Let’s be havin’ you! Norwich chairman Delia Smith lets rip at the Carrow Road fans
As the rest of the country recovers from its over-indulgence, we sports journalists are working just as hard as those moaning Premiership managers with four games in eight days – and we can’t even claim bad weather as an excuse and get it called off!
As sports editor, I produce and present a football show every Saturday afternoon with the former England, Arsenal, Palace, QPR, Brentford and Watford star Kenny Sansom (he also used to live in Barnet).
We’re based in the studio in West London every week but I managed to see some LIVE football last night (well, my home team Norwich anyway). I talk, sleep and eat football so it’s really important I get to see games from the fans’ perspective.
I was also at Carrow Road when Delia famously cried “Let’s be havin’ you”. Embarrassing at the time, but it’s now become a chant! We win 2-1 against Burnley in spite of sub zero temperatures and snow. JC very happy, my wife, CC very cold.
I’m used to talking about strikers – the brilliant Michael Owen, Thierry Henry and Dean Ashton(!) – but I’m having to deal with tube strikers this morning.
Kenny likes to meet the fans (yes, even the Millwall ones)n so usually gets to the LBC studios via the underground but I spend the morning booking him cabs. I also inform CC she may have to forget shopping and be at work with us tomorrow as we’re going straight to friends in East Clapham (Brixton) to see in the New Year. JC pleased, CC very tetchy.
My working week is the wrong way round. Most people wind down to the weekend, we wind up.
It’s my big afternoon with Kenny on Soccer Saturday from 2pm on LBC News 1152 with all the team news for London and simulcast on LBC 97.3 from 3pm as the goals go in. The show is also all about goals and gossip. Kenny and I have built up a fantastic rapport and we get listeners involved as they can email, text and even call the ‘Kenny Hotline’.
We try to make it like two guys chatting in a pub and don’t just concentrate on one boring old game but have updates on them all.
My excellent team – Alex Jensen (the Kid’s kid) and Nick Lester (former Henman wannabe but now better with the mic than the racquet) – have also been working hard over Christmas and have helped me put together a top show.
We’ve arranged several ‘Fans in the Stands’ to give us their views on the London games after full time. Hammer Gary is particularly tongue-in-cheek and reveals he was spending New Year’s Eve with Alan Pardew to discuss tactics after another defeat. We also had the two Martins on the show – ‘Mad Dog’ Allen, the Brentford manager, and Orient’s Martin Ling. They were in differing moods after a defeat for Bees and a win for the Os but it’s brilliant they speak to us come what may and they also love talking to the ‘legend’.
I also ‘drive’ or operate the equipment, including dialling ISDNs to the rugby and racing, but one of our crucial computers decided to crash at 4pm. Kenny helps me out while I re-boot. He can talk for England as well as playing football for England. I also obviously have one eye on Norwich – they win 1-0 at Leicester and tubes running okay so CC isn’t forced to spend the afternoon at Chrysalis HQ. The four hours fly by and it’s a great show. JC pleased but tired, CC ready to party.
Happy New Year! No headache, as driving last night. There’s no London Sport today so decide to head off early to watch Norwich tomorrow.
See more live football – or that’s what the ticket said – at Carrow Road. Norwich are abysmal and lose 3-0 to Preston.
It does mean CC can now book the summer holiday (in between the FA Cup final and start of the World Cup of course).
4.30a.m. Alarm clock rings. How I’ve missed early mornings over the Christmas period – NOT! I love my job but it’s the one thing I’d change if I could. It affects your life – and the wife’s – as I have to go to bed at around 10pm each night (plus an hour’s kip in the afternoon) but breakfast is still the biggest and best gig in radio so I think of it as an honour. It’s Arsenal v Man U tonight in the Premiership. CC away on business so I will be able to watch game without distraction, but who will pass the beers from the fridge?
Spend the morning talking about Chelsea, even though they didn’t play. It was a bore draw at Highbury – is this the beginning of the end for Fergie and Wenger? Start thinking about how we’ll cover big sporting events in 2006. World Cup obviously top of the list. Let’s hope Sven’s men avoid the dreaded penalties this time. Also start work on February sports rota – making sure Kenny’s not away. CC still away though. What’s the number for meals on wheels?