Liam Rudden: Lights! Cameras! Action! Now, how do I get down?

John McGillivery and Liam Rudden
John McGillivery and Liam Rudden
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THEY hadn’t quite finished building the viewing platform from where John McGillivray and I will present all the action both on and off track when the Staggs Bar Edinburgh Monarchs begin their 2019 speedway season this evening (if you are reading this on line on Friday) or, when they began their 2019 speedway season last night (if you are reading this in print in Saturday’s paper).

With Scott Wilson, who had been the centre-green match presenter for two decades moving on, it was announced by the club last week that John and I would be spearheading a new approach to match presentation.

The idea is an exciting one. We will be perched on our very own viewing gallery over-looking the track and beamed onto the stadium’s big screen.

Last week was our first chance to check out the set up as the team and promotion gathered for the annual press and practice day - see last week’s column .

As the finishing touches were put to the viewing platform last Friday, just one thing was missing.

Perched high above the second bend, with clear views of the track and terracing beyond, you can even see into the referee’s box, the steps up to the platform hadn’t been installed yet.

On a beautifully dry, bright day, let’s hope for many more of them in the coming months, it seemed too good an opportunity not to check out the view that John and I will have throughout the season - so we started to scale the scaffold to where we will stand.

Now, it’s a long time since I had a go on a climbing frame, still somehow I managed to make it to the dizzying heights... only for it to dawn on me that, getting up there was one thing, getting back down quite another. Let’s just say it wasn’t the most dignified of descents.

I’m sure this week will be easier with the steps in place, one less thing to worry about on what will no doubt will be nerve-wracking occasion.

John and I will be announcing the riders for each race and commenting on the action along the way.

Having been handed my homework last week, a copy of the sport’s rules and regulations to study, we will, of course, be neutral but as to what we will say... well, I haven’t a clue.

It’s always been the same before any launch or event I’ve hosted, even back in my radio days, it was a very loose script that I worked around. Bullet points really, the rest made up on the spur of the moment.

That’s where the nerves kick in, the not knowing. Put a mic in my hand or press record on the video camera and I’m away... although I can never recall what I said after the fact.

One thing I do know is that you always have to expect the unexpected and be ready. I have a suspicion that’s going to be even more likely in the environment of a speedway match.

So, wish John and I luck as we prepare to make or double-act debut, of course, if your reading this in Saturday’s paper, you’ll already know how it went. Yikes!