An aspiring sports commentator from Helsby has made it into the final of a BBC competition.

Luke Birch, 13, is down to the final 18 on the shortlist to be named Radio 5 live’s Young Commentator of the Year for 2016.

The winner will spend a day with 5 live at a major sporting event, where they’ll have a go at commentating.

Whatever the result, which will be announced on Friday (June 3), the Helsby High School pupil already has his sights set on a career in the sporting media.

Luke’s dad Ian Birch said the good news came ‘out of the blue’.

He said: “Luke’s done fantastically well to get to this stage.

“We sent off his application a few months and almost forgot about it, so when we got the call from the BBC it was a bit out of the blue.

“He’s very keen on his sport and has always shown an interest in the reporting side of it too. At the moment he’s looking to get into journalism, especially sports journalism.”

Ian added his son had even written match reports for school teams and would often practice his commentary to hone his skills for painting a picture of the action.

To enter Luke had to submit a recording of his own commentary over a sporting clip, in his case he chose football.

You can hear Luke's entry on the BBC 5 live website here .

A panel of BBC Radio 5 live experts then awarded marks for enthusiasm, knowledge, picture-painting and delivery.

The judges included senior football correspondent John Murray, sports commentator Jacqui Oatley, athletics broadcaster Darren Campbell and sports broadcaster Sonja McLaughlan.

The Young Commentator of the Year winner will be announced by 5 live on June 3

John Murray said: “The standard of entries was outstanding, and it was a tough job whittling it down to this final 18.

“We were hugely impressed by the knowledge, energy and enthusiasm that came through, and we are sure we have found some voices which we’ll be hearing a lot more of in years to come.”

Additional prizes for the winner include a behind-the-scenes tour of the BBC Salford and the coveted Young Commentator of the Year trophy.

Tune in to hear the winner crowned on 5 live at 8.20am on Friday.

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