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Meet the man with the best job at the Palace!

May 4 2015

Chris Grierson (Photo: Ramzi Musallam)

Chris Grierson (Photo: Ramzi Musallam)

Ramzi Musallam caught up with Palace TV star Chris Grierson to see how he's finding his new job in SE25.

Some six months after first meeting Chris, when he had won his new role, we agreed to meet again as he had truly got his feet under the desk and established himself as the face of Palace TV.

Indeed, as of the start of March he has gone full time moving from a contract doing twelve days a month to becoming a full time employee.

However, I reminded Chris that when he interviewed club co-owner Steve Parish he had remarked that the success of the club over the last twelve months was down to him bringing in a lot of good people to Crystal Palace, and Chris Grierson!

Despite this, Chris has made a fantastic start to what must be the best job at the club.

Free of any pressure apart from the odd deadline, Chris has access to all areas and has got to do most things that all Palace fans would love to do, from shooting a couple of skills videos with Yannick and Wilf to playing crazy golf with random squad members and shopping for jeans with Joniesta (well until Jonny had to leave at short notice for a loan spell at Ipswich!).

And in a week or so he will be taking part in a charity penalty shoot out with various Palace personalities against Julian Speroni. Just how lucky can he be? Clearly he is having fun. So is it a dream job?

In short, yes! He starts each week with a meeting at the Palace offices in Soho to plan the week and then he starts shooting pieces from Tuesday usually at the training ground although editing takes place in his new home, a tiny office and editing suite nestled in the media centre under the Holmesdale stand.

Thursday is a big day as he covers the press conference that precedes each weekend match and that usually entails an interview with Alan Pardew, team manager, with whom he seems to have a good relationship.

The rest of the time he is researching and preparing pieces for the Palace digital channel as well as some other media outlets including the Crystal Palace social media platforms.

He gets to hang out with the squad members, technical staff and coaches and see things at first hand, something everyone of the 24,000 or so that attend each home game would love to experience.

When I caught up with him at the West Bromwich Albion home game he was pitchside at the pre match warm up putting data and live footage onto a new digital platform, Periscope, which is a Twitter-related streaming app that Palace were first to sign up for among the twenty Premier League clubs.

I found him in a happy and relaxed mood and he explained that there was a real buzz about the club since the home win against Manchester City, last season's Premier League champions.

Although the day after the match the players were in on time, and got into training with their usual energy and professionalism.

Chris did note that there was something special in the air following what was probably their biggest win of the season, and came after a 4-1 win away to Sunderland with Yannick scoring the first Palace hat-trick in the Premier League.

Chris confirmed that it is so much easier interviewing a player after a win!

Chris also records pieces with the U21 squad and said it was really good to see some of the progress that some of the younger players are making. In fact he told me to keep an eye out for Hiram Boateng who he predicts will soon make his breakthrough into the first team.

When we last met I reminded Chris that he was still a bit of a thespian and heavily involved with the world of film and theatre. I asked if this was something he still hankered for and was surprised to learn that Chris is fully committed to his new role and loving every minute!

In fact he said that he did not miss the trauma of regularly going for jobs and failing to nail them! He commented that in fact he felt more grown up having a regular income and having the means to pay a mortgage!

He added that he is "really, really loving his job" although he couldn't imagine doing it for any other club, adding "I just want to learn and get better at what I do".

Asked if he has a mentor such as Mark Bright, an experienced BBC sports journalist now, he said "no not yet" although he is getting good advice from Alan Ryan, his boss, who has plenty of experience with an independent sports production company.

I couldn't help complimenting Chris on his presenting style saying he seemed to take to it like a duck to water! However, I had struggled to find a catchphrase for Chris in the style of Alan Partridge although a comment he made about being able to "literally grate cheese on my nipples" as he emerged from a freezing cryotherapy chamber was one of my favourite moments from Chrisís relatively short broadcasting career thus far!

Just spending a small amount of time with Chris is enough to realise he is thoroughly enjoying his current job. As we were winding up he was about to get the team sheets and record a live piece to camera to go on the mega screen and all the TV screens in the stadium lounges, press boxes and corporate boxes.

Watching his assured performance it is difficult to imagine that just six months previously he was one of ten shortlisted hopefuls vying for this dream role. And now it is his he is making the most of this unique opportunity, and to be at the heart of this amazing 110 year old football club as it seeks to establish itself among the elite of English clubs as a permanent fixture in the Premier League.

His role has allowed him to witness events at first hand as Palace have gone from relegation favourites to a solid mid-table outfit and at the cusp of a major investment or takeover rumoured to be announced at the end of the season.

Chris was kind enough to agree to some quick-fire questions, similar to the Twitter questions he frequently fires at first team members on a weekly basis.

Ever the diplomat he swerved the question on his favourite Crystal and failed to be drawn on his favourite current squad members!

Quickfire questions:

Favourite fast food? Chicken and Chorizo wrap from Leon.

Favourite movie? Flight of the Navigator

Favourite band? Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls

Favourite holiday destination? Antigua (Iím biased, Iím Antiguan so itís a second home)

Favourite away game of the season? Sunderland this season. Didnít mind the journey back!

Who do you regard as Palace's biggest rivals? I think I hate Millwall the most (good choice Chris!)

Favourite Palace players of all time (Name 3)? John Salako, Dougie Freedman and Danny Butterfield

Favourite Palace players in the current squad (Name 3)? You canít ask me that!

Favourite Palace supporting moment? OooohÖeither ZDS final, Hopkin's curler or most recent Playoff final. I'm going for 2013 playoff final as I can remember it the best.

Favourite Crystal girl? Second from the left at the back.

Favourite former Palace player still playing? Nathaniel Clyne

Favourite Palace fansite? You of course for letting me answer these questions! Plus HLTCO blog usually does some good write ups of our stuff.

Funniest moment in current role? I enjoyed freezing my nipples in the Cryotherapy chamber. All other funny moments canít be repeated!

Thanks Chris!! We look forward to catching up again in a few months time!

Follow Chris on Twitter: @chrisgrierson.

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