I’ve spent the last two days on the come down from an experience that was so amazingly awesome…to quote the legion of doom “what a rush!!!” and I’m still reeling from the event.
So on Tuesday 27th March, those that made the final ten in Michael Buffer’s and Matchroom Boxing’s MC Academy, were summoned to the Sky Sports Studio/Headquarter for the second part of the process…a live audition. Shrouded in mystery as to what the live audition would look like, and who was involved we all arrived (including two back up contestants in case someone no-showed, which in the fight game is a common problem, ask any promoter) ten became twelve, the competition had already become harder.
The Sky compound is huge, as I walked through with two of the other contestants in the process (Jon and Jack), reminded me of a university, with different buildings for all the different channels they run.
The Sports building was just as impressive, a hive of coming and going, some amazing people there. we were shown into the green room, where there was already a handful of budding MC’s waiting for us. the room filled up pretty quickly as Scott from Matchroom began to fill us in on the blanks.
We had a whistle-stop tour of the some of the studios, now I’ve been on a set a few times over the years and was quite used to seeing studios’ but I couldn’t get over how small these were, particular behind the camera, very little room, but it became apparent later, as many of the cameras are remote, there’s no need to have an operator on each one. everyone was in great spirit, with Heavy D (from celebrity big brother and Storage Hunters UK) giving us all his patented Arsenal cheers and trademark BOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!
Back into the green room, quick change of costume before the moment of truth, in the studio we paraded, a small 6ft ring for us to use as our stage, and a panel of judges, sat there waiting for us … JD Sports representative, Adam Smith from Sky Sports Boxing, Eddie Hearn from Matchroom Boxing and boxing hall of fame legend Michael Buffer. Think this became the most difficult job interview!
Johnny Nelson hosted the competition, and each of us, MCs, did it in turn. I was almost the last, doing my warm-ups a per instruction from my vocal coach in the corridor, it was my time… my hands shook and looking back on my performance I wasn’t happy with complete with myself, I fluffed a line up and corrected myself, but I gave it my all and forgot that the panel was there, as if I was in front of big crowd. (normally you have a crowd making noise and you time that, not in a small studio, and that put me off a little too).
Over to the judges, Michael really appreciate my pitch and volume, going from officials to fighters, there was mention of my fabulous moustache, in there somewhere, Adam Smith commented on the shade of tone in my voice, while Eddie Hearns comments were if you announced a fight like that on my show, I’d be very happy; WOWSERS! I was blown away by such comments, nearly asked if they want me to do the show on Saturday, but stopped myself.
But I still wasn’t sure if I had the gig, I hadn’t seen anyone else in this competition, and there was still a few lefts to compete.
They called a few peoples name and asked them to come back into the studio, I thought they’re going to let the rest of us go. The few guys joined us and told they did an improv session with them, reassured that it wasn’t anything to be worried about, others had their own thoughts on why they wanted to see just those few.
The call came, all into the studio; the moment of truth we had all been waiting for … Eddie thanked us all for our performances and then handed over to Michael Buffer for the announcement … Michael called a few people to the front, and sadly let them go, Heavy D was called and sadly let go, a few others were called and let go, down to the last six … step forward … silence … every second seems like a lifetime, hear my heart in ears, Michael announced one name, then a second, then mine … shit, I’m out …waiting for him to say not you … instead, it’s we are going to go with you … OMG!
So there it was the Final 3! I made it! as I said at the start, it was an amazingly awesome experience and so grateful to the panel to have been selected, I’m so excited to learn as much as possible form Mr. Buffer and make Matchroom and Sky Sports proud of their decision.
I always said that this was a marathon, not a sprint, and when I had interest and backing from a professional boxing company, I’d go to the board, I never in my wildest dreams thought it would be Matchroom boxing and Sky Sports!
Much more happened after this competition, so perhaps another blog another night … thanks for reading and thank you all for the likes and hearts on social media … I really appreciate your support.