HOW TO BE A FOOTY COMMENTATOR

In: Premier League

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BBC Five Live's John Murray shares his secrets!

PREPERATION!

John says: "It takes me most of the day to prepare for a match. Very often I’m seeing different teams so I almost have to start from scratch because might not have seen their previous game. There’s a lot of homework that goes into it!"

DON'T OVER STAT!

John says: "Nowadays there are more facts and figures than there were before. I’d certainly say use them but observation is almost more important because that is unique to the commentator! What you see inside a ground, how you see a player, how you describe them, how you describe the scene in front of you, what you talk about with the summariser. Those are all things that make commentary come to life rather than a functional, statistic-packed commentary!"

TOOLS OF THE TRADE

John says: "I take my microphone, work bag and my file and my records that relate to teams that I’m watching and I’ll always take a bit of information from the last time I saw them. I have the previous weekend’s newspapers, I’ll take the Nationwide Football Annual which is pocket-sized and has loads of info and I find that really useful. I’ll have my iPad, I also will have something warm – my scarf and hat!

"I have my binoculars, which I use quite a lot before the game. When the players are warming up I like to look at them through the binoculars because they might look slightly different, they might’ve had a haircut or have bandages on!

I’ve got my stopwatch in there as well, I’ve got my recording equipment in case I’ve got to do interviews after the match, I’ve got other little bags of technical equipment in there – tissues! I always carry some cough sweets just in case, I’ve got various lanyards, sunglasses, my glasses case as well! I’ve got my adapter plug, batteries and my contact lenses, pens, rulers!"

CO-COMMENTATORS!

John says: "Who you have as a summeriser is instrumental in making it a good commentary. Fortunately those that we use, the standard is really high now, we’ve got a wide pool. I think they like it when they do radio as they’ve got more time, there’s not that restriction there."

"Jermaine Jenas has just got a bit of mischief about him, he’s got a little twinkle in his eye.

"I remember watching Danny Mills as a footballer, he was a tough-tackling, no-nonsense full back, but someone like Danny really surprises you when you talk to him as he’s actually a very well-rounded individual and very much an independent thinker! He won’t shy away from saying what he thinks!

"To see what it’s like for Shearer in Newcastle was a real eye-opener. He must never be able to go into Newcastle because he wouldn’t be able to move! He’s very accommodating and enjoys being a pundit! He’s obviously thrown himself into it.

"Robbie Savage is always good fun – he’ll spend most of his time nudging you with his elbows! If he makes a point that he thinks is good, he’ll nudge you!

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