Peter Crouch On Jumping From Planes And The Ultimate Retirement

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Peter Crouch On Jumping From Planes And The Ultimate Retirement

When Peter Crouch made his debut as a TV football pundit in 2014, he got a bit of a shock.

“I went to India for a week to do the World Cup as a pundit. I thought I’d cut my cloth out there,” he recalled on That Peter Crouch Podcast last year. “We were in Mumbai, and on my first appearance I was with Mikaël Silvestre and a Bollywood star.

“We had a little rehearsal and [the producer] said, ‘Right, so the game’s about to start, we’ll be live in 10 minutes. Here’s the touchscreen, so when you use the touchscreen at half time…’ and I was like, ‘Excuse me?'”

Crouch was completely unfamiliar with how to use the device – which allows pundits to freeze-frame moments from the game and draw on-screen graphics to highlight players and analyse strategies.

“I was dropped into that situation thinking, ‘How have I got myself into this position where I’m live to two billion people with a Bollywood star and Mikaël Silvestre, with a touchscreen I’ve never used before?!'”

Needless to say, when the show went live “there was a lot of buttons that I didn’t use… I went with a couple of bendy arrows and moving players”.

Fortunately, Crouchy is feeling better prepared for his new TV series – Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer – which begins on BBC One this Saturday.

He’s got some help too, in the shape of co-presenters Maya Jama and comedian Alex Horne. Unusually for a TV show at the moment, all the presenters will be in the same studio – albeit socially distanced.

The show was originally intended to be a post-match series for Euro 2020 but, of course, football matches were among the many events postponed or cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Euros got cancelled, Glastonbury got cancelled, the Olympics are cancelled, Wimbledon cancelled… It’s not been a great summer has it?” says Crouch.

“So we thought we needed to bring smiles to people’s faces, so instead of it being around the Euros, we tried to make it around all those things.”

The format has now morphed into a wider Saturday night show fusing sport, music and entertainment.

“Some of the people that were supposed to be at the Olympics have kindly signed up, and we’ve got a tournament going on,” Crouch explains. “We’ve got people playing live gigs, and some amazing guests.

“I think it’ll take people’s minds off what’s been going on. It’s going to be good fun.”

In his professional career, Crouch played a total of 468 Premier League matches for Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, Southampton, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Stoke City and Burnley.

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Before retiring last July, the striker had scored 108 goals in the top flight, of which 53 were scored with his head – a Premier League record.

But, like many retired footballers before him, he’s now transitioning into a successful broadcast career.

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While Dion Dublin has been presenting Homes Under The Hammer and Match of the Day host Gary Lineker has become one of the BBC’s biggest stars, Crouch has built a hugely successful podcast with co-hosts Tom Fordyce and Chris Stark.

That Peter Crouch Podcast from 5 Live is into its fourth series, and was the most downloaded BBC podcast in the first quarter of this year. In 2019, the show racked up 12 million downloads, despite only releasing 15 new episodes.

Peter Crouch On Jumping From Planes And The Ultimate Retirement

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