Friday, February 03, 2017

My mate #22 Mark Webster

Jonny Owen, Webbo and Me in London 2016
So, to the revival of the "my mate" series where I say something nice about one of my mates after a random shuffle of the address book, telling a tale about how we met, etc. 

This time it's Mark Webster, broadcaster, writer and Whistleblower.

Webbo and I worked together at a doomed TV station in the early 1990s called Wire TV. He was one of the best things about it. He was smart, funny, sharp and above everything else in broadcasting - he was good to work with. The reason Alan Partridge works as a TV character is because it's such an accurate parody of the worst kind of media personality. Mark is the total opposite of that, he works hard on getting the programmes right, but he is always as quick to share the love, as others can be to place the blame.

As a sports broadcaster Webbo also brings a much wider cultural hinterland. He writes for Jocks and Nerds magazine, used to be a writer on Blues and Soul, was a main DJ on Kiss FM and I think this brightens his writing about Sport on TV for the Mail. I think football has required that wider world view of its burgeoning media and I sense his success with his work reflects that. Partly that also comes from having a great address book. In the times he's invited me onto his Whistleblowers podcast I've met brilliant fellow guests - Kevin Day, Andy Smart, Alan Alger, Stuart Deabill and Jonny Owen (apologies if I've missed anyone out).

Here's another measure of what kind of bloke he is. When I did the podcast last summer (pictured) Webbo and Jonny were so good with my eldest lad, Joe. I can imagine Joe was dreading taking time out from our day in London by going to a pub to meet one of his Dad's mates. Jonny, I ought to mention, has made the brilliant I Believe in Miracles about Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest and on St David's Day will be releasing a film about the Wales' adventure in France last summer, Don't Take Me Home.

So, thanks Webbo, see you back in the pod soon.

It's been a while since I updated the "my mate" series. I haven't stopped because I've run out of friends or anything, but it was born in the pre-social media era when this blog was a far more vibrant place. So, I'm reviving it. It's basically a chance to get some more variety on here as well. to do a little bit more than just moaning about Blackburn Rovers, Jeremy Corbyn and trains.

1 comment:

Tim Ryan said...

I Believe in Miracles is a great movie (although as a Forest fan, I would say that). The film is so nicely structured for a sports documentary, a genre which often creates bland chronological sequences of events. This was so much more, with a brilliant 70s funk soundtrack, to boot. The Guardian's Dan Taylor's book of the same name is also a good read.