James Pearce

Sports journalist & broadcaster


James Pearce is one of the UK’s most experienced sports broadcasters.

The BBC’s Olympics Correspondent for London 2012, he’s presented and reported from many of the world’s biggest sports events in a career spanning two decades.

James Pearce is one of the UK’s most experienced sports broadcasters.

The BBC’s Olympics Correspondent for London 2012, he’s presented and reported from many of the world’s biggest sports events in a career spanning two decades.

Broadcasting

** 2018 is turning out to be a very busy and exciting year for James. He was working in PyeongChang, where he reached a major milestone. It was his 10th Olympic Games. In April he hosted SportAccord, the world’s premier sports conference with 2600 delegates. This year’s event was in Bangkok. Other recent events that James has hosted include the Times, Sunday Times and Sun Travel Awards in Las Vegas, a 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**

**You will find additional information about James’ media training services at www.jpmediatraining.com**

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, 5 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.

James Pearce in Singapore
James Pearce interviews David Beckham

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.

Speaking

James is available as a conference host, awards host and after dinner speaker. You can see his event hosting showreel below.

His 20 years experience of presenting live BBC broadcasts make him the ideal man to keep an event running to time, and his good humour and wealth of amusing anecdotes will always leave the audience wanting more.

The list of major conferences and awards ceremonies hosted by James recently includes the International Sports Event Management Conference, The Times, Sunday Times and Sun Travel Awards, the British Swimming Awards, the National Merchant Buying Society’s Conference in Tenerife, the UKactive Summit and the UnitedCity Global Sports Summit. James is also the host for the Sport Industry Breakfast Club, which holds regular talks for senior executives at BT’s HQ in London.

During an after dinner speech you might hear about how James bumped into the Prime Minister while lost inside Number 10 Downing Street, had to walk out of an interview with one of Britain’s best known Olympic medallists, or found himself live on air with completely the wrong guest.

“James was an excellent host for our Industry Conference in Tenerife, where over 400 delegates enjoyed his personal charm and attention to detail and some great stories, that made the whole event run smoothly and on time. He really went the extra mile with our delegates and spent a lot of time talking and mixing with everyone outside of the main conference hall, which really added to making the whole event more friendly and the most memorable conference ever – thanks James!”

Chris Hayward, Managing Director, National Merchant Buying Society Ltd

“James played a key role as host for three experiential evenings at our International Sales Meeting in London for an audience of 400 guests from Asia Pacific, EMEA and the Americas.  James’ role involved introducing and directing the overall flow for the three evenings and leading interviews as part of main stage content.
James is a highly skilled communicator and a joy to have as part of our team in delivering a great sales meeting.”

Graham Dicken, Marketing Manager, New Balance

“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, CIPFA Audit Conference

“James Pearce was an outstanding moderator of our conference. He asked the tough questions to the speakers in a professional and courteous way, and always kept the delegates motivated with the agenda.”

Nigel Fletcher, CEO, UnitedCity Global Sports Summit, Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester

James Pearce was an excellent host at the ukactive Summit – the health, sport and physical activity sector’s set piece political event of the year. He challenged our speakers, engaged our delegates and brought his own passion to the event, which led to it being a great success. We look forward to working with James in the future.”

David Stalker, CEO, ukactive

 

James Pearce with the Olympic Rings
James Pearce at the Sports Management Conference

 

Training

James is an expert at improving communication skills. He’s worked with numerous high profile clients to help them perform to the best of their abilities in television and radio interviews. He’s employed by the Football Association to run the media training programmes for all the England squads, and he was responsible for delivering the British Olympic Association’s media training for Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016.  Medallists Lizzy Yarnold and Jenny Jones were among those trained by him before the Sochi Games. Many of the British medallists in Rio went through his training.  You might have seen him on TV recently when the Duchess of Cambridge took part in a media training session which he was hosting for SportsAid athletes.

In addition, away from sport, he regularly helps senior business executives from some of the UK’s largest companies.

**You can see more information about James’ media training services at www.jpmediatraining.com**

“James successfully trained BOA senior management executives and Team GB athletes in the run up to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. He skilfully adapts to different abilities, needs, age groups and personalities. He is always well-informed and well-prepared, and his training sessions bespoke, perfectly tailored to the needs of the individual or group he advises with charm and skill. Everyone he has trained has left the room better equipped, with the knowledge and confidence to deal with soft and tough media interviews alike. It is always a pleasure to work with James – he is professional, experienced and knowledgeable. He balances targeted advice with practical experience.”

Miriam Wilkens, Head of Communications at the British Olympic Association

“The crisis management training programme was well thought through, with real case studies that incorporated all elements of an evolving story. Not only did everyone come away with lots of insight about broadcast media and practical tips on getting the message across, we all had an excellent day full of laughter. Even those who felt apprehensive about  being in front of a camera, left the session feeling much more confident.”

Rachel O’Reilly, Head of Communications, Kuoni

“Speaking and presenting to large and small groups are a fact of working life for most people. However media interviews, especially live to camera can still be a daunting prospect. I found James’ tailored training approach supportive, whilst still taking me out of my comfort zone.  After the training I felt both ready and able to make the most of any media opportunities on offer.”

Rebecca Birkbeck, Chief Executive, Join In

“James worked with us to deliver media training at our Asda athletes workshop at St George’s Park, to an audience of 50 up and coming British Athletes. James delivered an engaging and interactive session, and really brought the young people out of their shells. His experience and knowledge shone through and resulted in fantastic feedback from the delegates.”

Tim Scott, Asda

“The training James put us through was tough but entertaining, insightful and always relevant. His feedback was massively useful and made us think of things we wouldn’t have otherwise. It was exactly what you want as a top athlete – hard training to make the performance easier”

Katherine Grainger, London 2012 gold medallist


James Pearce training at St George Park, with Asda James Pearce media training to the England Under 21 footballers James Pearce training at St George Park, with Asda

Twitter

James was one of the first leading UK broadcasters to join Twitter. The tips which he provided about buying Olympics tickets from other European countries were credited with enabling thousands of British sports fans to go to London 2012.

He has more than 60,000 followers.

He can be found @Pearcesport

Lord Coe

This is what Lord Coe, Chairman of London 2012, has to say about James:

“For millions of viewers throughout the United Kingdom, the BBC served as a critical link in providing in-depth news, information and analysis of what started as a dream at the beginning of the 21st Century, and became a reality in 2012. As should be expected of any respected news organisation, the BBC asked the tough questions, scrutinised our efforts and held us accountable.

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. Without fail, James could be counted on for reporting that was thorough and balanced. 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.

To the extraordinary challenge of covering a Games Organising Committee, the myriad delivery bodies and governmental agencies that must come together, and the athletes who are at the heart of the Games, James brought great skill and care. His reporting reflected the proudest traditions of British journalism, and it was a pleasure working with him.”

Lord Coe

Showreel

Here are a few highlights of James’ broadcasting work. Make sure that you watch to the end, when you’ll see that famous first goal at the new Wembley..

Since London 2012 James has focused more on presenting for the BBC, rather than reporting. Here's some of his work from the presenter's chair.

Contact

Email pearcesport@gmail.com to get in touch with James.