With a mix of hilarious anecdotes, questionable impressions and intriguing insights Ned Boulting entertained a packed-out audience at the Carus Green Golf Club in Kendal last night.
Opening with a story about his infamous introduction to Tour de France broadcasting – when he mistakenly referred to the Yellow Jersey as the ‘Yellow Jumper’ – Ned captivated the crowd with a selection of stories from his early years as a finish line reporter as he became acquainted with and fell in love with the world’s most famous bike race.
An early highlight came as Ned recalled a story told to him by Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen, involving McEwen winning a Tour stage and then being presented with a bull by French legend Bernard Hinault. Ned had the audience in fits of laughter with his comical impressions of the Aussie and the Frenchman.
Ned talked of many his experiences from that first Tour de France in 2003 through to the present day – spanning the Armstrong years, his relationship with David Millar and how the British revolution in the Tour was kickstarted by Mark Cavendish. After half an hour or so of anecdotes and understandings from Ned, the floor was thrown open to the audience.
There was a good variety of questions covering a range of subjects – from the straight-up hilarious as Ned recalls his strangest interview experiences (he describes South African Robbie Hunter as the angriest man he’s ever interviewed) and some of the most bizarre characters of the peloton (some hysterical Cadel Evans impressions) to the more serious matters of Team Sky’s TUE debacle and the controversy surrounding Shane Sutton and British Cycling’s medal factory.
Host for the evening Alister rounded off the evening with a charity raffle as generously donated prizes were presented by Ned to the lucky winners. All proceeds raised by the event go to Macmillan Cancer Support and The Children’s Ward at Furness General Hospital.
It was a fantastic evening of entertainment and all for good causes. We’d like to say a big thank you to Ned for entertaining us all and also to Alastair for hosting the event and to Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge, Lakes Road Club and Human Race for their great support.