When OJ Borg – presenter of BBC Radio 5's cycling magazine show Bespoke – asked if I wanted to help him out at the recent Cycle Show at the Birmingham NEC, I was only too happy to oblige.
OJ was filming clips for the fifth episode of the radio show's iPlayer-based spin-off and, as a media tart who's always felt that his natural place was being beamed into people's front rooms, he had me at hello. After all, how hard could chatting about bikes and bike stuff be?
A week of hobbling around and moaning about my bad back proved that 'telly' isn't as easy as the greats like Barry Chuckle, Dapper Laughs and Joey Essex make it look.
Borg and the Beeb reduced me to the mobility levels of an old man during the last section of the piece I 'star' in – a roundup of the highlights of the show. After 'extensive' health and safety checks it was decided that riding around the e-bike track on a three-wheeled kid carrying cargo bike would make for great viewing.
The fact that the 'kid' was over six feet tall and, I'm guessing, at least 15 stone of former-Lottery-presenting-beefcake meant that the magic came at a cost. The e-trike was surprisingly hard to handle with such a big lad at the front and we had a few early 'incidents' that came close to killing the talent. And OJ. That strained back muscles were the only injury was no doubt to my exceptional talent as a cyclist…
Borg sees it differently, of course. "Of all the people who have tried to injure me during TV shoots, Rob knows the most about bikes," he says. "Amazing knowledge, terrible rider."
Obviously, this is the kind of nonsense that can lead to fights after filming. Luckily for Borg the very real chance of a 'Clarkson incident' occurring was skilfully headed off by the producer buying me a foot-long Subway. I've now had time to digest both my steak-and-cheese and the results of my day with Bespoke, and I'm sure you'll agree it's, erm, TV gold!
Watch Bespoke, which also includes interviews with Tinkoff-Saxo chef Hannah Grant and BMX champ Shanaze Reade here....
*Rob Spedding is available for corporate sales videos, conservatory adverts and airline safety films.