An Interview with David Garrido
What has been your most challenging live hosting experience?
That's a toughie. Deadline Day on Sky Sports News HQ is always challenging - I liken it to strapping yourself into a rollercoaster, but not quite knowing where you're going to end up! World Cup and Champions League final broadcasts have always been thrilling, especially conveying the atmosphere and sense of occasion at a major football event. I had a different sort of challenge when I hosted an 80s-themed event for Comic Relief a while back, involving gameshows and gunge-tanks...utterly random, but great fun.
You must have travelled all over the world with your job, which place has been your favourite?
Ah - an easy question! Melbourne, no doubt. I've been there half a dozen times, to cover the Australian Open tennis and the opening Grand Prix of the Formula 1 season, and there's obviously also cricket, rugby, soccer and Aussie Rules football, so it's a true sporting city. As for Melbourne itself, it's one of most liveable and cosmopolitan places I've ever been to - I've been tempted to move there several times!
Who is the most competitive sports person you have met, interviewed or played against?
I'd have to say Lewis Hamilton. I've interviewed him several times, and he has this incredible intensity, passion and will to win - no wonder there are comparisons with Ayrton Senna. Watching him put his car on the edge in qualifying at several Grand Prix is exhilarating and terrifying in equal measure.
What is the most farfetched rumour you have heard on transfer deadline day? And what is the biggest deal that didn't get done that you know of?
Where do I start?! How about Radamel Falcao to Aston Villa a few years back? He was apparently available for £5 million back then, but maybe Villa now feel that was money well-saved! The one that really pained me, as a Sheffield Wednesday fan, was Eric Cantona not joining us and going to Leeds instead, and ultimately Manchester United. But the funniest one has to be Robert Lewandowski not ending up at Blackburn - he was due there for talks, but couldn't fly because of the Icelandic ash cloud. Instead, Borussia Dortmund signed him from Lech Poznan, and then Bayern Munich after that. How different life could have been for him!
Aside from your day job, what gets you out of bed in the morning?
Travelling and fitness. I love seeing parts of the world I've never been to before, whether it be close to home or a far-flung destination - I'm well-travelled, but I feel there's still so much of the planet left to explore! And I try to keep fit as much as I can - I'm training for 10k events at the moment, with a view to maybe upscaling to a half-marathon, and hopefully a triathlon as well.
What skills make a good television presenter and how are these different to presenting in front live audience?
Let me put it this way - for me, it's all about the 3 Cs. Confidence, calm and conversational. You have to have confidence to deliver with authority in the first place, calmness helps you deal with any curveballs or last-minute changes, and being conversational is what helps ease nerves, both for you and your audience. To my mind, if you're conversational, you're natural, therefore you are more convincing and trustworthy, and that also puts the audience at ease. There is a big difference when you can actually see your audience rather than presenting to cameras - but I like that. You can involve the room, you can be interactive with your audience, and that in itself can help the presentation of an event. Social skills help you gauge people's reactions, and that, in turn, helps you strike the right tone for the event. The 3 Cs still apply though - they're a great rule of thumb.
What is the next challenge you would like to take on?
I've just been given one actually - Sky have asked me to present live Spanish football and I have accepted the challenge! It's a great opportunity, especially as I've always loved La Liga and all its intricacies. I also feel it's a natural fit for me because Spanish football intrinsically linked with culture, nationality, politics - all things that I'm interested in because of how they relate to and effect sport. On top of that, being of Colombian parentage, I can speak Spanish fluently, so this gives me a chance to engage with the language on a more regular basis. I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into it.
If you could speak at any convention past or present what would it be and why?
I'd love to present something like the FIFA Ballon d'Or or a UEFA ceremony - again, it tends to be presenters who speak languages such as my colleague Kate Abdo or Pedro Pinto who host them. I'd also like to present at Soccerex...it's a fantastic opportunity to meet some of the major decision-makers in football, to hold them to account and to really go into detail on issues and talking points.
How do you spend your time when you're not working?
Have a guess...playing sport...badly! I used to play badminton to county level, but I'm just a club player these days - still, it's nice to have a hit every week or so. Also, I always try and find somewhere new to discover, whether in the UK or abroad. Currently, on my list are Bilbao/San Sebastian, the foodie heart of Italy (Bologna, Modena, Parma, etc.), and further afield, Cuba, Japan, Kenya/Tanzania and going on the Trans-Mongolian Express!
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