Dennis Coath looks back on a career spanning forty-five years as a TV and radio sports reporter in the Midlands.
In his book ‘Rats, Pies and Pigeon Poo’, he recounts many amazing and hilarious experiences. The title comes from those trials. Facing giant rats; paddling through pigeon poo and eating a mouldy pie … all in his duties as an intrepid TV reporter.
Dennis recalls dodging a hail of bricks in Istanbul and avoiding a fusillade of full beer cans hurled by French rugby fans.‘I was lucky to escape without injury, but one tin took a chunk out of my ear.’
More terrifying moments included facing the militia’s machine guns in Bilbao, being severely bitten by a horse during a live TV broadcast, and facing a huge black rodent, large lizards and cobras while filming a TV documentary in Vietnam.
Dennis interviewed Muhammad Ali, Ayrton Senna and Jonah Lomu
He chronicles his interviews with Muhammad Ali, Ayrton Senna, Jonah Lomu, Brian Clough, Ken Dodd, David Attenborough, Barry Sheene and Rod Stewart, among others.
Dennis Coath has published books with England’s greatest cricketer Ian Botham and most capped footballer Peter Shilton. Rats, Pies and Pigeon Poo is also a handbook for aspiring journalists.
In one calendar year, Dennis reported from Vietnam twice, New Zealand, South Africa, Turkey, Italy, France and Switzerland.
Dennis commented: “When I look back at forty-five-years I can’t believe the adventures and scrapes I have got into and the illustrious people I have met. I am sport mad. My career got off to a bad start when I was sacked as a crematorium gardener for playing cricket in the ‘garden of rest’. We played for The Ashes.”
Rats, Pies and Pigeon Poo is published by Olympia Publishers for £8.99 and is available at Waterstones, Amazon, and all good book shops.