TheFootyBlog Gets BBC Booted!

Before I tell you all about my experience down in Salford and being on the BBC Booted show for Radio Five Live. I should say I deliberately did not have a tribute up on here for Gary Speed. I didn’t know him (Although my first interaction with English football did involve him playing for Leeds Utd against Rangers in 1992). I did follow his whole Premiership career. My trip was as I said was to Salford and it was eerie thinking that Gary was in the same place only 48 hours earlier. My train also stopped outside the Reebok stadium to and from Salford. So Gary was in my mind a few times during this trip. I send out my love and thoughts to his family and loved ones.

Ok so I had wanted to go on BBC Booted since it began a few months ago. I had enjoyed previous shows and I wanted to be the first Scottish guest. Well last week my Grandpa’s football anecdotes appeared on my blog and a lot of praise came from them. The Guardian put it as their favourite thing and twitter was very kind as I received a lot of compliments and retweets. Then on Friday I got asked by BBC Booted’s Adrian Moorhead to send him my details as he knew I was interested in taking part on the show. I quickly did this and after two quick phone calls it was arranged that I would get the train down to Salford on the Monday and appear on the show that night with top European football writer Andy Brassell.

Over the weekend I booked the hotel and my train tickets down south. The weather was terrible and I was hoping that the lines down south would not be affected. I was told by family and friends to speak clearly and don’t swear… Really what were they expecting from me??

On the Monday I got the 12.40 train to Preston where I would then get a train to Salford Crescent. The train was packed, mainly with people traveling all the way down to London. Some woman came on at Carlisle and complained their wasn’t enough space for everyones luggage, I agreed with her point but also thought that we shouldn’t class her collapsable bike as hand luggage. She then decided to try and rearrange everyones bags, NEVER do this! If you are on last or after everyone else, then tough titty there is no room for your bike! Or six bags, you have no idea what are in peoples bags so don’t touch them. Also to the lady who brought her dog on the train, do not walk it down the carriages every hour, we know what will happen and it should happen at your seat not anyone else’s.

For anyone reading this and heading north to Media City UK in Salford, then I would suggest not getting off at Salford Crescent as there were no taxis there or signs to say which way to get to the Quays. Luckily I had been to Manchester before so I recognised the huge Hilton in the skyline and headed for that, as I arrived in Manchester I found a taxi and jumped in. It seems to get busy after four on the Manchester roads and he was complaining that he had to go back over the water… I think he forgot what his job actually was and what it involved! He also managed to drop me off at the wrong Holiday Inn, so well done him. The hotel had a view…

I should say that if I were making the trip again I will be getting a train to Manchester city centre and then a tram to Media City UK as their is a direct line.

The BBC’s presence in the area is massive and the whole place has a nice feel about it. It is all still very new. I reached my hotel at about 5pm and had a nap for two hours as I was shattered by my traveling plus I was getting a bit excited by my radio debut.

I was told to get to the studios for 9pm. So at about twenty to I walked across. I got to the reception to see a group of ten people struggle to get out the automatic revolving doors, so the guy manning the reception had to leave his post and let them all out… Either bad technology or idiots, I will be nice and say technology was to blame. So receptionist/security guy returns and my names on the list and someone will come and collect me. As I am waiting John Barnes comes out, he managed the doors just fine and he was very polite and we shared a joke.

I am then lead upstairs to the studio, I was allowed to take a photo but without a flash so I came up with this effort. The first person I meet is Andy Brassell, the man is a gentleman and we were talking away about football for the next twenty minutes. He complimented me on the blog and his knowledge on all aspects of the game bowled me over.

Then we were told to enter the studio. Mark Chapman or Chapper’s as I have known him as since his Radio 1 days welcomed us with a smile and a handshake and we sat across from him. I just followed Mr Brassell’s lead on everything, when he sat I did, when he stuck on his headphones I did. The lady reading the news finished and Chappers just began with the show.

I am not going to go into too much detail on the show as you have listened to it or will do by clicking the link below. I wasn’t to nervous, thankfully I take these things in my stride. I enjoy talking about football and think I can do it with anyone. It was so great to see Chappers so animated and smiling as he talked about my grandpa’s stories. You could tell he had read and enjoyed them. We then discussed Serie A and I managed to get in a joke at his expense which he took well and I think he enjoyed that. The three of us in the studio seemed to have a good chemistry and it seemed to work well. My only problem was that time flew by and it was all over too quickly.

Afterwards we shook Chappers by the hand and left. Andy and I said our goodbyes and my radio adventure was over.

I turned on my phone and had numerous text messages and was inundated with tweets. I thank everyone for doing that, as they were all instant and praising my efforts and the show.

My train back was delayed by twenty minutes and if you are wanting protection from the rain, do not chose Preston train station as the roof seems reluctant to do its job properly.

I can’t praise the show and the people that make it enough. Adrian is a great guy who would text or phone to make sure I was ok with the topics, got to the hotel and found the studio. Seriously it was appreactiated to know that he was there if I needed him. His text to say I done well was a very classy touch. I would urge you all to follow him on twitter @adeymoorhead¬†and tell him who you want on the show.

Andy is also a top follow @andybrassell , he really is a nice guy who helped me feel comfortable in the studio straight away. Chappers was a wonderful presenter, he was excited by the topics, made me feel at ease and mentioned the site at least five times. The sites hits and my twitter following has certainly gone up.

I had an absolutely fantastic time and would love to return one day. Here is a link to the PODCAST.

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