An Interview WIth Andrew Castle
Q: What’s been your most challenging live hosting experience?
The advent of live streaming has meant another master to serve in an already challenging environment but the satisfaction of being a part of a successful multi-media event is unequelled. Most challenging? Quiz shows with a live audience and on live TV gets the blood flowing because mistakes are hard to rectify. For several years I have hosted the 1 hour pre show at BBC Sports Personality of the Year. The purpose is to check live lines and feeds to guests worldwide, check the functionality of all tech equipment and cables on stage and entertain an audience of 12,000...that was and is demanding.
Q: How did you get into presenting?
I got into presenting when I called time on my tennis career in 1992. My wife was expecting our first child and I was 28 and looking to the future. Sky offered me a job commentating and co-presenting their tennis coverage.
Q: Which event has been your favourite and why?
I have covered so many sporting events that it is near impossible to say that 1 is more important or memorable than another but I would say that presenting the Ryder Cup from Brookline, Massachusetts in 1999 remains seared into the memory and leading the commentary for the last 10 years for the BBC at Wimbledon is a honour. I`m glad to have had the best seat in the house for Andy Murray`s Wimbledon victory this year. Glad not to have mumbled the winning line too. Away from sport and live on ITV the invasion of Iraq was momentous and at times eerily stage managed. The 7/7 bombings were another momentous day and I was in Madrid covering the aftermath of the Al Qaeda bombings. Some sights one can never forget.
Q: Why do you love being a host?
Hosting an event is to be a part of a team with all that entails. Nothing ever goes exactly to plan which is half the fun. To meet and talk with new people is food for the soul and it is a part of hosting to meet everyone in the room. Sometimes easier said than done but that is the goal.
Q: If you could host any event, past or future, what would it be?
I would love to host the Eurovision Song Contest for a laugh....cheesiest broadcast in the world! I would like to anchor the Coronation of the newborn Prince George because it would mean that I have had a long and healthy life!
Q: Who would you most like to share a platform with?
Sharing a platform with those who have achieved something spectacular is a thrill. You never know when you are going to meet someone special. Everyone has something unique and wonderful about them. If I had to pick one person in all of time to be on stage with it would be the great social reformer, women's right activist, trade union founder, Fabian President, 1st President of the Indian National Congress, Annie Besant....my Great Great Grandmother.
Q: What’s your favourite way to spend a Sunday?
I have perfect Sundays now. Present my own show on LBC 97.3, home for a nap and then out for a big lunch with my wife, 2 girls and their boyfriends.
Q: What personal ambition must you fulfill before you die?
I have no ambitions that drive me. Take each day as it comes and aim for contentment.
Q: Can you leave us with an inspirational quote from yourself or someone that inspires you?
Annie Besant and George Bernard Shaw were together for years so that's a wealth of quotations! I am more into poetry. Anything by the Mersey Poets but at the moment I am enjoying the War poets, particularly Wilfred Owen's Dulce et Decorum Est which was apt after the use of chemical weapons on the civilian population of Syria.