The Perse School

Top sports broadcaster explains ‘how to talk football for a living’ on his return to The Perse

26 Sep 2018

Television and radio sports show host Max Rushden returned to his Perse roots to give an entertaining 42 Lecture on ‘How to Talk about Football for a Living and Get Away with It’.

Max, who left The Perse in 1995, has become a well-known figure on screen and on the airwaves, having made his name as co-presenter of hit Sky Sports show Soccer AM.

However, he told students it was only while studying history at university that he decided the career path he wanted to take, with radio being his initial passion.

Max explained how he started out presenting the Saturday morning breakfast show on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, getting up at 4am each weekend to head to the studio, and related how his spell with the local station culminated in his hosting a record-breaking six-day long programme from a camp bed at Cambridge’s Grafton shopping centre!

He moved on to BBC Radio London as a news and sport reporter before hosting the station’s overnight programme.

His big TV break came after he made a showreel which was picked up by Sky Sports. After “spending an hour chatting about Cambridge United” – his favourite football club – with a Sky executive, Max was offered a two-year deal to co-host Soccer AM with Helen Chamberlain.

“An amazing experience” was how Max described his eventual seven-year stint on the show between 2008 and 2015, interviewing big names from the worlds of film, TV, music and of course, football. He now presents BT Sport football quiz show Call Yourself a Fan? and hosts a programme on talkSport every Sunday as well as the award-winning Guardian Football Weekly podcast.

Max told the audience he felt lucky to have achieved so much as a broadcaster, but insisted he had worked hard in a competitive field to achieve it. He explained how going to university had been important for him in “growing up” and that being sports editor of the university newspaper had given him an insight into what he wanted to do for a living.

Max added that no matter what career path students wished to take, they should “give it a really good go because somebody has to do it, whether it’s winning the Oscars, becoming an astronaut or hosting a TV show.”

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