Scottish rugby’s record points scorer was grilled under the spotlight in a mock press conference by Edinburgh College students.
Retired rugby ace Chris Paterson visited the college’s Audio Visual Technology and Creative Industries: Television students, who scrummed down to get the scoop on his life and career.
Winning mentality, recovering from injury and mistaken identity were the hot topics of conversation as students were given an opportunity to question Chris in a press conference setting and to conduct and film short one-to-one interviews with Scotland’s second most-capped player.
Students probed Chris with questions on getting to the top of his game, working as a team, picking himself up after loss and injury, and his experience of dealing with the media throughout his playing career.
Chris shared anecdotes from his career including his famous 100th cap game for the Scottish national side, which saw him leave the field early after suffering a serious kidney injury. It also resulted in a case of mistaken identity in the hospital ward, where he was recognised by a fellow patient as being from EastEnders – whilst still wearing his Scotland kit.
Chris, who retired from international rugby in December 2011 and as a professional player in May 2012, has since gone on to become a specialist coach at the Scottish Rugby Union and to provide punditry for the BBC. He will be a part of the BBC team covering the upcoming Six Nations tournament, which kicks off this weekend.
Chris said: “I was really impressed with the professionalism of all the students. They asked some great questions and I enjoyed reminiscing about my playing career. Since becoming involved in broadcast media through my punditry work I’ve experienced the other side and it was good to be able to offer some advice which will hopefully stay with the students throughout their careers in the industry.”
Edinburgh College Broadcast Media lecturer Jim Mason said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to experience a real-life press conference set up with a well-known international sports star. The students were extremely professional and asked some hard-hitting questions – which always make for an interesting interview.
“Having Chris come to the college to share not only his experience of being at the top of his sport during his playing career but also on working in the media as part of a punditry team was really valuable for the students. Chris was a good sport and allowed the students to tap in to his knowledge of the media and also offered insight and advice on getting the best out of sports stars during interviews.”
Student Katy Murphy said: “The session with Chris was really informative and inspiring. He’s extremely knowledgeable about his field and was happy to answer all of the questions we asked.”