Mike Bushell is a sports presenter for the BBC. He presents the sport on BBC Breakfast on Fridays and at the weekends, and sometimes on other weekdays. Bushell holds the world record for trying different sports, on his Saturday morning slot, on BBC 1, in which he tries to inspire people off the sofa, to be more active and try a new activity. He maintains there is a sport for all, and no one should feel they can't do it. He has consequently tried out and profiled over 350 sports: ranging from the bizarre like shin kicking, whip cracking and swamp soccer to new mainstream sport initiatives like Rush hockey, spike volleyball, and shopping centre squash. His features often include top tips from the stars, like Serena Williams, Colin Montgomerie and Ben Ainslie.
He has his own web page: Bushell's Best, on the pages of the BBC News website. For Sport Relief in 2012, he set the world record for travelling across water in a large inflatable ball. He managed a mile in 1 hour and 57 minutes, during which time he needed 8 oxygen breaks. In June 2013, his first book "Bushell's Best Bits" was published. He has been with the BBC News channel since its launch in 1997, and appeared on Celebrity Mastermind on Saturday 28 December 2013. Bushell made his panto debut, going back to his acting roots playing a sports reporter in Aladdin in Northampton in 2010 alongside Chesney Hawkes.
Bushell is a half northerner, half southerner, spending his teenage years in Yorkshire after growing up in Hertfordshire, attending Ashwell School where his father John was headmaster. When he was 8 he started his own newspaper, called the Daily Owl and sold it and delivered it to friends in the village for 1p. He once got into trouble for giving away his new Christmas present as a prize for a competition. He played chess for Hertfordshire and ran in the county cross country team. His ambition at this young age was to be either a zookeeper or field biologist, but after a jape with a weasel went disastrously wrong he had to change tack. Bushell wrote an opera at the age of 11 and kept alive his musical ambitions later in two bands. In 1977 his family moved to Harrogate and he went to secondary school at Granby High School. He sometimes took a tape recorder to school to record the day's events. It was here during a production of Hobson's Choice that he first got the drama bug and played the part of Willie Mossop. He went on to join the National Youth Theatre.
Bushell got a 2:1 in a drama and television degree at King Alfred's College in Winchester, now the University of Winchester. Once he left he appeared as a Roman Centurion and King Arthur on the streets of Winchester, for the tourist board, and in the National Youth Theatre production of Good Lads at Heart, working alongside Liza Tarbuck. In order to pay his college debts he got a job on the Hampshire Chronicle newspaper in Winchester and was posted to the Eastleigh office, and he was hooked by the journalism bug.
He later toured Europe as vocalist for "Don't Push the River" forming a musical partnership with Nigel Smith, writer of hit comedy Teenage Kicks. He then sang for the band Arthur the Stoat, alongside Tim Rafferty and Peter Haynes, aka Pete Babes Wilson, his friend from when he was five. Arthur the Stoat was initially formed in rural Suffolk in 1992, and the music is atypically English psychedelic folk pop.
In 1990, after stints on the Derby Evening Telegraph and the Windsor and Slough Observer, he got his first broadcasting job at BBC Radio Solent as a trainee reporter. He then moved to television, as a news, sport and entertainment reporter–presenter for BBC South Today before joining the BBC News channel, and later BBC Breakfast.
He is a keen runner, having run six marathons in as many days when aged 15, in 1981. It was a 175-mile trip along with friend Simon Wild and they raised thousands of pounds for the International Year of Disabled People. He still plays football and is a runner with the Hash House Harriers, and weekly tries out different sports for his Saturday role. He has now experienced over 250 different sports. He is a fan of Leeds United.