When Chris Irvine took his seat in the Wembley press box for the 2017 Rugby League Cup Final between Hull and Wigan, he was brimming with pride.
It had nothing to do with the fact that it was the thirtieth consecutive final that he’d been commissioned to report on, more the fact that when he looked around his surroundings, he counted no fewer than twelve of his former students who were all working in various different professional guises.
Widely regarded as the best written media coach in the business, Chris can point to over one hundred graduates who have passed through his tutelage and gained professional experience of one kind or another, four of whom currently work within media departments of Super League clubs.
He decided to halt his successful ten year part time university role, having become hugely disillusioned with academic bureaucracy.
Currently enjoying a sabbatical, Chris will return to support Pro 30 Sports Media Coaching, with the full intention of producing more protégés for the real world of professional sports journalism.
Hailing from a journalistic family, he cut his teeth in the world of newspapers with the Warrington Guardian in 1981, before spells with The Coventry Telegraph, Yorkshire Evening Post and Scotland on Sunday. Chris’s association with The Times dates back to 1991, where he continues his role as Rugby League correspondent.
Equally at home with Rugby Union, Chris has covered World Cups in both codes, he’s written columns for Rob Andrew and Jamie Peacock and wrote Robbie Paul’s acclaimed biography.
His record in journalism and coaching speaks for itself.
Bill’s first professional experiences as a camera man date back to 1989. He ranks as one of the most versatile in the business.
His natural habitat in present times tend to be on stadium gantries, filming football, rugby league or cricket, usually on behalf of rights holding television companies, and often for the clubs themselves.
When it comes to television news, Bill has seen the lot, he’s battled with media scrums on the frontline, providing footage for ITV and Sky, not just in sporting circles, but also for the biggest national news stories in politics and current affairs, door stepping and delivering have kept Bill at the forefront of his profession, the pressures and demands became second nature to him.
He’s also specialised in the less volatile side of filming having been commissioned to provide footage for the Royal family, whilst also having had the distinction of filming material on the former USA President Bill Clinton. Documentary and corporate filming are second nature to him as well.
Mentoring has become a great part of Bill’s working life, providing experience to young people as part of his in house Millers TV innovation at Rotherham United’s New York Stadium. Several have passed through Bill’s tutelage into the Professional world As well as representing ITV and Sky Sports, Bill can list Yorkshire TV, BBC, Sky Italia, Good Morning Britain, NBC and Fox on his client list With three decades at the forefront of global television Bill is hugely qualified in the world of filming and editing..
Pro30 SMC intends to run week long regional courses.
In Chris Irvine and Bill Blackburn, it has support from two of the finest practitioners in the entire industry.