I’ve 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 a while ago 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 plans for the next few months – along with those of everybody else on the planet – have been thrown into confusion by the Coronavirus outbreak.
Covid-19 has already cost me some work, with the postponement of the Serie A season, and it will undoubtedly cost me more. In the great scheme of things, it’s hardly the most important issue, but it does highlight the vulnerability of freelancers in all sectors at the moment.
Anyway, it could be an interesting few months ahead, with the need to diversify and be creative becoming more paramount. Might do me good!
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.