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BBC Radio 5 live searches for Young Commentator

A nationwide search is on by 5 live to discover a young radio commentary star.

The station is looking for boys and girls aged 11 to 15 to demonstrate their skills. They just need to visit bbc.co.uk/youngcommentator, select a sports video clip and recording themselves in action.

A panel of experts will shortlist the entrants and the final 20 will face a judging panel made up of 5 live sporting commentators and pundits including John Murray, Conor McNamara, Jacqui Oatley, Gigi Salmon, Darren Campbell and Sonja McLaughlan.

The winner of 5 live’s Young Commentator of the Year gets the chance to spend a day with 5 live at a sporting event where they’ll have a go at commentating. They’ll also get a behind the scenes tour of 5 live and BBC Sport at MediaCityUK in Salford along with receiving a Young Commentator of the Year trophy.

5 live football correspondent, John Murray, has a few tips for any hopefuls: “You’ve got to remember you are commentating for the radio, not television, so words are extremely important as the action can’t be seen. Reflect the excitement in your voice, think about pace and how you can build up to a crucial point. I certainly want to hear passion and enthusiasm, but at the same time it is important to stay in control of your voice.”

Jacqui Oatley, who was the first female commentator on Match of the Day, is hoping that the girls give the boys a run for their money when it comes to entries: “I’m really keen to see a large number of females entering the competition. It’s important for girls to believe that sports commentary is no longer a male domain and that they can make a career of it if they have the aptitude plus the desire to work extremely hard.

“I didn’t always enjoy working against such resistance to hearing a female voice commentating on television football for the first time, but now it’s far more common to hear professional women reporting and commentating on sport so young girls should be confident and go for it!”

Entrants can choose one of five clips to commentate on, all featured on the 5 live website. They include some key sporting moments in men’s football, women’s football, rugby, athletics and tennis. From the Olympics 2012 to the Six Nations 2016 there’s something for every sports enthusiast.

Back in 1986 the Controller of 5 live Jonathan Wall became runner up in the BBC Radio 2’s Young Football Commentator competition. He says it was something he will never forget:

“I used to commentate on my Subbuteo games as a kid, so the competition back then was a brilliant opportunity!
It’s great to be running this competition of our own to find a new wave of talent and who knows they could go on to be one of the commentators of the future.”

5 live’s Young Commentator of the Year competition opens on Friday 22nd April and entries close on Saturday 7th May. For full details visit bbc.co.uk/youngcommentator.

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