AS you’ll hear in a minute when you press play on that thing that accompanies this thing, there will be two voices. One is mine. One isn’t. You’ll soon discover which is mine and which is that of the award winning documentary maker, Steve James. And when you make that discovery you will doubtless conclude one thing; I am as woollen as the woolly mammoth. I don’t have a purple bin and for that I apologise. However, my voice was never intended to be heard by anyone other than me with regards this particular interview.

But I digress; Mr James came into the BBC Sheffield studio to record something for Radio 4 that should have taken 15 minutes. He was so fascinating that I recorded almost 40 minutes for a 7 minute feature. It seemed a shame to just let the rest of it go to waste and given the mandate for TAW is that there isn’t a mandate, I thought why not. So with apologies for my vocals and my questions – please ignore those and the clear and unadulterated fawning in my voice and enjoy the answers of a man who changed the way documentary features would be made when he discovered two boys with dreams of making it to the NBA in one of the roughest projects in Chicago.

The film in question – Hoop Dreams – never won an Oscar. It wasn’t even nominated and it sparked arguably the biggest controversy in Oscar history. “It was the St Valentines Day Massacre” said James. He was right. Oscar were wrong.

Listening to this interview is right. Ignoring it is wrong.

I thank you.

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