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Voice of ITV’s Splash! Plans to pass on his legacy - in Heanor

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Not just content with making waves on the hit TV show Splash! A Heanor TV commentator is now planning to pass on his years of industry knowledge to some hopeful local sportscasters.

As the voice of the Saturday night celebrity diving game show, Alan March’s silky tones will be familiar to millions.

Now the 32-year-old, of Fletcher Street in the town, will be taking his skills on the road in a series of commentating workshops.

And on Thursday, March 13, he is holding a skills session at his own home in Heanor.

He told the News: “I think there are people out there just like me that need an opportunity like me to discover they are good at something.

“I never went to college or university, I never got a grade higher than a C!

“But I say to people, learn commentary, come on a training course and if you are any good I may have a job for you.”

The dad-of-three is inviting budding commentators to sign up to the seven-hour course, where they will learn the ropes of sportscasting by applying their voice to a mixture of moving and still imagery with his expert tuition.

His company Alan March Sports Ltd, often provides commentary and audio description for a host of events around the country.

A love of sport is a must to make it in the commentary game he says, but Alan notes the John Motson’s and Murray Walker’s of the future will need that little extra spark.

“You can teach people lots of different skills and observations,” he said.

“But it’s something in your personality, something in you that makes the difference.

“If you are the sort of person that’s not going to come across well on TV then don’t do this as a job.”

Despite his recent TV gig Alan, who grew up in Dunkirk, Nottingham, is most often heard commentating over the tannoys of countless sporting venues across the UK, as well as hosting events.

It all started by answering an advert on the Nottingham Forest Football Club website in 2006.

It was a competition to find the city’s best amateur sportscaster to work as an ‘in-ear’ audio descriptor for the blind at Forest games.

He won, and shortly afterwards came out top in a national commentating competition run by the BBC and the Royal National Institute of Blind People.

The top prize was commentating on BBC’s Red Button service at the Millenium Stadium for the West Ham versus Liverpool FA Cup final in 2006.

Alan, who was working a the Hovis bread factory in Watnall at the time, was then hooked on being a commentator.

He then spent three years giving audio descriptions of the action for Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield Town FC, before branching out into rugby union, American football and motor racing.

But things really started to take off for Alan in 2012 when, having already announced the in-venue commentary meets for British Swimming, he was chosen to voice the pool events in-stadium for the London Olympic Games alongside veteran Australian announcer Peter Graham.

Alan said: “The Olympics showed me that not only was I quite good at commentating, but I also knew how to get people on their feet.

“It’s such an amazing feeling having 18,000 people roaring at the end of a race – and that might just be down to the way you were describing it.”

His stirring work at the Olympics earned him a phone call from ITV producers in late 2012.

They pitched him the show Splash!, which would see celebrities try to master the art of diving mentored by Olympic bronze medalist Tom Daley.

Alan took the job commentating on the action replay sections of the show, hosted by Gabby Logan and Vernon Kay, which is now in its second series, and attracting around five million viewers on a Saturday night.

This year’s star divers have included a batch of famous faces like actor and Boyzone singer Keith Duffy, eighties chart topping singer Paul Young and Perry from the top dance group Diversity competing from the diving board.

Alan said: “It’s all absolutely live and great fun.

“I like this sort of commentary because not only are the people in the pool getting a buzz, I am too trying to say the right words at the right time and trying to make people chuckle.”

Though his wife Francesca does give him a bit of stick for some of his on-air gags: “We don’t take ourselves too seriously,” he said.

“It’s an entertainment show, so gags are what we do!”

To sign up to Alan’s commentary workshop, email him at alanmarchsport@gmail.com.

For more information head to the website www.alanmarchsport.com.

And you can follow him on Twitter too at @alanmarch1981.

To see Alan in action, tune into Splash! This Saturday on ITV One from 6.50pm.

 

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