More years ago than is personally comfortable to admit, I worked in a call centre where the bosses would regularly bring big clients around to show them how safe their business was with us.
No visit was ever complete without a bigwig peering over some poor sap’s shoulder and watching them perform some mundane, everyday task.
Despite the commonplace nature of the action being demonstrated, the presence of someone watching you doing it live inevitably meant the humble worker would end up forgetting that it was always F5 which was pressed at that moment, or who found their fingers suddenly unable to hit any of the right letters on the keyboard.
This cause of my subsequent hatred of being watched working came to mind as the opening moments of BT’s new sports channels played across the nation’s screens.
Were jake Humphrey & Co about to buckle under the strain of a live broadcast by which the entire quality of the station would be judged?
Would they join Samantha Fox and Mick Fleetwood in TV’s Hall of Shame?
Mercifully for all, BT Sport’s launch turned out to be near-perfect.
A few of the initial introductions seemed a little stilted and some of the sound seemed a little off – especially during the interview with Tom Watt – but overall this was an impressively solid debut from BT’s new £1bn channel.
The camera work and timing seemed pretty much on the spot and the assorted guests helped cheer the channel through a lighthearted, easy going introduction.
Two memories linger above all else.
First, the undoubtable presence of Clare Balding who, despite appearing down the line from her Channel 4 horse racing chores, overshadowed and out-charmed her colleagues.
And, secondly, the pleasing little conceit of allowing the audience to choose between following Humphrey to studio 1 for the live football or Craig Doyle to studio and BT Sport 2 for the rugby.
Whoever came up with that idea deserves a hearty slap on the back at whatever celebrations channel bosses have laid on for a team who have worked tirelessly to produce an assured, confident and successful debut.