Richard Lenton on being a winner
Richard Lenton won in the Best Sports Presenter / Commentator category at last year's Asian Television Awards.
February 19, 2016
By James Chen
We interviewed Richard Lenton, who won in the Best Sports Presenter / Commentator category at the 20th Asian Television Awards. Richard also won in the same category in 2013.
Up close and personal with Richard Lenton
You literally swept the Best Sports Presenter / Commentator category, as you won and were highly commended at the same time. What were your thoughts?
I was very proud indeed. The competition was fierce, so I was delighted to win. Even though I was shortlisted for three separate programmes, I really wanted to win the award for our World Cup coverage, which I thought was excellent. Everyone worked so hard. It was an incredible, and sometimes mind-bending experience working through the night for the duration of the tournament, but it was the most fulfilling period of my working life. I’m so grateful to the amazing team at IMG and Singtel for their effort, enthusiasm, ambition and professionalism.
Obviously you were up against some stiff competition. Did you think you would win?
You can never take anything for granted, but, after being shortlisted for three separate programmes, I would have been very disappointed not to take the top prize! The nerves are something else when you wait for the announcement, but the feeling when your name gets called is euphoric. I have to also say that it was a fantastic night – the decision to split the awards over two evenings was a masterstroke. This was my fourth Asian TV Awards, and it was without doubt the most enjoyable. It felt more intimate, more relaxed, and it was easier to mingle with friends and colleagues old and new.
Take us through your quest for excellence. What makes you a winner?
I’ve always been competitive at whatever I do. The disappointment I would feel as a kid when I would lose sports matches was ridiculous – I’d be morose. But I gradually started to understand what ‘winning’ actually means, and for me, as long as you always, always give your very best at whatever you do, then you can be proud. If you can look at yourself in the mirror and know that you’ve given absolutely everything, then you’re a winner – even if you lose a football match, a game of Scrabble or an Asian TV Award.
Will we see another submission from you in 2016?
I’d like to think so. I really enjoyed hosting the South East Asia Games on Singtel, so I’m hoping to be nominated for that. Working on sports other than football was an enjoyable departure. I’d also really like to win something for Eleven Sports Network, a new channel in Singapore that I started working for last July. We made a huge effort with our broadcasting of the Singapore World Cup qualifiers in October and November, so it would be great to earn some recognition for that – not just me personally, but the team as a whole. Hosting from pitchside was a great challenge, a real buzz. It was also a fantastic experience to be right on the cusp of the action in the wonderful new National Stadium.
What are you up to in 2016?
Working hard for Eleven Sports Network and Singtel. I also run a media business, and I’ve got quite a few copywriting, content marketing and video production projects on the go, so I’m seriously busy. Obviously I still find time to play football at least once a week though – the competitive fire still burns bright! I also got engaged at Christmas, so my fiancée and I are looking forward to getting married. But before all that, there are still so many amazing places in Asia that we have to visit and explore. Moving to Singapore has given us so many opportunities, and delivered innumerable life experiences. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities that have been given to me.