Jonathan Pearce gives Address at Prizegiving
Jonathan Pearce was the Guest Speaker at QEH Prizegiving on Friday 30th September, held at the Bristol University Great Hall at 10:30am. The boys at the school were privileged to hear a lively Address from this former QEH pupil (1971-78).
Jonathan Pearce is an established British football commentator for the BBC. Known for his loud, exuberant commentaries, he has worked for both Radio Five Live and Match of the Day, as well as participating in a variety of sports and other programmes.
Whilst at QEH Jonathan wanted to become a footballer, but his career with Bristol City was ended after breaking his leg in 1974. He remains a devoted City fan and is thrilled that his old school is now in partnership with the club, sharing training facilities at Failand near Bristol.
He started his career in broadcasting at BBC Radio Bristol, and his first match commentary was Bristol Rovers against Exeter City in the League Cup. He became a Sports Editor at the age of 23. In 1987 he moved to London and Capital Radio where he launched Capital Gold Sport a year later.
Jonathan also commentated on a handful of minor Premier League games for Sky Sports in the 1992-93 season before his 5 Live and Match Of The Day career.
Between 1998 and 2004, Pearce commentated on the Robot Wars TV series, on BBC Two. In 2005, he guest starred in the Doctor Who audio drama The Game.
Pearce ran in the 2008 and 2011 London Marathon. He raised money for The Lily Foundation a charity run by his brother in law in memory of his daughter.
Jonathan's former History teacher and now Deputy Headmaster, Steve Ryan, says: “Jonathan was one of a number of highly talented young men who came through QEH in the 1970s. I am not at all surprised that they all went on to great things. I have followed Jonathan's career closely ever since, and he has visited us on a number of occasions, most memorably at our football grounds at Failand where as an avid Bristol City fan he was pleased to see the joint development of the facility. He progressed from local radio to become a cult figure on Capital radio in London. He then graduated to the BBC becoming the voice of Match of the Day, not forgetting Robot Wars!”
Stephen Holliday, QEH Headmaster, adds: “I was delighted to invite Jonathan to our annual Prizegiving where he will provide an outstanding role model to the boys. Jonathan was at QEH at the same time as a number of other promising boys who have since made their names in media and film including: Hugo Weaving (1973-76), star of The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and V for Vendetta; Ashley Pharoah (1971-78), writer and co-creator of Life on Mars; Simon Mann (1975-82) Broadcaster and Test Match Special commentator, and Martin Bright (1977-84) Journalist and Political Editor of the New Statesman.”
Several former classmates, and staff who taught him, were in attendance to watch Jonathan in action, including his old friend Ashley Pharoah who says: “I remember being in a shop in London one evening in the 1980s. The man on the radio started yelling and I thought the city was under attack from aliens. But no, it was JP on the radio. Wimbledon had just won a corner. Odd, because he was such a quiet boy at school!”
BBC Bristol Sports Presenter Geoff Twentyman's interview with Jonathan was broadcast on Radio Bristol betweeen 1pm and 2pm on Saturday 1 October.