“Commentary starts with my love for rugby, my dad used to take me to lots of games and that mixed with the voices to the games, I think that’s what really made me fall in love with the game. I started thinking about some of the iconic commentaries that I’ve heard and maybe I didn’t know it then, but I always tried to learn the commentaries of the tries off by heart as a young boy in a similar way that I would learn my favourite song. Up until twenty-two or twenty-three, I would learn because I would watch these tries all the time and I still do try to learn or recite someone’s tries but not as often as I used to.”
Today I’m joined by Justin Middleton. Justin has had a deep love of rugby since his childhood, but unlike many he chose a different path to playing and moved into the world of commentating. With years of experience commentating on rugby games in South Africa, Justin is now based in Ireland and is a regular voiceover for many national and international games. Since he is such an excellent communicator, I invited Justin not just to talk about rugby, but also to lend his experience in his profession to other aspiring commentators, so I hope you are sitting comfortably and happy to stay with us.
We kicked off our chat with Justin describing how exciting it is to be a part of a match build up (01:05), before telling me the story of how he got into commentating (02:54). We then touched on the subject of his first time commentating on a match (16:18) and how his accent has influenced his style and presentation on the microphone (19:55). In the second half of the podcast, we discussed Justin’s preparation plan before a match and how discipline is an important factor for him (43:27). As the final whistle blew, we discussed what Justin is watching or listening to at the moment.
- Justin on Twitter
- Justin on Instagram
- Rugby Europe website
- Old Wesley Rugby Club
- Hugh Bladen commentary
- For more, hear my conversations with Michael Lewis, Eimear Ní Bhraonáin and Matt Kaplan
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Brilliant interview. Always wondered about the time consuming preparation these educators/entertainers/unsung heroes go through to keep the viewers and listeners engaged.
Justin has the ability to make a junior game sound like a world cup final.
Incredibly talented man.
Thanks Philip, please don’t forget to leave a comment or rating where you listen to your podcasts. It really helps. I also suggest you have a listen to my chat with Eurosport’s David Goldstrom, out on the 06/03.