2016 is proving to be an extremely busy year for James. He was broadcasting in Rio at the Olympic Games, his ninth Olympic Games, and was responsible for delivering media training to many of the successful Team GB athletes beforehand. Recent events that he’s hosted include the two day NMBS conference in Tenerife, the British Swimming Awards, the Sport Industry Breakfast Club and a three day international sales event for New Balance sales staff in London. The England football teams and British Olympic team are James’ highest profile media training clients, but he also works with a large number of senior executives in the business world**
For two decades James has been one of the most regular faces on the BBC’s Television News bulletins. An award winning correspondent, James freely admits to having one of the best jobs in the world. You name it, he’s reported from it. 4 World Cups, 5 Summer Olympics, 4 Winter Olympics, 3 European Football Championships and 3 Commonwealth Games form just the start of a very long list of all the biggest sporting events. In addition, if just being paid to travel the globe reporting on sport wasn’t good enough, he’s also had the privilege of being the BBC’s Olympics Correspondent for London 2012, working right at the heart of the Games, all the way from the start of the bid in 2003 to the unforgettable summer of 2012.
The Olympics Correspondent brief for London 2012 required specialist knowledge, and the very best contacts, in government, finance, construction, marketing, ticketing, and much more. During his career James has interviewed all five of the UK’s most recent Prime Ministers, and has rightly earned a reputation as a tough inquisitor.
If he looks youthful for somebody who’s already packed so much into his career, that’s because he started young. In fact, aged just 23 he became the youngest ever regular reporter for BBC One’s flagship Six o’ Clock News. Since then he’s hardly paused for breath, working for all the BBC’s highest profile news programmes.
Working as a Sports Correspondent for the BBC requires plenty of versatility. During his career James has had beer poured all over him by football fans during a live broadcast in Eindhoven, had to speak above the noise of a crowd of a million people before the 2002 World Cup semi-final in Seoul, pick himself up off his backside after falling over on the ice during a live televised demonstration of curling, and yet also continue with the fine journalism which has given him a reputation as one of the UK’s very best sports journalists.
It was James who broke the story that the opening of the new Wembley stadium would have to be delayed by more than a year because of problems with the construction project. James’ revelations that England’s bid team for the 2018 World Cup had buttered up the FIFA voters with gifts of luxury handbags for their wives led to high profile resignations. And the International Olympic Committee had to open an investigation months before London 2012 when James discovered that sponsors’ tickets were being sold on illegally for profit.
London 2012 has undoubtedly been the highlight of James’career. It was the culmination of an eleven year journey for him. As Olympics Correspondent he led much of the BBC’s News coverage of London 2012 right from the start of the bid. He was broadcasting on the BBC’s set in Singapore, alongside Sue Barker, when London was chosen as host in 2005. In 2012 he had a ringside seat for many of the highlights of the Games. Night after night his reports were the lead story on all the BBC’s television bulletins. He described to the world the feats of athletes like Mo Farah, Sir Chris Hoy and Jess Ennis.
One of James’ more unusual claims to fame is that he was invited to score the first goal at the new Wembley Stadium. He was wearing a builder’s helmet and wellington boots at the time, but, broadcasting live on BBC News, managed to find the back of the net from a full two yards out.
James makes an excellent choice as your event Host, Conference Facilitator, Chairman and can share many anecdotes of his career, as your after dinner speaker.
"James Pearce was a leading figure in the BBC’s coverage in the lead up to, and during, the London 2012 Games – and his work is a major reason why the BBC enjoyed such tremendous success. His work reflected toughness and tenacity, but never at the expense of accuracy or fairness. He understood that the journalistic aim of ‘getting it first’ should never undermine the larger aim of ‘getting it right.’ And on many occasions, through his talent and professionalism, James achieved both. His reporting reflected the proudest traditions of British journalism, and it was a pleasure working with him."
Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of LOCOG
"James Pearce delivered a brilliant after dinner speech that gave our conference audience a fascinating insight into the world of the sports correspondent. A funny and fast paced session that revealed the pressures, near misses and occasional catastrophes that can go on behind the scenes when sport is reported on our TV screens. You‘ll never look at a sports reporter in the same way again! Great entertainment, and not just for the sports fan.”
Tim Crowley, Chairman
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