Former professional rugby league player Kevin Fitzpatrick has been appointed political editor for BBC North West Tonight.
Fitzpatrick, formerly of Oldham “Roughyeds” RLFC will tackle the new position on a 12-month contract, with regular appearances on North West Tonight and also presenting Sunday Politics North West on BBC One.
Fitzpatrick has covered politics in Greater Manchester for four years, serving as a reporter and producer at Radio Manchester and also working at BBC Radio 5 live.
He still plays rugby at an amateur level with local club Saddleworth Rangers.
Fitzpatrick said: “Rugby league is a tough game with no hiding place so it’s a great training ground for the world of politics.
“It’s a fascinating time with a lot riding on the big decisions being made at the moment. It means I’ll be refereeing some lively debates on Sunday Politics as we discuss how it’s all affecting people’s lives here in the North West.”
He added: “Brexit is massive for our region. Hopefully my experience on the pitch will help me when the mud starts to fly.”