FORMER Rayleigh schoolboy Phil Bigwood played a leading role in the BBC’s highly-praised Olympic Games coverage.
The Rochford born 46-year-old is the broadcaster’s executive producer of TV sport.
And he was thrilled to be able to play a unique part in London 2012.
“It was just an absolutely fantastic thing to be a part of,” said Bigwood, who is also the producer of Match of the Day.
“When we go away to World Cups or European Championships we’re in trucks on a car park and you have no idea about what’s going on back home.
“But with these Olympics you realised how big it was and that everyone was talking about it.
“We could see the buzz it created just behind our studio alone and to be involved in something like that was just a once in a lifetime chance.
“The whole thing just blew me away to be honest and working there was just an absolute privilege.” Bigwood grew up in Hullbridge and attended Park School before also studying at Seevic College .
As a Southend United season card holder, he still regularly returns to south-east Essex.
However, it was cycling not football that handed him his main highlight of the Games.
“I was directing the 4pm to 7pm show with Sue Barker for most of the Olympics and we had the Chris Hoy race during that slot,” said Bigwood.
“Normally when you’re doing live television something small will go slightly wrong but this time, as some of the athletes said during the Games, we absolutely nailed it.
“Chris winning the gold just capped it off and that would have to be my favourite moment.”
Planning has now already started for the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.
But, from this weekend onwards, Bigwood will also be focused on Match of the Day – a programme he has worked on for the past 11 years.
“When I was younger I went to Southend on a Friday and Liverpool on a Saturday so to now work with Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson is a dream come true,” said Bigwood.
“It’s something I really enjoy doing but it’s going to be very hard to match something like working on a home Olympics ever again.”