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BBC Radio 5 live commentator Alistair Bruce Ball visits Year 6

On Wednesday 12th March Year 6 were delighted to welcome Alistair Bruce Ball a radio 5 live commentator into their classroom to learn about his job as a sports commentator. The children had prepared many questions that Alistair was thrilled to answer; sharing his experiences about radio commentary.  

Alistair began his talk with the children by presenting the equipment he requires to fulfil his job- Dawid and Amira were excited to be chosen to use the equipment while the rest of the class closed their eyes and listened to the descriptions of Alistair’s actions.  The clear message here, was language and vocabulary on the radio is incredibly important to ensure the listeners can create an image in their head of what is happening.  Alistair shared his passion for football and explained fully how he had “no idea what I was going to do after university, studying Italian and Drama.”  

Year 6 helped Alistair with a variety of synonyms he could use for ‘kick’, one of Alistair’s biggest messages was the need to have a huge repertoire of words to describe one situation or how a ball is kicked.   The children were overwhelmed to learn how Alistair had interviewed a number a famous people: David Beckham, Tiger Woods to name a few.  Alistair shared some stunning photos of the amazing places his job had taken hi,: Australia for tennis and cricket, Brazil next year for the world cup and Russia, places he said, he may have not taken himself – so a superb job that involves travelling to some wonderful parts of the world.

A few questions the children asked:

How many years have you been working for the BBC? I started working for the BBC in 2004.

Why did you choose to become a commentator? At 7 years old I wrote a football report for my teacher and was told I should do something in sport one day.  After university, I had no idea what I wanted to do, however I knew I loved sport.  I used to watch match of the day: turn the sound down; record my own commentary to see if it would explain what was happening on the screen and listen to it back to edit and review my commentary.  I realised how much I enjoyed doing this over and over again, I looked at finding a job that would allow me to pursue my passion for sport.

If you would like to listen to Radio 5 live, click on the icon below to visit the website.


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