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Ex-Ipswich player to front Norwich show

PUBLISHED: 09:46 12 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:55 06 July 2010

FORMER Ipswich Town skipper Matt Holland will be swapping his football boots for a microphone when he fronts a new late-night regional football magazine show on the BBC.

FORMER Ipswich Town skipper Matt Holland will be swapping his football boots for a microphone when he fronts a new late-night regional football magazine show on the BBC.

Late Kick Off, which starts on BBC1 on Monday, January 18, at 11.15pm, aims to get to the heart of local football with a mix of discussion, opinion, interviews and match analysis from the region's games.

For Holland, a former Republic of Ireland international who played 313 games for Ipswich before moving to Charlton for an initial fee of £750,000 in 2003, it will be his first ever spell as a TV presenter.

He said: “It's very new, very exciting and a new challenge. I've been a pundit but not presented a show, so I'm a bit out of my comfort zone.

“It's something I've fallen into a little bit. Ever since my late 20s I've done more and more in the media in terms of commentaries and radio and television shows. When I retired in the summer I was looking for something new to do.”

Holland was one of three from a “strong field” of candidates, although the only former professional footballer, to attend a screen test at the Magdalen Street-based Epic studios before Christmas and did enough to be get the nod.

The programme, which will be recorded at Epic, will initially run for 16 shows until the end of the season before being given a season-long run next year.

It is being made by Norwich-based Kevin Piper Media for the BBC. Mr Piper, a former Anglia TV presenter and broadcaster with more than 20 years of regional sports broadcasting experience under his belt, knew Holland the footballer and said he had been greatly impressed by Holland the presenter.

He said: “I was working in F1 with ITV in 1997 when Martin Brundle stepped out of a racing car and took to broadcasting as if he had been doing it all his life and I think Matt could well do the same.”

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