I appeared on BBC One talking about Tranmere Rovers beating Watford
For most of my life, I have been too shy, anxious or neurotic to appear on television. My natural domain is behind closed doors with books, coffee, paper and pen. To me, the writer who must explain his or her work before a camera did not do a good enough job with their words. I have never sought the limelight, and I'm quite happy to live as an anachronistic recluse.
Over the years, I have been invited on various televisions shows. BT Sport wanted to interview me once after a particularly emotive article about my beloved Tranmere Rovers, while a few outlets have expressed interest in my baseball analysis. I have declined every request, though, usually conjuring an adequate excuse to mask my stumbling insecurity.
However, a lot has changed in my life over the past couple of years. I have matured, and many of my self-fulfilling tropes have been submerged in the numbing seas of adulthood. I have stopped caring about the opinions of other people, essentially, and that has freed me up to accept a few wildcard projects.
For instance, when a loyal follower of Planet Prentonia messaged me recently with details of an opportunity to appear on a BBC One documentary about the 2019-20 FA Cup, I was more receptive than usual. Details were exchanged with the producers, and I agreed to be interviewed for their segment on Rovers beating Watford.
Eventually titled The Road to Wembley, the film would tell the story of this season's FA Cup, I was informed, to be aired ahead of the final between Arsenal and Chelsea on Saturday. The concept relied on a key narrative from each round, splicing together urban cinematography and dramatic sporting montages.
Tranmere's miraculous comeback at Vicarage Road, followed by their famous defeat of the Hornets at Prenton Park, was the story of round three. I was asked to share my memories and recall those bygone glories while filming at Prenton Park. It was a great experience, and I'm thankful for the opportunity.
Late last night, The Road to Wembley had its first run on BBC One. I was really pleased with the outcome, and I'm proud to have represented my club and hometown on national television. They say everyone gets 15 minutes of fame, so it may be all downhill from here. If so, I'm happy to go out on a high talking about Tranmere.
If you missed the show, it is available for 30 days on the BBC iPlayer. You can find it here, until they delete the link. During these difficult times, we can all use some escapism, so take a timeout to relive one of the highlights of our season. Grab a cup of tea, put your feet up, and be transported back to happier horizons. It is sure to put a smile on your face.
In closing, when I was a kid, my dad used to talk endlessly about the FA Cup and its attendant fanfare. Excited broadcasts started at dawn on both channels - yes, they only had two back then, people - and Jimmy Hill presided over a gauntlet of magazine-style features prior to the kick-off crescendo. Well, I'm glad to have participated in the giddy pageantry this year. It is funny how things work out, eh, dad?
Up the Whites.
- Tranmere, Watford and the meaning of proper football
- I made my podcast debut on This is Tranmere
- I wrote a book about Tranmere Rovers, and you can buy it now