Channel 5. Bizarrely, my December and January ended up being busier than they usually are. Can’t quite fathom that out, but not complaining.
I’ve done a little more VO recording from home than I usually do, but I’d like to upgrade my audio set up and do more. I think that will be a requirement in the future once this is all over, and the inevitable changes to how we all work will be an interesting postscript to this whole boring saga.
In the short term, I’m looking forward to my jab (shouldn’t be long at my age), the return to some kind of normal life, and covering live sport that’s played in front of a crowd. And also going to watch live sport, of course. That’s not much to ask, is it?
I haven’t updated this page for six months. For obvious reasons, you haven’t missed much.
That said, I’ve actually been surprisingly busy. June and July were spent working mainly on the end of the Football League season for Quest at IMG. August was a bit quieter, but since then, my diary pretty much returned to normal, with Football League, Premier League, Serie A and UEFA Nations League bookings at IMG, my usual Europa League highlights work at Gravity Media and Champions League shows at BT Sport.
Needless to say, I’m grateful for that, but I can’t help feeling that the product I’m reporting on is diminished. Sport without crowds makes no sense really, and more than anything, I miss going to games as a supporter myself. Roll on the vaccine!
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…
In March, before the first lockdown started, I contracted the virus. At least, I think I did, as I’ve not had a test to confirm it. However, I certainly felt more ill than I can remember before, lost my taste of sense and smell and couldn’t really function for about 3 weeks. So, “I had Coronavirus” is the story I’m sticking to!
Of course, I didn’t work during that time…well, actually I did one voiceover job from home, which took 3 hours when it should have taken 30 minutes and made me realise that even I wasn’t that desperate to keep busy. Which was just as well, because there was nothing doing for about 3 months after that.
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.
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.