This is how he rocks. ‘I was doing the Commonwealth Games for BBC3 and had just finished a five-and-a-half hour live broadcast. I grabbed a taxi to Hampden, did a sound check and appeared on the same stage as Lulu and Kylie.’
This is how he rolls. ‘I have my eyes on a Norwegian bike race. Basically, it’s a midnight sun sort of thing, a 100-mile ride through the night.’
Dougie Vipond, father, cyclist, triathlete, Deacon Blue drummer, presenter of The Adventure Show and Landward, veteran of the Holiday programme, has a new gig. He will be the Scottish voice of Premier Sports’ Guinness Pro14 coverage. It is another step on a journey that has unusual signposts.
Deacon Blue drummer Dougie Vipond (pictured) will be the voice of Pro14 rugby
The thrill-seeker (pictured) has signed a deal to commentate on live rugby this season
The Hampden date was the closing ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The cycle in Norway is one for the future. The diary for late August, early September is typical for Vipond, exhausting just to read for the casual observer.
This week, he has been fishing off Stonehaven for mackerel, picking broadbeans in Kirriemuir, and cooking with Nick Nairn. This weekend, he heads to the Hebrides to report on Heb, described as a ‘race on the edge’ but basically masochism in shorts and on the isles. All of the above will be captured on film for Landward and The Adventure Show.
In November, he will embark on a two-month British tour with Deacon Blue that will take in such venues as the SSE Hydro and the Hammersmith Odeon.
Oh, and next Friday he will be at Scotstoun to commentate on Glasgow Warriors’ clash with Munster.
At 51, he seems to adhere to the rock and roll motif of living fast. He is, also, splendidly self-deprecating.
‘I was known as Sport Billy on Deacon Blue tours,’ he says. ‘I was always phoning ahead to hotels to see if there were places I could play basketball, volleyball, football, whatever. It’s ridiculous. There are actual letters to the band from hotels praising us for our behaviour. Shameful.’
If his career as a musician, his passion as an amateur sportsman and his ubiquity as a professional broadcaster seem to form a crazily multi-faceted mosaic, there is one theme that shines brightly and clearly. Vipond, the man of many jobs, is a worker.
This truth emerges early. It has never faded. And Sir Alex Ferguson played a key part.
As Vipond tells Sportsmail , it is another step on a journey that has unusual signposts
‘At school, I wanted to do sport and music, with a view to a career,’ he says of life at Park Mains High School in Erskine.
‘I probably wanted to do sport more but I wasn’t talented enough to do anything with it in a career sense.
‘I was mostly into rugby as my dad played. Then Alex Ferguson came round to my primary school and handed out Proud to Be a Buddy badges. I had only heard of Rangers and Celtic and didn’t realise there was a team nearby to where I lived in Inchinnan. So, I became a St Mirren fan. I still am.’
The future knight of the realm was subsequently sacked by Saints. The future Pro14 commentator embarked on a career that was never to see him out of work.
He left school to go to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama as an orchestral percussionist, playing with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland.
His next move has echoed on the years. In 1985, the young student was approached by a certain Ricky Ross.
Vipond reveals: ‘He was looking for a drummer. He asked me: “Have you got an electric drum kit?” I said: “No, I don’t like them”. I was hired.’
Nine albums, thousands of miles on the road, a Brit award, and the odd