I’d sent an email to the BBC West Midlands newsroom some time ago hoping to secure coverage for my running in Marathon des Sables. The first thing was getting a call to be interviewed on the Joanne Malin show. This was cheering enough. However, sometime later I also got a call from Daniel Pallett wishing to arrange an interview with me for the BBC Midlands Today news programme in their sports section.
I was really excited, but didn’t let on to anyone as the date we arranged was a little way off due to my work commitments and I didn’t want to jinx it. Thanks to the vagaries of the construction industry in the current recession, I have had to take a job down in London, returning to Birmingham at weekends (although I have to say that it doesn’t get much better, certainly for sporting inspiration, than working for the Olympics, for which I am truly grateful for the experience), so it was a question of sorting out a date in the week when I could get back to Brum and keeping fingers crossed in the meantime that it came off. I needn’t have worried.
On 24 August I made my way in to the BBC studios at the Mailbox and met Ian Winter, a sports presenter for BBC Midlands Today, and Tom the camera man.
We started off in the studio with me watching footage of Ben Fogle running in the Marathon des Sables and I could feel myself welling up a little with emotion at the thought that this will be me next year in the race. I don’t think it showed on camera, although I could hear it in my voice.
After takes from a number of angles, we set off in the car to Cannon Hill Park to get further footage of me running around with my backpack and to continue the interview. I hadn’t really appreciated how long filming would take to complete for the feature. In total, from start to finish, it was about three hours, although that included travelling time between the studio and the park.
I was surprised to learn the speed of the editing turnaround too. Ian informed me that the feature would be broadcast later that evening on BBC Midlands Today, so I hastily sent text messages and emails to friends and colleagues to let them know that I would be on.
Always a bit embarrassing to see how others see you, but I remembered why I am doing this, namely to raise funds and awareness for Facing Africa, and overcame my usual camera shyness to get my message across. Unfortunately, the video clip is too large to add here, but you can access it through my Facebook page. Hope you like.