Q&A: Jake Humphrey - "In my dreams I'm an FA Cup final winner"

This un-sporty sports presenter hunk has two left feet and is colour blind...

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Q&A: Jake Humphrey - "In my dreams I'm an FA Cup final winner"
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What wakes you up and lulls you to sleep at night?

My wife, Harriet, and I have a very dull routine. Every night we put Radio 5 Live on a 30-minute timer and fall asleep giggling at the evening debates. We always wake up to Breakfast on BBC1 because I think it's important to start the day knowing what's going on.

Is your wife as passionate about sport as you?


She likes it but she can never fathom why I would watch a football match when I don't support either team. Whatever the sport, I tend to say: "I'm really sorry, I don't want to but I have to watch it for work." So I get away with it every time now.

What was the last programme you changed the channel to avoid?

I've really gone off reality TV. It seems to be a real celebration of mediocrity. Barely anyone will tune into the world's figure skating championships in the afternoon whereas ten million people will tune in to see celebrities doing the same thing really, really badly a few hours later. I don't understand that. We should watch shows that celebrate brilliance.

So you couldn't be tempted to appear on Dancing on Ice or Strictly Come Dancing?

I think the trick is to know your limitations. I have two left feet on the dance floor and I would definitely break my ankle on the ice. Basically, I'm good at one thing and that's talking. Luckily for me, someone is willing to pay me to do it.

Does that mean you're a sports presenter who isn't sporty?

In my dreams I'm an FA Cup final winner, but I played one game of football for my school team and was utterly useless. I've been promising my wife a six-pack for ten years and it still hasn't materialised.

Who would you like to invite out for dinner?

Sir David Frost because he was a proper interviewer who got under the skin of the people he was talking to. Sometimes I think people are guilty of not thinking big enough and David Frost always thought big.

He didn't just go for the easy option; he pursued the people who were never ever going to speak to him and ended up with the most remarkable interviews because of that. He's an inspiration.


Who was your first crush?

It was all about the Blue Peter presenters for me: Yvette Fielding, with Caron Keating coming a close second. No wonder I ended up working in children's TV.

Did you always see working on CBBC as a stepping stone?

I still can't believe that a kid from children's TV managed to make it in the grown-up world of BBC Sport. I remember the day I got the job: my wife was distraught because there were thousands of messages on the internet saying I was going to be rubbish. But the great thing about children's TV is it gives you the chance to learn the industry and make mistakes.

Has being colour blind ever hampered your career?

I was given a letter when I was seven listing all the jobs I can't do. Back then I was desperate to be a police officer like my grandpa, so I ran home to my mum in floods of tears. Of course she'd known all along because I drew trees with brown leaves and green bark.
If I ever mistake one Formula One car for another I can blame the colour-blindness, so it's a good thing to have in my locker.

It's the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend - can you tell us a fascinating fact?

It's an anti-clockwise circuit…the most embarrassing thing that's happened to me on TV happened in Turkey last year. I stepped into the pit lane, looked the wrong way and nearly got run over because the cars race in a different direction. The producer pulled me back just in time.