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Read this: Gary Lineker: presenter, influencer, campaigner

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Gary Lineker: presenter, influencer, cam…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts welcome to the media show and I'm delighted the same.

I guess today is one of the best-known and most influential figures in the UK media production company and you game show on ITV over 8 million followers on Twitter role in one of the best-known advertising campaigns of the last five years a regular presenting slot on Saturday nights on BBC one.

That is had since 1999 and before all that of course he was pretty good at football as well.

Thank you.

Nice to be here as you listen to all of that.

Do you recognise a do you think of yourself is a media player rather than a retired football player sweets and crisps flogger extraordinaire.

Time since my career finished in the early 90s, so yeah, I know I've been very fortunate to have found another courier Post football obsolete still involved football which is my great passion, but yes, I've done film.

I'm very much immediate person these days when you were starting out.

Will you one of those in the dressing room? Who is the media who had the paper in was like what the saying about our team or look what they're saying about politics well in terms of the newspapers and looking how about our team and I'll performances by all the newspapers had scored if I played appallingly.

I wouldn't buy any of them nowadays.

It's all social medias.

There's very different so it's almost unavoidable but yeah, I was always interested immediate when during my career.

I knew I think once I got to around my mid 20s and when I stop pushing myself in terms of being a play at the elite level.

Started to think encouraged by my agent John Holmes still made it to this day encouraged to think about Post football and what I wanted to do.

I never really saw myself as being a coach or manager, but I was always interested in the median time member World Cup in 86 World Cup in 90 m in this now and then remember you to go and sit with them seeing how they break their opening lines for the newspapers.

I used to sit with the radio people the TV people because I was actually quite fascinated with how the media worked and I'm from that.

I think I I thought I said it's or a career ahead and obviously knows that we were starting to get punditry.

It was becoming more and more other possible football job, but I looked at football compared with perhaps one or two other sports Like Cricket Tennis when you got David Guetta on Sue Barker who have been former.

Save a particular sport that now presenting and talking to my agent you know if I can crack presenting.

It will give me a niche in the field.

It will because people in football boots with an exception of Bob Wilson and Jimmy Hill 2nd grade did a tiny bit of presenting but mostly, but mostly.

I just thought if I can crack being able to present role and just be another pundit.

It might give me some kind of niece and give me longevity and that's sorted out proved, but it's worked out and you clearly had a long-term plan but in the very short term did you see the media is something that was potentially a threat something that had to be managed.

Yes, and it still is the lessons were your agent telling you to bear in mind that no side get on with the people around even even the ones that perhaps weren't always on your side.

Then it might help in the same way that when I play football you to try and get on with the referees because I thought in a moment of when they're absolutely not quite sure it might give you the right the door will giving your track record and obviously work, so it was just trying to give you a better chance of succeeding if you can get the media on your side.

It's much better than having the media against you I'm not always lived up to that in later life, but when you are Leicester and then Everton and Barcelona did people at those clubs sit you down and say this is how we want you to handle the media these things like that nothing like that.

You just got in front of Jonah so what are there was never now the kids and they're not in the roller ticular that they know how to handle difficult questions.

We just did it on and I might be good for those.

Turn the clubs, but you think those of us who consume football via the media of the poorer for all that training they have I don't know because if you look at the very full of admiration for for young footballers, how they handle themselves, how they speak and I think now the the past the initial probably training.

I don't know how they go about that training.

I've not not really kind of live but I look at them now and then very brave a lot of them.

How they speak about whether it's racist issues, whether it's like Marcus rashford for example with feeding the poor in this country and I think whatever in really brave, so I don't you know they've had this Media training but I don't think it's still took them.

Dance with reference to big social issues in the case of Marcus rashford, but just in terms of less important is still very interesting issues sport itself.

I sometimes watch sport into something more wires wires questions not tougher.

Why are we not getting more nuanced dances about what formation and manages chosen or wire player decide to do this in this situation to you sometimes feel the soft pedal.

I don't think so not politics.

You know it's not you.

Not you not questioning someone about something that you might question someone tactically post interviews.

I think it's a difficult job.

Whoever is doing them.

Especially if it's someone that's not done well, but and managers can get very touchy and almost paranoid and withdrawn a little bit sometimes and you have a girl and I think that's also part of what I was talking about earlier the the NEC advantage I have being an ex player having played at the top level.

Add to interview managers which doesn't obviously I don't do the post game interview too often occasionally I will and I do want every now and again for Match of the Day but I'm never gonna have a managing look at me and go.

What do you know about the game Uno which they can do I think two people that a prat not had a career unfairly probably but I think that's definitely the case so you can interview managers and stuff, but it it's it is different to politics.

You're not trying to trick them up like perhaps.

You wouldn't if you're interviewing a politician about the policy that they've made it.

This is you know tactical new answers of the game and you've got to really understand that have that conversation with that person is I asked was thinking as preparing for this interview about Sonia McLaughlin colleague of the BBC who you'll know and after Six Nations rugby game be after couple of days to come you're tough question you don't seem that tough too long.

Good, but she got a lot of heat and a lot of criticism when she shared her upsetting that was for her and I wonder if that would put off but within the media billing people do get a lot of heat from anything we get a lot I get what heat sometimes.

You know you express an opinion about football team and I liken it to to like children.

Have you got your children? They can misbehaving you can I can drive me crazy at times and you couldn't understand you can get angry and get Cross at them at some times and try and discipline them in way and it that's fine.

That's fine.

You can criticize your own children, but the minute someone else has a go at your children you get super protective and superdefense it and that's exactly what it's like in exactly the same thing you know they're probably saying the same things at home about their players and their team and their manager.

They can have a pop-up them, but the minute you do it and somebody has a girl.

They will certainly want to defend their manager their team so it's a little bit like that.

So it's sports very emotive it very emotive and people do get that's only true now.

You were talking about in your mid 20s you started talking to media talking to AJ you would identify potentially an opportunity to become a form of player becoming a presenter that journey was a reasonably long one there wasn't it? You have to put in the time.

Well it you do it's a totally different craft.

I've already put in a lot of time for football from being tiny about kids and this this was totally different so it took a lot of work.

I started writing writing a column for the Observer wrote it myself every week.

I still need some stuff for five live and my early days of a freesia which was fairly appalling at the start and I'm putting this on.

I think I did as shown at Tuesday night, then I did a show on a Sunday and it was in I was all with all part of the learning process.

Is it was it a pool in what you getting because I didn't really know what I was doing and managed to stumble my way through it and I learnt from really good people alongside incredibly helpful in the early days and supportive and then he has given the opportunity with televisions.

I did a bit of punditry to start I need to sit next to Des Lynam for example and learn so much from people like him and then eventually I got me opportunity which again looking back now.

I'm go is awful but it wasn't quite bad enough for them to dump me and when you were sitting next to Des Lynam did you think streamlined up? Did you know you were being lined up well drive barbecue was was then head of Sport BBC sign me up with with that in mind to do the train fitness.

Present it's on point Football Focus in the future, so that yes, I knew what was what was kind of lined up for me and what I wanted as well and also desk was a huge.

Help you been doing it since 1999.

I think I've got to presenting in 96 on television.

I did my first it was a light show of the euros and euro 96 here and myself as ever live presentation was the pilots of England Scotland and it attracted something like 11.

Not that you know that at the time and I obviously wasn't very good at that stage.

I think I'm fair to say but not as a game not quite bad enough to ensure that people live with want to know what does line and told you what does moto revere Disney is a sports broadcaster, what what did he tell you what tips do we pass on the nearest is the Diane

TV presenters just Justice Manor the number of things from very little things like when he does an introduction.

He always used to less example is mark, Lawrenson Anthony and he would always say joining is this evening mark Lawrenson on handset.

He never say joining me and I went said to myself because I remember you get it changed on the altar Q they changed it from it was on it as joining me this evening changed it to joining us and why did you do that you went because we're in people's homes and and it's everybody there joining us.

It's not so that was that something I can but I never ever send joining me ever if I have it was by mistake.

I probably have done it accidentally but so that was one tiny thing used to tell me he said you know try and think about your opening line particularly closing lines.

He said try and put a bit of funny for the Sony presenters on TV

Sporty said, it's also it's also kind of brand he said if you have a bit of fun with it sometimes.

You know do a silly panda whatever sometimes it work sometimes it won't he said but will lift you from from the rest and make you pay different so that was another think they would do it.

Just lots of things these mannerisms and the bravery to try and perhaps be funny.

Even though sometimes it doesn't work which I know to my own experience and many times but it's it a lot of things.

I have picked up just from sitting next to him and having conversations within 21 still presenting Match of the Day most Saturday night's last time I checked as 3 million people watching live over a million people on demand who is a significant.

How do you view the programme? What does a bit of sports broadcasting but as an institution the BBC but for the country really? I think it's actually quite remarkable.

I think it bucks the trend with with so many other things in terms of Sports television highlights highlights.

Don't really working in I can't think of anything else really not in the way that match of the day does but I think what it does it give the nation and we got remember a lot people in this country still you know they don't have Sky or BT or do you know whatever footballers show and it gives them their weekly fix and also attracted much younger audience now because of catch-up particularly BBC iPlayer and and I think people love football so much in this country and famous global sports well, but but also it's nice.

Just to watch it a few minutes of every game and it keeps you and everything that's going on with taking a long time to try and get the balance of the show right between the amount of highlights and him out of chat.

We could have to remember our audience is not Skies audience on it.

Example people TuneIn they want to just watch the football the goals has pick out a little bit of analysis.

I'm so we do a lot of research into that and it just seems to work and people like it.

Do they like it in part because it's bloody all they can get from the BBC or without paying for another service.

I'm not driven by the fact is the only available by the fact that you know almost half the nation haven't got BT or Sky where they were you get regular Live games and it and it suits them, but obviously I was also do have loved watching football, but yeah, we offer we offer a service that's not really available anywhere else so absolutely absolutely right now that should have Volvo do you think the government should sit down and go actually we need to rethink how this support is available to viewers throughout the night throughout the weekend.

I think footballers has got it.

Obviously, I would prefer more in a load of live games on on BBC but I think football has a nice buns overall.

I mean Premier League we have highlights on Match of the Day round also on Sunday night on match today to we have the FA Cup BBC and it's now going to be shared with ITV from this season.

We have the major tournaments the Euros with just gone through.

Obviously we got the World Cup or both on terrestrial television, so there is a balance and I think that's football is kind of got it about other sports less, so but you know in football in terms of football.

I think you're like a little bit more and perhaps on BBC but I think the balance is not too bad.

What about timing of the games and what's available that if we think prince of Ronaldo's is markable come back to Old Trafford that happened at 15 on a Saturday afternoon good for you on the highlights programme because people have to wait to see it, but does it seem like it?

A modern sport like football with the modern product where the Premier League is not letting you see in.

It's Joinery moment like that at the time.

That's what one of the great wonders of the Premier League that they do that.

She doesn't really have anywhere else and and it's done not just to make sure that crowds people still go to football matches all the time which is you want full houses for full houses really important for football and I think we've noticed that perhaps more than ever over this period during the pandemic where we've had empty grounds football stadiums look better on television few started playing every game live on television that crowds.

I think would inevitably be sparsa and and that would diminish from from the product putting out on television.

Yes, you can missed the live moment but in a way that's quite a good thing because you're also protecting the lower leagues fans.

Not you not you talking about the teams going.

People going to watch Premier League football but we have an incredible football pyramid that we like to protect so if they're all planets 3 on a Saturday afternoon and you watch everyone staying in because it was Ronaldo debut for Manchester United then then that's not a good thing for them.

So I think it's a great thing and also people playing football on Saturday play on Saturday afternoons.

So I think I can I really like that aspect of the Premier League not just because it's helpful to us on Match of the Day but it is of course helpful to us it definitely is and it's part of the reason Match of the Day remains reducing on on BBC One can I ask you about your role within that institution has been much reported you want the BBC's best paid presenters for your work on Match of the Day why do you the BBC is decided to commit that much money to the presenter of that particular program?

But night obviously I didn't fortuitous position.

I was sought after by numerous channels over the years and football is global is big business.

It does the biggest numbers on television more than anything else.

We've seen that and you're over again this summer so and this and there's a lot of competition and BBC2 fight for my talking about this for myself obviously because I'm realise how fortunate I am but you know they they BBC wanted me to have football on television and I'm quite very grateful for that is not there is a market which you are operating in and the number of people wanted your services CCJ paid I'm trying to understand why the BBC decided for this program and this man.

This is just Maestro go as it's all it's all right with the European

Not at the centre of it is mad but I suppose you find understand because you'll be in discussions why the BBC is Match of the Day as so Central to its connection with this country.

Are you probably have to ask the boss is in charge, but it's it's I suppose it is in many ways is has become a flagship program for sport in this country.

It's immensely popular and and again I say this there is competition for people in my business and I know prefer pundits on pundit solo not presenters that that double that I do for doing a lot better than I do.

I'm not it's always just define you know a big suit I know I have but I'm you know who would refuse it, so I say under the circumstances and I could have either way bigger than

To go elsewhere, but what's your view of how sports broadcasting is changing for example this morning before I came in to see you.

I was watching Gary Neville and Roy Keane walking Roy Keane's dog and talking for an hour's completely normal sports broadcasting.

I've watched quite a lot of it was there was interested.

Yeah, I suppose it's like we've seen the way we dived into podcast something that's the carrying and foxy might be a YouTube channel whatever is haven't seen it, but there's a lot of that stuff now and it's people making their own TV channels and their own casts so I think it's is there's a market for that, but I think fundamentally football itself is what most people want to say.

Talking about football is given lots of people work for my football in particular, so I don't think any of us would not that as we get this plurality of output from the football in terms of planetary, but where we can see the game.

Do you think there's a risk with asking too much of fanso a Leicester City found may have to well everyone paying their licence fever on top of that you might pay for Sky in my pay BT Amazon quite a long list now.

Do you think that the sport being reasonable towards fans?

I mean, I think when you look at it as particularly when you maybe sky in particular who went obviously the start of the Premier League and they've survived on football and they've helped football along the way but you can imagine if suddenly they lost the rights completely to the Premier League what would happen to Sky Sport in a I mean, it's very expensive is very expensive to watch Sky Sports Extra BT Sport with the champions league if they suddenly lost the Champions League

It would people bother with a subscription for BT Sport and the same weight with the Sky Sports side it but TV channels pay huge huge amounts of money for it a fair amount as well.

Not obviously the levels they can't compete with with Sky and BT as you've been describing these business models are built around paying large amounts of money for the rights and then getting large amounts of money back in via subscriptions and if clubs business model to some degree of built around getting the money.

That's paid for those at the concert making money the broadcasters and making money people within the media and making money, but what's your business football is Elizabeth is a sport? It's a it's my life, but I'm not entirely comfortable with everything no, I would love it all to be I think I don't know but it is a business and it is where it is.


Guys expensive BT's expensive we have to pay the licence fee we all know that so it's you know people have been asked but I suppose they don't have to you know you don't have to buy new Sky Sports you don't have to get BT sports yesterday licence fee and that's you know but we we offer quite a lot.

I think so not going to become some sort of you.

Hope you're away fans.

Just have a perfect experience and it's all very manageable in terms of cost all the time I suppose I'm trying to understand this whether you have concerns about the way that footballs finances are constructed media right at the heart of that and whether that risks not being viable.

There are clubs the one you used to play for Barcelona which is under severe financial pressure lots of smaller clubs hearing the either gone to the wall or come close to go into the wall and it seems to me footballs on a precipice is no question about that, but then it seems to avoid being on a precipice and seems to manage to stay.

Why do you think it's like looking at clubs like Barcelona what you saying if it can happen to a club like Barcelona I got themselves into such a fundamentally bad financial position despite all the amount of money that they received then.

How can it you know? How can it be even? How can it be easy for a small club for example which seem clubs? You know going to the war but I think about politics so important to local Communities that you know you hope that people find a way of keeping them in existence, but I think football have to find a way of filtering some of that money down but if clubs like Barcelona are in big trouble and can't feel them money down then then it worries me and that's why I censored.

There's a possibility of a footballer Preston and obviously after the coving in the pandemic where they're not had fans in and the hundreds of millions of pounds if it can survive there.

She you sort of thing.

It can survive anything but but only time will tell my worry is not for the Giants because something that always find a way but you know the smaller clubs in the smaller towns the enemy difficult question about the business models that clubs are using with Media at the heart of it as a secondary question which is some of the investors into football club, so if we take Paris Saint-Germain with its connection Man City with its connections to Abu Dhabi we've got the Newcastle Saudi Arabia story that's on going that money is being pushed into football an investment but partly because via the media.

These countries are these organisations can change their Public Image are you always comfortable with that no.

No, I don't we do about it.

The thing is every every club supporter.

They don't they don't like it and but then when it comes to their job.

That's ultimately what they want might give them a greater chance of success which is what fans want so am I comfortable with it? No not really you say don't know how you change the Premier League in theory has processes in a person's test but I don't know how bad you have to be to that particular test.

Do you think I should they should also that they should or should enforce it better or how you enforce that they're who determines whether someone's if they can do that, but they never done that the Premier League issue.

Isn't it? And I've said it many times in the fit and proper person's testing.

I'm not sure who would anyone.

We talked a lot about football but I know you are interested in lots of different sports you had an experience presenting golf for the BBC which from the outside Looking In makes this an experienced technician criticism came your way, how did how is that for you doing? I'm enjoyed it for a while.

I was a golf not and the sport but I didn't in fact I used to do the highlights of the open that's how I started and it was so much fun and what it do was the do a show at the end of the day an hour but we know where the British Open golf starts at 6:37 in the morning goes and I used to walk the course.

I'd walk alongside time would cause I have the armband on and I could walk along to the great's and then at the end of the end of the day.

I'd do the programme for an hour and it was tricky, but it was fine and then Steve Rider left.

TV offer me the golf job which meant doing the Open live and and the Masters and one or two of the smaller tournaments and I went into it.

I did it and I did it for 4 years and it was it was very different to football in the sense that when you do football there's a before that there's a halftime and there's an after the game in golf almost always when you are the presenter you come on and you are interrupting live coverage of a sport that seemed to me to be wrong and I used to sit and watch golf at home.

I don't want to see there's another scorecard and if there's an interview with someone that's Life golf going on now with the Masters it.

It's difficult it's inclusive Steve Rider call me the day before I did it.

I just want to call you to wish you well if you're about to do the hardest gig in television and I thought of plastic army down difficult.

You go live you've got a camera and they cut to golf but with the Masters I don't know whether it's changed now, but the Americans are complete charge of all the coverage the production everything except.

We've got own director who talks to me and my ear and they we basically get about 3 seconds notice before the Americans do you do an interview decide to go away from the golf decide to do to go to a commercial break which they do a lot and then you gotta jump and then you jump in with the camera and you have to fill and you're feeling you don't know how long it's going to be not no one with me is not like you can somebody talk about me sometimes have someone with you for a bit and then I'm going at right cut to come round a piece about worms Going On The Green or there's something and make up words and it was and I thought I'll see what you mean Steve it's really difficult but it was also fun and that was primarily just a Thursday and Friday of it and then it was different but again.

Interrupt I always felt like I enjoyed myself because I was in to interrupt in the sport and particularly with the open I do an opening in the morning at 8 or something and then I'm in a studio on my own for about 12 hours occasionally reading the scorecard occasionally interviewing someone and again.

I've been to Upton live sport you'll have to 4 years or so, I just thought I don't I don't feel the excitement for this and I told them I don't want to do it anymore.

So yes, you're right it did have mixed satisfactions for me.

It's always been interesting though for me watching your career here.

You are one of the best-known sports presenters in the country, won the best sports presenters in the world, but you largely stick to one spot despite the fact that I know from following you on social media and elsewhere that you've got this broader interest in sport.

I need a sports personality of the year but beyond that you've largely stuck to football.

Would you not like to front?

Front the rugby well, I did the golf and and I actually feel.

It made my mind up that I would just stick to football.

I'm not I've been told to do many times on social media, but in terms of working in the media.

That's what I wanted to do after I did the gold because football is it's my first love if you like.

It's mine as my passion and I love cricket.

I love golf snooker.

I love watching tennis.

I love All Sports but the football's my things football and no I'm really really know about football something about this agree, but it's in her played at the very top.

I've lived my life and I made a decision a few years ago in terms of sport on television to primarily do something else like for example.

I'm doing a game shortly as I'm going to try that was a bit of fun something completely different but yeah, but I love football it's absolute passion the game show.

People give us the the elevator pitch.

It's I don't want to put up too much because it's because you never know until it actually but recorded a few episodes and it's going to be primetime Sunday evening that I believe on ITV within about a month or so month and a half it's been on a fortune and I think it's brilliant and the audience is that came to watch it thought it was amazing.

It's got feel good factory.

Got people winning loads of money.

It's it's got tension.

It's got jeopardy right from the start.

I think it works, but I've already built it up too much though which is a surprise because you're not done a game show but I know you haven't done very much in the entertainment.

No, I didn't they Think It's All Over the show for many many years which was which was a lot of fun, so I've done so how did how did it happen? Who did you call?

No, it was actually Glen who invented the show Pointless game show jeans and he got in touch via age and he said can I have a chat with Karen major call me by this game show and have a chat with them and you talk me through the idea of my had the idea the idea because he's watching penalty shootouts and then he thought take me awhile to explain the show but I don't necessarily need to do that, but he thought you were football aspects within it and it was all about because the person is called sitting on a fortune because there are we got we start with contestants and one of them eventually will be in the chair for to answer a question if you get it right for quite considerable amount of money, so it's about arriving in the right place at the right time.

In a bit like a centre-forward so he thought of me and he told me the idea.

I thought this is really good.

I really like it.

It sounds like you'll be really fun and don't know I'll be very good at it and I did it a few weeks ago.

It was asked to find out if you're really good at it before you we had a couple of pints is 2 pilots about two years ago and they went really well everyone loves them and then the pandemics drop and they wanted an audience so had to wait and wait and wait and wait until we could have an audience.

I hope people love it home and it's so feel good.

I think they will but who knows the first time someone had called you and said would you do a Saturday Sunday night entertainment show?

Might be it's the BBC got through my agent this isn't something you been sending off the this was the right one this was never crossed my mind my mind until you approach me and took me into it.

I didn't take much talking into I just thought this sounds really good.

It might work.

Let's do a couple of pilots and see and I thought this is actually really enjoyed doing it took it in and you said we've never seen you talk to normal people I went well.

I do so you know I don't way too much.

I'm getting expectations too high here so this comment down but I try to be really enthusiastic.

I loved it.

Yeah, you get your agent.

How many offers does he fend off you get when you get a lot so it's hard to say no to the vast majority just

The football show interviews or show ideas documentary ideas, can you do this for when I get back my morning briefing each day saying I was cutting back a little bit because obviously I'm not doing BT Sport anymore for the Champions League which I love doing but I felt like I done that and it I just wanted a little bit more time to do all the things that I've talked about going to watch you know best around you at my boys.

We started although it was started in Leicester the other night when against Napoli and that was a fun so I just want to travel a bit want to do things the game show is doing a week.

So it's so that is an advantage.

Where is the Champions League love it though? I did it was quite long show two nights running it doesn't sound time.

It is mentally create a bit of space in that space you put a game show although it sounds like that's in the can now and so you've got a look that play out more broadly though.

Do you have aspirations to go outside of Sport know that I didn't have aspirations before the game show even cross my mind until he spoke to him when I watch what you talk about on social media so for example.

Just came into the studio had a look you told about var and support about deadline and birthdays about climate change and about animals in cages, and that's not unusual for you to take on a range of giving your platform.

I would imagine someone I'm guessing LBC or a broadcaster or a newspaper would have come to you instead we like what you're doing on.

Media can we build this in there, but I'm wearing to talk to you while I don't I think it's unfair going to say exactly who I don't think I don't think that be right because especially having said no and then I just don't think that will be the right thing to do but they've been numerous idea some of them have been interesting some of them not at all and I haven't obviously I'm not everyone is like a normal person and interests like everyone else what I am interested in politics in the separates you the rest of us is that you've got a million? I know but you know I don't know why I've got that maybe because of the fact that I have other interests and it's attracting more people.

I know it is a lot of people like I get that but so when you see Piers Morgan signing up for Rupert Murdoch and taking on a show that's going to be streamed in Australia the UK and the US talking about politics talking about sport variety of issues that doesn't.

No, no, I can I can have my view that the things that I feel are important which I've done climate change from this is really really important.

I've got you now.

I've got kids.

I'm not worried about me you know going and I think you know my generation will probably be alright who knows but I worry about my boys and I worry about their children and their children's children hear.

What are they going to have a planet that they can actually liver so so important things like that because I've got a big platform.

I can I can put it out there.

Obviously I think about things that I do and interesting that you say you want to impact these issues.

You say you're aware of your platform.

You're using it but you're not interested in a more traditional platform like a TV Show radio show which would also allow you to address these broader issues.

That's a lot of people so that's interesting.

You've already got the Twilight time.

This is quite a new experience having this platform as well.

Obviously, it's only come over the last few years and I can't concentrate to give him.

I've never asked me but I've used before social media about other aspects and I understand people that say we're not interested in the slightest about your opinion.

I totally get that but then ok well.

Don't so social media is giving us all the platform to show a little bit about who we are do I want to do those things for a living no not really it's not it's not about this is just about me putting out opinions and I don't think I will make any difference either to be permanent you know but I will put up my views on the off chance it might just make the experience of putting your views out on this platform that you've learnt to use has been like I looked up a an exchange you had in 2016 when you said the treatment by some towards these.

Jesus seriously racist and utterly heartless what's happening to our country and then a few hours later you said I'm getting a bit of a spanking today and I see that means you had a good time on social media, but 5 years ago and that wasn't that a big thing for me and I just I do find it very hard to understand how we can't have a degree of empathy for people's positions when they have to play a country for the War For conflict for possibly climate change in the future who knows all sorts of different reasons that that we can be.

So I suppose all fall in our treatment of the other way we with you that we don't want them here and I just found that you know something probably let me that day that annoyed me tweeters as aggressively as that and I don't think I do now and I probably would have rephrased it slightly but you do tweet about issues on which there are passionate divisions, don't you and you know when you press send on those tweets that there's going to be pushed back there could be some four or around that.

You'll find that stressful.

Not really I don't I don't quite stressed but all I know I don't don't eat anything.

I don't really believe in and I know you'll see people with platforms like yours off and say I'm taking a break from Twitter take a breather from this because they found themselves in these endless online battles.

No, I don't really it's very rarely.

Look at the mentions under my tweets.

I'll see.

You know you have the two different list that you have wonder if the blue tick people and that might know I might get a notification from if if I actually that's about the only people I I actually see so which is a shame because the I think the abusive nature of some people ruins it for everyone else because most people the vast majority of people in this country are really really good people and kind but you just get that tiny percentage of abusive ones on Twitter that could upset you if you read them and therefore you don't read them but by not reading them you also don't read the really nice people.

They really good people do it actually want to and having a decent conversation about something so you I avoid that because I

Because otherwise you sometimes you might be 1000 really nice to eat to you, but your but the one that's nasty is the one that you remember so why bother the comments below but you'll be aware that when your posting these tweets.

They aren't just relevant to you personally.

They could potentially be relevant to the BBC which I know that you're only employer but is your highest profile employer do you consider that when you I consider everything when I treat when I take three rules? I don't eat when I'm had a few drinks and he drinks.

I don't trip to eat when I'm angry, but I never angry haven't really got upset and I can get a bit miffed, but not that I haven't got that.

I mean played all coronavirus got book so I never tackled anyone that's probably why but so I am.

Like that but also the other thing is when I when I write a Tweet but it is I will read it through and if I have a 1% down to attend.

That's my rule the three rules for sending it but one of the rules is not steering clear of controversial subject because you have to be to the Ballot no because like refugees like climate change.

I think it's important that important and so my question is regarding the BBC is giving the BBC news is commitment to impartiality and I know that for example Simon McCoy when he was a presenter on BBC News took issue with one of the tweets that you didn't answer.

This is not helpful.

They don't know by 2 if they only apply to people in news and current affairs that they only so-so the rules were supposed to what I'm saying.

I'm not suggesting.

You're breaking the rules what I'm trying to understand his do you consider just a broader impact on how the BBC is perceived?

Even if you are within the well I consider myself a freelancer anyways, so and I obviously I'd work with the BBC I won't have I've worked with BT for years.

I'm now working with ITV I work with smokers hard work with I've worked with numerous people around I'm always I think I try to be considerate about what it would mean to the people that have employee at some point BBC ever call you up and say carry, please not another tweet on the People's vote or whatever it may be no I stopped on brexit about 230 years ago.

How come because I thought it.

I thought it was it was time.

I did I did I just thought I'd and I won't ever tweet about gloating if things go I know that one anyway.

I just want to see this country be brilliant, so I was stronger than at the time because that's genuinely what I felt, but I've left that for years apart from that.

I don't really tweet much about.

It's a little bit.

I'm interested in politics, but I don't you know I tried to be sensible.

I think that's that's why I try to be and I think I don't know I've never had any phone calls from the 10-day when he ending conversations with Jim Davidson she's been in but he's never call me up and said you can't wait about that.

You can't anyway.

I'm on my own person when I can tell you to do it again.

They might ask you to do it and I was just wondering if they have but when you met him would impartiality come a long time, but I don't think I don't talk to my impartiality and no one other question I want to ask about gambling because I've also seen you tweeting at about that you're clearly passionate about the harm that gambling can do in some circumstances and some Circus close friends affected by gambling in their life Willie Thorne and obviously Peter

Tried to support him in his his campaign.

I'm not anti gambling.

I just that people have a flutter have a better and occasional little bit myself but in terms of the constant push in football and and and television in terms of adverts around pushing young people pushing people into gambling so many people do have a problem with it that I agree with Peter Shilton and his campaign to try and Granny cake nothing come gambling around football last night.

Obviously as you watch games at all different levels of football.

You'll see gambling.

Would you like this many times? I love the game to to go away from that side of it, but this but I know I'm not I don't have power in the game.

I can give my opinion.

Obviously like this way.

I don't know I don't know I live in my own little what I mean mediaworld where I can have some kind of influence, but you know I'm not and I'm interested in politics, but I'm not I don't have no desire to be a politician have no desire to be in a lot of people and why don't you go and do something in the FA or FIFA or they wouldn't trust me.

I wouldn't like it.

I was assuming that your agent would be daily used with offers from the media saying would you do this or would you do that? I was also wondering recently weather classes of tation.

Location of the direct message from from people to try and help influence there.

The political side of things you on Twitter and again.

I don't like doing that.

I don't think that's right very rarely.

I won't say it was either because it wouldn't be fair but it has happened occasionally but had no I wouldn't do that and to be honest.

I am probably your Ark I don't mind meeting is I am your are Michael floating voter people assume my politics all the time but I'm actually barely in the middle.

You know I'm voted for lots of different parties in my lifetime.

So I'm not lifetime subscriber 21 party, so I wouldn't feel right in actually supporting one party anyway.

That's interesting aside from politics that in that case but more broadly people.

See you and your Twitter platform as a as a media Channel in its own right to try and lobby.

That's a 25-year old.

Extraordinary but I suppose that's the thing I look at the amount of people that follow you and think that that can make a difference and it's it's not right that you should be having opinion about something outside of football because you've got such a following as you know I can't I don't manufactured by following its could have happened over period of time people have decided to follow me so and what is the cut-off point is it so you can have a view if you've got 150 followers or maybe 3 is it 10000 or 1000008 million you can't so I wasn't a plan so you didn't sit down and 5-6 years ago and when I'm going to try and stop 2012 in 2012.

I'm sitting watching a football game with my son George and was sitting there and he's on his phone and he's open down on his phone watching the game when you're just a great game.

What you doing.

On Twitter is that I said you'd love it be great for you because you know you've done you.

That's ridiculous.

He said no so I said what is it worth should you get followers get loads of followers you get those he said I said how many have you got I've got about 12 13007 like that.

I knew what I know now probably cuz I'm your son and he went if I get you on Twitter tonight.

Will do a tweet.

Will do this do a picture prove.

It's you.

It's I will put you on Twitter and he said by the end of the night I bet you I bet you £5 you got more followers and I won't be ridiculous.

No chat I said I'll do it for that.

So that's how I got within an hour.

I got 60000 followers and I was and I thought this is this is a bit bonkers, then then you said you can't do it I went so so there is no planning.

That's it.

Turn your voice over time and then I got used to it and then I quite liked it and I like it not so much for treating but for watching you for example Rocher enjoy your provisions and I can see you're in a great reports that you do or you know keep you up-to-date sand the immediacy of the news on Twitter and whether it's Sport or anything else and I started to get ready and then it became a thing but the following thing still baffles me I did see I don't know why I have to it and so stupid jokes, but surely that's nice and we often ask guests on the media show this question but what's your Media routine in the morning at sounds like it would involve Twitter when you get up one of the ways that you check in with the world would be paper delivered or turn on the radio on for years.

I get my new scooter.


I don't bother much with all this social media.

I mean I've got Instagram stuff on a post pictures.

But I don't really look at Instagram very much I get my yeah.

I get my news from Twitter I wake up I can't function to have had a coffee and have a coffee and then I'll put it down put Twitter on in most used in the morning and then then I'll do my work gym or work or whatever I'm doing and then you know if this football on RTE about football the massive amount of my tweets about football and the vast majority.

I'm sure they probably are so because that is my fundamental interesting life, but there is never a Twitter plan so far but but yeah, it's for me.

Is there a lot of positives and negatives we know that but a lot of positives as well you definitely had planned to go into the media when you're a 25-year old and as you were describing that and spending time with the journalists and their reporters and broadcasters you have a twinkle in your eye could see your enthusiasm.

You still have that same love affair and curiosity with the media that you have them.

I still love what I do.

I really do I feel myself and take why me why I've been so lucky in life and I'm not just saying that you know the things that happened to my football Crewe amazing and and and I've had so much fun in the media.

How many years so it's yeah, I've still got that.

I still loved doing Match of the Day I still love going to Live games and what is it that you sit about the media experience than I thought about this before and I think what it is that you can never replace play.

There's nothing like it.

There's nothing in life that gets even close to scoring a big girl in a big game.

It's like an explosion of emotions.

It's like people so what's when you watch your team with a score really important goal.

How do you feel is likewise amazingly? Well, it's like that but when it's you.

That's done it.

It's like tenfold 100-fold if you like to go to Germany World Cup semi-final but has given me is not there is a replaces the team aspect of it.

So you still get the camaraderie even though it's a smaller team in television, but they still the dressing room banter that still there and there's still the address when the light goes on pretty much all my television not quite all of it especially now that is live so you know when the red light goes on the bus.

When does a buzz if not quite comfortable with the buzz about when you go and play a game of football because if you mess up and Television no one really cares that much is get myself.

Where is if you mess up in a football give us a penalty for 1-minute to go and you lose then that affects a lot of people's lives for quite a while.

So there is a difference, but it's still gives me it gives me something and it's not it's not that far off.

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