Walk the Line

Published Friday, 02 March 2012
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Television journalists have to watch their step. One false move can lead to embarrassment, not to mention a substantial bill for libel.

You'd think that we TV hacks would be a fairly nifty bunch. Light on our feet. Well-balanced. But balance is a real problem for me.

I've had 40-plus years of trying to inject some balance into my life. So far, I've failed miserably.

I'm an adult, a married man, a father of three kids. But to my shame and eternal embarrassment I cannot ride a bike. As a child I couldn't even stay on a trike.

How I laugh (not) when people describe some fairly mundane skill and say, "Of course you'll remember how to do it. Sure, it's like riding a bicycle."

Falling over is a speciality of mine. I once stumbled against the big red 'Stop' button beside a department store escalator. As shoppers came hurtling down towards me, I beat a hasty (and red-faced) retreat.

My wife says when it comes to clumsiness, I'm just naturally gifted.

It's true that I broke my leg just days before flying off on holiday with her (it meant she carried the luggage and I came home sun-tanned apart from one plaster-cast leg).

It's also true that I managed to set myself on fire in church. I was blissfully unaware that I was too close to the candles until a man started beating out the flames on my back.

And let's face it, the chances of me running away to join the circus and become a tightrope walker are just about zero.

So, if you feel my journalism sometimes strays a little off-line, if you consider my reports a tad unbalanced, then have a little compassion.

Being perfectly balanced isn't always as easy as it looks.

© UTV News
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2 Comments
James McKinney in Dunmurry wrote (877 days ago):
I saw Mark McFadden outside Laganside courts during when Colin Howell the dentist was getting sent to jail. He was surrounded by shoppers and people standing gawping but he just kept going. He was really cool and very professional. I even had a chat with him afterwards and he is a top bloke. But I still dont understand why he cant ride a bike.
Mark A Stott in Bolton, Lancs, England. wrote (877 days ago):
The saying, "He could go to sleep on a clothes line" springs to my mind. This, of course, could never be said of you, as you would be forever waking up when you met the floor - as it were. However, it does rule out ever making a go of a seat in the House of Lords, should the opportunity ever come your way.
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Mark McFadden
Mark McFadden

Mark McFadden is a world-award winning journalist based in the north West.

Known for his expertise on Bloody Sunday and the Saville Inquiry, he was the only reporter to cover the Inquiry from inception to completion.

In his spare time Mark is a keen guitarist and golfer (when the weather allows).

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