Adrian Chiles: My Life In Media

'Once you've got over the sheer terror of it, live broadcasting is easy: you do it, you cock it up, you go home'
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The Independent Online

Adrian Chiles, 39, presents Working Lunch on BBC2 most weekdays. He will present highlights programmes from Berlin during the World Cup. He has presented Match Of The Day 2 for the past two seasons and has worked on Radio Five Live since it started in 1994. He is married to fellow Five Live presenter Jane Garvey, they have two daughters aged six and three and live in Hammersmith, west London.

So what inspired you to embark on a career in the media?

When I was 11 I had a teacher called Mrs Baker who told my parents I was good at English and she wondered whether I might use that in my career one day. It sort of became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

When you were 15 years old, which newspaper did your family get, and did you read it?

We had The Birmingham Post on a Saturday and The Sunday Times. I read the sport on the Saturday, and on a Sunday if West Brom had won, which was not unusual at that time. My grandad had the Birmingham Evening Mail and The Daily Telegraph, the forbidding layout of which I found impressive but impenetrable. On holidays at our caravan in South Wales I remember loving the Daily Express.

And what were your favourite TV and radio programmes?

Match of the Day; Football Focus; music programmes like The Old Grey Whistle Test; Newsnight. On the radio, Steve Wright on Radio 1; Humphrey Lyttelton's jazz programme on Monday nights; the Today programme. On match days, Radio WM and BRMB.

Describe your job

I present stuff, which means I get most of the glory and the money while others do most of the work.

What's the first media you turn to in the mornings?

Five Live. The Daily Mirror, The Independent. Ceefax. CBeebies.

Do you consult any media sources during the working day?

All the newspapers; the wire services, chiefly the Press Association, and BBC online. And www.wba.co.uk.

What is the best thing about your job?

Once you've got over the sheer terror of it, live broadcasting is easy: you do it, you cock it up, you go home. Recorded programmes are much harder as you usually have producers with all sorts of old-fashioned notions about actually getting things right.

And the worst?

Being known as a West Brom fan. It's not that people aren't nice to me about it - it's just that I think about the Albion too much as it is, without being constantly reminded about them.

How do you feel you influence the media?

I think once you've got to the stage when you believe you're influencing anybody you're probably doomed.

What's the proudest achievement in your working life?

Voicing a trailer on CBeebies advertising a Tweenies football game on the BBC website. When it comes on my children look at me with something approxima- ting admiration.

And what's your most embarrassing moment?

Getting in a right old muddle during a live radio interview with Eddo Brandes, the Zimbabwean cricketer. I'd got it into my head that he was black when he wasn't. And still isn't, as far as I know.

At home, what do you tune in to?

Five Live, Radio 4, XFM.

What is your Sunday paper? And do you have a favourite magazine?

The Observer and the News of the World. Also subscribe to The Week, The Spectator and the New Statesman.

Name the one career ambition you want to realise before you retire

I think ambitions are dangerous. You end up concentrating on what you want to be doing rather than what you are doing. If you do what you are doing well then the future should look after itself. Having said that, I'd like to do some music radio.

If you didn't work in the media what would you do?

Teach, probably.

Who in the media do you most admire and why?

Charles Wheeler and Martin Bell because they've been there and done it and they're exceptionally nice with it. Malcolm Boyden who, when reporting on West Brom for Radio WM, showed you can be deadly serious about your football yet send the whole thing up.

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