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News > Alumnae News > Focus on careers > An interview with Mr Olly Hogben

An interview with Mr Olly Hogben

Mr Hogben came to St Helen and St Katharine in 2005. He started as a drama teacher moving on to Head of Year in the Sixth Form until 2012. Mr Hogben was recently mentioned several times in our Facebook post about inspirational teachers! He got in touch to tell us about all the exciting things he’s been up to since leaving us.

After I left St Helen’s in 2012 I went on to Streatham & Clapham High School as Assistant Head Master. I then had a very substantial career change and now work as a freelance sports commentator, presenter, and voiceover artist. 
I started doing some small-scale commentary work whilst still at St Helen’s in 2011, working towards my first live-TV work in July 2014.  After that I was invited to be part of the commentary team for the 2015 European Games in Azerbaijan, and from there I was chosen for the Rio 2016 team.  PyeongChang 2018 was my second Olympic Games, where a personal highlight included being the worldwide English commentator for GB’s Lizzy Yarnold being presented with her second gold medal.
Day to day I commentate on a variety of sports. Earlier this year I was calling matches at the Miami Open on the WTA Tour. I also do live-arena presentation for British Gymnastics events. I’m also a presenter and have fronted gymnastics on the BBC

I've recently covered my second Olympic Games and have just returned from working on my third (the Youth Olympics) in Buenos Aires in October.  I was working for Olympic Broadcasting Services, who are the host broadcaster for all of the Olympics.  It means that my voice was heard in over 140 countries, and was commentating on all of the gymnastics events.  This was after a summer that took me to Glasgow for the 2018 European Championships (gymnastics) and Jakarta for the 2018 Asian Games (13 different sports).
I’m known as a very versatile all-rounder, which I attribute to being a teacher; I’m used to communicating new information about unfamiliar topics to an audience!  In total, I’ve commentated on 39 different sports from football to tai chi, although most of my year is spent on gymnastics and tennis.
I entered broadcasting with no training at all; it was something that I had always dreamed of doing, and one day I decided to make a demo disc and send it to some companies.  I got a job 24 hours later, and started from there.  It’s taught me that drive, unshakeable belief in your dreams, and the desire to keep getting better will always outweigh the amount of training that you have!
I am very keen (because of my teaching background) to get more women in to sports broadcasting and am always happy to help out with this if I can.  I think that I'm very well placed to talk about life as a freelancer in the very competitive world of television!
Though I love what I do now, I miss St Helen’s a great deal, and had a fantastic seven years there; it was a truly inspirational place in which to work!
Find out more about Olly’s work:

Video of Ollie in action!

We found a selection of photos and clippings from School magazines for you to enjoy!



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