Tim Lovejoy is a television presenter, most famous for the cult Saturday morning show broadcast on Sky Sports, ‘Soccer AM’. He is the creator of many of the comic sketches and gags for the show that has made him famous. Tim began work in the music industry, as a merchandise manager for touring bands. He then moved on to work at the MTV music channel. ‘The Big Breakfast’ was his next venture as he joined as a researcher but went on to become the producer. In 1996 he became co-host of ‘Soccer AM’ with Helen Chamberlain until the end of the 11th season of the show, when he left. He then went on to host ‘David Beckham’s Soccer USA’ on ‘five’. He has hosted a radio show on the London radio station ‘Xfm’ befor he moved onto a sunday morning slot on ‘Virgin’ radio. His latest tv venture is the entertainment chat-show, ‘Time Lovejoy and The All-Stars’ in which he interviewed celbrities and presented musical performances from top bands such as ‘Manic Street Preachers’ and ‘Embrace’. He also did the voiceovers for the first series of football talent show ‘Football Icon’ and recently became a host of motoring show ‘5th Gear’. Tim also hosts the show ‘Something For The Weekend’ on sunday mornings with Amanda Hamilton.
As a 19-year-old, selling mortgages at the height of the ’80s boom was quite a responsible job for one so young. As a people person Tim’s concern was that his clients could afford it rather than mortgage themselves to the hilt – a very different priority to that of his firm. “I’m not saying they were criminals… but there was a definite ‘Hold on, this one gets us a lot of commission.’ You know what I mean?” He may have been the youngest sales associate at Allied Dunbar, but he was most definitely not the happiest.
Life changed when a stranger sat with him and his friend at a club and asked him why looked so unhappy. Tim answered that he had to go to work the following day. It was then that this stranger gave him advice that sounds, as Tim concedes, like it was straight from a Hollywood movie:
“Listen, my friend”, he said, ‘Take my advice. I’m in my thirties, I’m going through a divorce, I hate my job and I don’t have any chances… Put your work and your effort into following your dream because otherwise if you’re just going for money at your age like I did, you might end up like me. Follow your dream.”
Cheesy or not, the encounter really happened – and it had a profound effect. “I went away and… I was miserable at the time, it really struck me and I thought, right, what is my dream?” A few days later a friend of his reminded him that he had always wanted to be a radio DJ. “I’d always wanted to work in media and TV and radio and things like that, and it kind of clicked… that was what my dream was as a kid. It was either that or an astronaut and I wasn’t going to be an astronaut, so why not go for media?”
With that realisation in place, Tim started going for work on radio. His dedication was unstoppable.
To earn money he took any work he could get. He DJ-ed in clubs and became the “swag man” going on tour with bands and selling t-shirts. He worked in bars and restaurants and told his dad and his friends he was going to be a TV presenter.
But how was he going to do it? The fact was he spent every spare penny on hiring a cameraman and sound man and producing show reels. He’d turn up at a movie premiere with his crew and pass himself off as a real reporter for a cable TV company. Then he’d get the show reels mastered and send them off, asking for work.
“I’ve got a file at home with 250 rejection letters in it, some of the people I actually ended up work with, bizarrely. All standard letters saying, ‘No thank you, sir…’ I was just determined.”