Sports presenter Mike is unique. As well as presenting the main sports bulletins of the day he has profiled and personally sampled nearly 400 different sports and activities during his Saturday morning slot on BBC Breakfast; apparently a world record! He also holds the title for crossing one mile of water in a large inflatable ball known as a zorb, or waterwalker. It took him 1 hour and 57 seconds!
Mike’s Saturday slot started in 2006, with the aim being to prove there is a sport out there for all. He’s the guinea pig, going into bat on behalf of the beginner, trying to inspire others like him off the sofa at the weekend. As well as profiling mainstream sports events with the top stars - whether it be a game of tennis against Novak Djockovich, or trying to bowl out Alistair Cook, he has often featured different new initiatives by well-known sports which are trying to tempt in new participants. These have included “Rush Hockey” and “Cage Cricket”. However, many of the hundreds of activities and sports he has featured will be ones most people haven’t heard of before. Whether it be nurdling, or tchouckball, or shin kicking, whip cracking, bog snorkelling, or even worm-charming, they all have one thing in common - they bring people together, exercising, getting fitter, and gaining confidence. They engage peoples’ passion to participate in weekend activities and demonstrate the power of sport.
Mike has vast experience of covering big sporting events, having reported and presented on the Olympics, Paralympics, the Winter games, Football World Cups, Commonwealth Games, and Asian Games. He has reported on these for Breakfast, the BBC News channel and BBC World.
Mike has always been a keen sportsman, having played football, cricket and hockey at school. He also represented the county of Hertfordshire at Chess, but it’s cross country running that he really excelled in, and in the1980s as a teenager, he ran 175 miles in 6 days, setting off from his new home in Yorkshire to his old one in Hertfordshire, to raise money for charity.
Mike's other passion was in acting, after he was spotted by the National Youth Theatre. He spent four years there and a degree in theatre and television followed, but while trying to make ends meet as an actor, he broke into journalism on a local newspaper in Winchester and the rest is history.
After a break from his journalism course (to tour Europe as lead singer in a rock band), he returned to newspapers in Derby and Windsor, before joining the BBC in 1990 as a reporter with Radio Solent. In a way he was back to his roots. He wrote and published his own first newspaper called “The Daily Owl”, as an eager eight-year-old.
His big TV break came with a job on the Isle of Wight – as the BBC reporter there for BBC South Today. Once there, after spells reading the news and presenting a Millenium history series, his passion for and knowledge of sport, shone through and he ended up reporting and presenting sport for BBC South.
Mike was one of the first faces on air when News 24 started in 1997 (now the BBC News channel), and still occasionally presents the sport on BBC News.
As well presenting duties on Breakfast, he has been doing some reporting for the programme, including the story of the robot camel jockeys that have saved the lives of children in the Middle East.
Mike’s hobbies include still playing football (he supports Leeds United), running (often with the Hash House Harriers), music, theatre, and he spends most of his spare time with his three daughters. He’s hoping to eventually find a sport for all of them!