When Katy met Harry

I have finally had time to reflect and take in the experience of presenting my first, and hopefully not my last, ‘In conversation with.’ I could not have asked for a better first guest in, Mr Harry Redknapp.

It is times like these when I realise how fortunate I have been to have received such amazing opportunities throughout my time studying Sports Journalism at University of Gloucestershire. 

Myself, Harry, the other panellists and my lecturer before the show

If you regularly read my posts, then you are aware that football is nowhere near my speciality. So, when an email entered into my inbox looking for people to audition to interview Harry Redknapp I was, to say the least, slightly apprehensive. 

I decided to push myself to apply and hoped for the best. If it wasn’t for my lecturer reassuring me in my ability and that despite my football knowledge being limited I would still have a very good chance, I don’t think I would have applied. 

Next thing I know, I am reading every book ever written on Harry Redknapp, every article published and watching a magnitude of TV shows that the former Tottenham manager has appeared on. I got through the first stage of the process and then the auditions and finally, I had been selected with three other students to take part in the event. 

At this point, I was still under the impression that my lecturer was going to be presenting the event until he informed me, that I was now the presenter. I don’t think I have ever been so nervous or shocked. 

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The scripts were written and rehearsed, much to the delight of my housemates who had to listen to my opening paragraphs every night until the morning of November 6th arrived… 

There was definitely a buzz when I got to university, everyone involved was excited and high on adrenaline. We went through the sound and camera checks, as I hoped that my ear piece wouldn’t fall out mid question. To avoid the latter happing, some fabric tape from the first aid box became very useful!… Note to self, purchase your own ear piece before going into a presenting career!  

To eat or not to eat, that was the question. We had a lovely lunch prepared for us in the green room, but neither me or my fellow students could bring ourselves to eat a sandwich until Harry came into the room. We were too scared at the thought of being half way through a cheese sandwich when the reigning I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here champion came in. 

Final version of the scripts ready to go

Of course, we had nothing to worry about. Harry is, just like you see him on I’m a celebrity or at the side of the football pitch – lovely. “Ask me anything” he said when we were introduced to him as the four students about to quiz him about his life. 

Everyone was in their seats; the stage was set and all we needed was our guest. As I recited my introduction, I caught the eye of my housemates who, after hearing the script over 100 times were mouthing the words back to me. After a quick smile and deep breath, we got the show on the road.

“Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Harry Redknapp”. Just like that, Harry waltzed into the room and chatted to us for the next hour. What did I ever have to be nervous about? 

And we are live!

The whole experience was such a privilege. Whilst still at university finishing my Sports Journalism degree, I was able to interview one of the most recognised people in Britain. 

The team I had around me were brilliant, the Television Society who filmed the show were outstanding. It was wonderful to see a group of students across a variety of courses putting on such an impressive event.

The production and presenting team after the show

Throughout my time at university, my lecturers have always emphasised the importance of taking opportunities and making the most of them. 

Presenting ‘In conversation with Harry Redknapp’ helped me to understand that even if the sport is out of my comfort zone, I have the ability to push myself to do the most that I can to achieve the best in me.   

Watch ‘In Conversation with Harry Redknapp on Youtube’

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