Jake Humphrey to present East Anglian Derby clash
With just days to go until the first East Anglian Derby for two seasons, excitement is mounting among fans, none more so than Canaries’ supporter Jake Humphrey who will be presenting live coverage of the match.
The face of Formula One on the BBC will be turning his attentions away from the glitz and glamour of the F1 circuit to another adrenaline-fuelled sport when he anchors BBC1’s live coverage of Norwich’s clash with Ipswich at Carrow Road on Sunday.
For Mr Humphrey, a former Hewett School pupil and Norwich City fan, it is a dream job, although he had to convince BBC bosses that being a City supporter he was the right man for the job.
He said: “It’s great actually. I had to have several meetings with the BBC.
“They were slightly concerned with someone with such a strong allegiance with the football club presenting it.”
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But as well as convincing them he was the right man to front the match, he also went some way to demonstrating that the East Anglian Derby, like the Old Firm derby in Glasgow or the Merseyside or Manchester derbies in the north-west, was a huge occasion.
He said: “We have a really passionate local derby up here. It’s a massive deal. I’ve grown up around Norwich/ Ipswich games and am hoping I can bring a new perspective to it.”
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Mr Humphrey, whose family live near Norwich, said it would be obvious to viewers that he was a Norwich fan, but insisted he was professional enough to be impartial on the day.
He said: “It will be fairly clear I’m a Norwich fan. I think trying to pretend I’m not would be a bit disingenuous. There’s no doubt I will be excited before the game, but first and foremost I’m a broadcaster and there to do a job. It’s about the game rather than the one guy sat there presenting it.”
The sold-out match, which kicks off at 1.15pm, will see a record-breaking attendance at Carrow Road with 26,450 expected to watch, beating City’s all-seater record gate of 25,522 for the 2-0 Premiership win over Manchester United in April 2005, and the stadium all-seater best of 25,749 for England Under-21s’ 2-1 victory over Romania last month.
And whatever the result, the match will be another highlight in Mr Humphrey’s impressive broadcasting career CV. Born in Peterborough, he moved to Norfolk as a youngster and started out at Anglia TV presenting sport on Rapture TV.
After several knockbacks, he got his big break on Children’s BBC before going on to present other shows on the channel, including The Saturday Show, Fame Academy and Newsround.
Sport, though, has always been his first love, and the Norwich City fan became the youngest presenter ever to host Football Focus, Match of the Day and Final Score.
In October 2007, he became the BBC’s first ever American Football host, subsequently presenting Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLIII live. He has also presented the BBC’s highlights shows for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations as well as hosting the afternoon show at the Olympics for the BBC in Beijing in 2008, and co-hosted BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2008 and 2009.
Last year he became the presenter of Formula One on the BBC and has just finished his second season of hosting the sport earlier this month.
He said: “It’s amazing, it’s an absolute dream job. The great thing about F1 is it’s so unpredictable. I feel really grateful that I’m doing my dream job and things just seem to be on the rise all the time.”
The East Anglian Derby kicks off at Carrow Road on Sunday, November 28 at 1.15pm.
Coverage on BBC1 starts from 1pm.
For match reports, pictures and analysis, log on to www.eveningnews24.co.uk or see the Evening News on Monday, November 29.