Ex-radio man lands Grandstand job

THE journey to Craig Doyle's dream job has taken him around the world, but the presenter will never forget where it started.Just a few years ago, the rising television star was a rookie reporter preparing stories for BBC Radio Suffolk.

By Danielle Nuttall

THE journey to Craig Doyle's dream job has taken him around the world, but the presenter will never forget where it started.

Just a few years ago, the rising television star was a rookie reporter preparing stories for BBC Radio Suffolk.

Doyle, 33, went on to national television fame presenting the BBC's Holiday programme, and has now landed the role of presenting Sunday Grandstand, which begins this weekend.


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The Dubliner's first job was as a general reporter with Radio Suffolk, based in the Ipswich newsroom.

"I'll never forget what I learned in those years. Once a journalist, always a journalist and it has prepared me for every single job I've done," he told the EADT last night.

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"I read my first bulletin 10 years ago at Radio Norfolk, where I was on work experience and did some freelancing.

"My first staff job was at Radio Suffolk and it was magic. I worked there for about two years and lived in Ipswich.

"I covered a lot of stories and it left me very well-rounded. I had a great life there and I loved it."

Doyle added: "I'm not a full-on Tractor Boy but I love Ipswich Town. I used to go to all the midweek games and I really enjoyed it.

"There was such a great atmosphere at the games. Even now, I've never been to another ground with the same atmosphere. But I'm a Manchester United fan - after all, I am from Dublin."

Ivan Howlett, former managing editor of Radio Suffolk, said: "I can remember him coming in for an interview and he had such charisma about him. He got the job the moment he walked through the door.

"He loves Suffolk. When he first left he came back as a guest for Children In Need. What you see is what you get with him."

Mr Howlett, who now produces documentaries for BBC Radio Four, added: "He had the gift of the gab and had the gift of being able to open his mouth and make sense.

"I never saw him lose his cool. It's great to see a talent come through."

Doyle, 33, left Radio Suffolk to work at film company Buena Vista before scooping a job with BBC Television.

He went on to present Tomorrow's World and has also fronted the BBC's coverage of rugby, golf and British superbikes.

The presenter said he was thrilled to be the face of Sunday Grandstand. "I've dreamed about a job like this since I was a kid. I always used to watch the show," he said.

"It's taken a bit of work to get into sport on the BBC but that's what I've been aiming for.

"Sport is my lifetime passion. I'm sure when the intro music starts on Sunday there will be a few nerves, but I'm very excited about it."

Doyle's big coup on Holiday was to persuade Hollywood star Cameron Diaz to appear on the show after a chance meeting in the jungle of Belize.

The revamped Sunday Grandstand will open with a new studio-based segment called Sport+ which will discuss the big stories from the previous week.

Doyle, a keen golfer and former rugby player, will host that and provide links to the rest of the show.

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