It’s a question of sport for newshound Jamie

Former Courier reporter Jamie McIvor.

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Former Courier reporter Jamie McIvor’s career in broadcasting took an unexpected twist at the weekend in a high profile environment.

Jamie had to provide the match report on Sunday’s Old Firm derby for the main BBC1 network news shown across the UK.

In his 25-year career in national journalism and 22 years at the BBC, he has never worked as a sports reporter. And he insists Sunday won’t be the start of a new career.

He said: ‘I sometimes cover the network news reporting shift in Glasgow and was on duty on Sunday.

‘For various reasons none of the sports reporters were free to put a match report together for the early evening network bulletin at short notice once it was decided that one was needed.

‘I’m always happy to help my colleagues out. Sports reporting is the one thing I wouldn’t claim to have professional expertise in, though, of course, a professional should always be able to turn their hand to anything.’

Jamie’s BBC career has included stints as Westminster reporter and business correspondent and he was education correspondent until recently. He also covered the events of September 11 2001 while he was in New York.

Top flight football is the one thing he has never covered nor, he admits, had any personal ambition to cover.

He recently moved back to general news in a new role where he’ll be expected to provide expert background, analysis and context across a range of topics.

Jamie, 48, grew up on Calton Avenue. His father Don worked in Campbeltown Creamery for many years. His aunt, Rev Anne McIvor, is the former minister of both Bowmore and Gigha.

Normally he returns to the town regularly over the summer months but over the past year he has only been able to travel down twice because of lockdown restrictions.

He said: ‘Normally getting back at the weekend is a good way of keeping my work and personal life separate but, of course, that isn’t possible just now.

‘But hopefully it won’t be long until we can do this again.’

Jamie worked for the Courier while he was still a pupil at Campbeltown Grammar School and re-joined after he graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a degree in modern history and politics.

He added: ‘The last time I did a match report was at Kintyre Park but I think my time at the Courier was very definitely a lesson that if you ever make a mistake there can be consequences.’

For the record, on Sunday Rangers and Celtic drew 1-1 and Jamie admitted that nobody at BBC Sport is worried for their job.

‘Part of my job just now involves carefully analysing the Covid figures and vaccination figures,’ he continued.

‘There will be a lot more of that to do in the coming weeks and months but I probably won’t be working out goal differences again.

‘Still, in normal times, one of the nicest things about my job is that it is never predictable.

‘This proves that even just now, when our focus is on the most difficult ongoing story we’ve ever had to cover, this is still the case and the job can still be a joy too.’