Former professional rugby league player Kevin Fitzpatrick is relishing a new challenge after being appointed BBC North West Tonight’s political editor.
Kevin, who lives in Greenfield with his wife and their three children, is currently BBC Radio Manchester’s political reporter.
He is taking on the prestigious new positon for 12 months while Nina Warhurst is seconded to BBC Network News.
The former Saddleworth School pupil will be a regular face on North West Tonight and will also present Sunday Politics North West on BBC One.
He has already covered politics in Greater Manchester for four years and before that he was a reporter and producer at Radio Manchester and also worked at BBC Radio 5 live.
In his younger days Kevin, 39, played professional rugby league for Oldham, including two years there in the Mike Ford era.
He is still involved with the game at an amateur level as a committee member for local club Saddleworth Rangers, where he played before signing for Oldham.
And it was at Rangers that he got his first taste of journalism as he started writing for their match day programmes when he was an 18-year-old student at Oldham College.
Kevin said: “Rugby league is a tough game with no hiding place so it’s a great training ground for the world of politics.
“It’s a fascinating time with a lot riding on the big decisions being made at the moment. It means I’ll be refereeing some lively debates on Sunday Politics as we discuss how it’s all affecting people’s lives here in the North West.
“We’ve got the new Mayors in the Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester, plus all the other issues affecting Cheshire and Lancashire. And Brexit is massive for our region.
“Hopefully my experience on the pitch will help me when the mud starts to fly!”