BBC Radio 5 Live has announced the launch of a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ podcast with former Premier League professional footballer Jermain Defoe on his journey to becoming a football manager.
The weekly 12-part-series titled Jermain Defoe: Outside The Box will be narrated by The Walking Dead actor Lennie James as the podcast follows the retired striker in his new career path working at the Tottenham academy, after making a name for himself at the ninth-highest goalscorer in the Premier League. The first episode premiers on 9 February, starting off from Defoe’s childhood neighbourhood in Canning Town.
“I love football. It's as simple as that," said Defoe in an interview with BBC Sports at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. “I've been obsessed with the game since day one and nothing's changed. I retired last year at 39 and I still had the same feeling that I had when I was a kid going out for a game.”
Each episode will see Defoe speaking to a number of experts to get advice on becoming a football manager, including his old boss and veteran football manager Harry Redknapp, as well as football players-turned-managers David Pleat and Paul Warne. Other key football figures that Defoe will speak to include Troy Townsend, Chris Hughton and John Bares, who will talk about the need for more Black managers in English football.
Jermain Defoe: Outside The Box follows the success of the BBC Sounds documentary podcast Moment of Truth, which was released in October 2022 and followed the lives of football managers Warne and Karl Robinson during the three-month final period of the League One season.
BBC Sounds has launched a number of podcasts with former football stars, including That Peter Crouch Podcast with former professional footballer Peter Crouch and radio personality Chris Stark, which has since moved to independent podcast platform Acast in March 2022. BBC 5 Live’s Football Daily podcast was also ranked as the fifth top podcast across BBC Sounds’ global podcast downloads in Q4 2022.