#BlogTour #Extract ~ The Roving Eye by Richard Evans @Ringham7 @gilbster1000 @authorightUKPR

The Roving Eye: A Reporter’s Love Affair with Paris, Politics & Sport
Go. Be there. For the past six decades Richard Evans has followed that dictum  – being where the action was, not just as a tennis writer and broadcaster – 196 Grand Slams and counting – but through his years as a foreign correspondent in America, France and Vietnam as well as a spell as a roving global reporter for the US television programme Entertainment Tonight.

Evans, whose English family fled France in June 1940, also became a National Service Captain in the British army, without having to dodge a bullet which was not the case in Cambodia nor in Miami where he was struck by a cop during an anti-Nixon demonstration.
Evans was in Memphis hours after Martin Luther King was shot; campaigned through Indiana and California with Bobby Kennedy – “a unique politician” – before he, too, was assassinated and witnessed the pre-Olympic demonstrations in 1968 against the Mexican Government which ended in massacre.

He accompanied the Wimbledon champion and activist Arthur Ashe on two trips to Africa, witnessing the dark days of apartheid and was back in South Africa in 1990 covering Mike Gatting’s rebel cricket tour during the historic weeks that saw Nelson Mandela released and apartheid abolished.

Evans paints an insider’s portrait of Margaret Thatcher and No 10 Downing Street during the time he was with the Prime Minister’s daughter, Carol; a romance with the actress Gayle Hunnicutt and two marriages; friendships with Richard Harris, Michael Crawford and more Wimbledon champions than you could fit into the players’ box. He was also the last person to interview Richard Burton.
A life lived to the full, covering the globe with a Roving Eye – being there.

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About the Author

Richard Evans has been a journalist since the 1960s where he began his career writing for the Evening Standard. He has covered tennis for outlets including the Sunday Times, Fox Sports USA and Tennis Magazine, reporting on more than 196 Grand Slams over the course of his career. Evans was the play-by-play commentator for BBC Radio at Wimbledon for twenty years and was a commentator for the Tennis Channel at the French Open and AO Radio at the Australian Open. He is the author of 18 books, including biographies of tennis legends, the official history of the Davis Cup, and most recently co-authoring Pain, Set & Match.
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Extract

I was covering Mike Gatting’s rebel cricket tour in South Africa when F.W. de Klerk suddenly abolished apartheid and released Nelson Mandela. While searching for the tennis courts that Arthur Ashe had built in Soweto, I was told Mandela, who had been released from prison three days before, lived nearby. We went to have a look…..

The house stood on an unpaved road and there were two oil cans blocking immediate access. So we got out of the car and walked up to a group of some 40 reporters and cameramen who were milling around. Ronnie Van’t Hof knew some of the photographers and one told me, “He’s in the garden right now. Here, stand on this, and you will be able to peek over the fence.”

He was pointing to his steel camera case, which would take my weight, so I clambered up and peered through the strand of loosely coiled barbed wire that sat on top of the fence. From that uncertain vantage point, I stared down at the face of the man no one had seen for 27 years until three days before.

Nelson Mandela was sitting in a chair, no more than twenty yards away, being interviewed by ABC’s Ted Koppel whose Nightline programme was considered one of the best of its kind in the world. I raised my littler automatic camera, which was the size of the Samsung mobile phones we use today, and fired off a few shots. It struck me right then that I could be shooting off shots of a different kind. There had been next to no security. There were some police visible further down the road but they paid scant attention to me. Someone on a different mission could have changed the course of history.

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