As Nick Heath continues his pursuit of a career in rugby commentary, he tells us how things have been going in the last month.
Well what a month it has been. The last time I checked in, I was at Twickenham having a run with a few of the England boys. Since then, The Rugby Blog Podcast has taken priority and I’ve been doing my best to try and get to more press conferences to speak to more players and coaches. It all helps as it only serves to strengthen my relationships with the media and communications managers at the clubs, something that will stand me in good stead for any potential future work.
Alongside this, I’ve been freelancing for Talking Rugby who produce the RFU podcast and provide audio to the Aviva Premiership site. It was via their talisman Simon Ward that I was given the contact details of a chap at BBC Surrey who I was told ‘was looking for someone to help out with covering their broadcasting of Esher’s games in the Championship’. An unbelievable email exchange later and I was potentially being thrown in at the deep end to commentate on 80 minutes live online a week later. I’d had some experience of doing this for The Rugby Blog when I commentated on the Autumn Internationals last year but that was only for our reference and highlights purposes so to be now doing it live was the real challenge I’d been waiting, well 31 years for..!
A week of nervous preparation later and I undertook my first gig, away at Meadow Lane as Esher got humped by Nottingham RFC. I felt it went fairly well and luckily so did the producer who asked me to follow up with the next match at home a week later. During those seven days, I then got asked if I’d consider covering a football match for them as a reporter! It never rains but it pours! I was delighted. Check the video below…
So with two live commentaries and a Saturday afternoon sports show under my belt, I’m beginning to feel like the commentary side of things and my relationship with the BBC and radio could be really going somewhere. It’s brought me to set myself a challenge. Talksport are exclusive rights holders to the radio coverage of next years RWC in New Zealand. My target is to be on their team out there. Deep breath… Here we go!