I REMEMBER the thrill of being caught on the CCTV camera outside Dixons or Rumbelows when I was a kid and wondering if that was as close as I would come to being a screen star.
As I got older, it became more of an embarrassment than a thrill, as the camera angle invariably highlighted the fact my bald patch was getting bigger.
Covering Wanderers, viewers have had the (mis)fortune to see me do a couple of TV appearances for Sky or the BBC, you know, whenever they remember there are other football clubs in the North West than Manchester United, City or Liverpool.
I recorded my first appearance, as a fresh faced reporter on Barclays Premier League World. But as time took its toll, I no longer set my Sky Plus, for fear of accepting that the 30-something staring back at me from the screen is actually, well, me.
If I was watching the World Cup from one of the stadia this summer it is unlikely the South American TV director would single me out for special attention. For starters, I wouldn’t have a flag painted on my face, and would almost certainly not be wearing a bikini.
I’d like to think if they did, however, I would keep my nerve and smile politely rather than lose control of my faculties completely and start waving like an idiot at the big screen.
As an avid viewer, the continual close-ups of football fans realising they are being broadcast worldwide is starting to grate.
It always goes the same way: Two people chatting, one points to the big screen, the other wakes up from their coma and both wave and smile insanely at the big screen – never the camera.
Cut to the football action.
I just wish the TV directors would pay as much attention to actually replaying the incidents on the pitch.
Too many times at this World Cup a crucial offside decision or a foul has been over-looked because we are too busy concentrating on a group of Japanese fans dressed like bowling pins, or a slo-mo shot of the Mexico coach jumping out of his seat on the touchline. Who honestly cares?
If I don’t get to see the replay of a controversial decision I have to rely on the opinion of the co-commentator and accept that as the God’s honest truth. And I don’t want to exist in a world where Andy Townsend is right.