Hazel Irvine was the youngest ever Grandstand presenter. She’s since become the first female lead anchor at a golf major, and the doyenne of snooker. She might mention interviewing Pavarotti about showjumping, commiserating with “Britain’s coxless men” or Seve saying he wanted to be remembered as an artist.
Hazel leads the BBC’s golf and snooker coverage, and presented Olympic Breakfast during the London games. She is recognised as one of the broadcaster’s most flexible, knowledgeable and engaging presenters.
Though her career began in local radio Hazel quickly became a recognisable TV face – she broadcast from her first Olympics in Seoul in 1988 and has worked at every Games since. She was the youngest ever presenter to anchor Grandstand and has hosted World Cup Finals, London Marathons and Wimbledon coverage. She has also been the recipient of the Royal Television Society’s Sports Presenter of the Year award.
After dinner, Hazel has a wonderful, self deprecating style – “No I’m not the one who does the rowing and I’m not the one who does the rugby”. She regales audiences with tales from her broadcasting career, including the all too frequent use of double entendres by her snooker colleagues, the joy when unpronounceable athletes pull out of events, and what it’s like broadcasting to an estimated 27 million viewers during the London Olympics opening ceremony.
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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