After being selected from all the hopefuls who auditioned to be the new face of Palace TV, Chris Grierson can't wait to get stuck into his dream role.
The lifelong Eagles fan was revealed as the lucky winner during half-time of the win against Leicester City last time out at Selhurst, and having had time for the joy to sink in Chris is now ready to get up close and personal with those same players that he'd been watching from the stands just weeks before.
Despite this being his first foray into presenting, Chris has plenty of on-camera experience as an actor, and with an in-depth knowledge of everything Palace he believes he has what it takes to be successful in the role.
He said: “I'm extremely delighted, it's the perfect mix of performing combined with working with my favourite football team. I'd like to thank anyone who liked the YouTube video and I've had lots of nice tweets from fans too. I promise I'm going to be as good as I can be and hopefully get even better.
“I've not got too much experience in presenting but I've been an actor for the past 10 years on TV and in the theatre, so I'm pretty comfortable in front of an audience and thinking on my feet. I was in Hollyoaks a long time ago for six months and also appeared in Holby City, as well as a few musicals.
“I'm looking forward to bringing a fresh approach to interviewing the players and finding out what makes them tick.”
When looking for a new face of Palace TV, the ideal candidate had to be someone with red and blue coursing through their veins and Chris has that in abundance. He has been a regular at Selhurst for 25 years as a third-generation fan, meaning he and his family have experienced the same ups and downs as all the Eagles faithful during that time.
“I've been a Palace fan since the day I was born as my grandad and my dad were both Palace fans so I didn't have choice!” he added. “When my grandad was a kid he used to live above the Clifton Arms on the corner of the ground and my dad has been going since 1959. I'm a pretty positive fan, I don't really get down about things.
“My first game was around 1989 but the first one I can remember was a game against Sheffield United a year later where I stood on the terrace at the Whitehorse Lane end. I think we won 1-0 and I missed the goal as I was in the toilet at the time!
“John Salako was my favourite player as a kid, as well as Eddie McGoldrick. I also used to like Sasa Curcic's beard and Chris Armstrong when he was here.
“The Hopkin play-off final has to be up there as one of my favourite memories, as well as the 5-0 win against Bunrley when Warnock was last here. The last 15 minutes of the Liverpool game last season was also epic if you forget the first portion.”
Chris will soon be mixing with the current crop of Palace heroes in his role as presenter and interviewer for Palace Player and the official YouTube channel, as well as conducting many matchday duties, but which of the squad does he most admire?
He revealed: “At the moment I really like Joel Ward because he's such a team player which is what all the fans love, and I quite like the look of James McArthur, I think he's the player we need to allow Jedinak to sit at the back and intercept. I'm also a big Chamakh fan, I think he's got the best technical ability of any player that I've seen at Selhurst Park.”
However he has already had a brief encounter with Neil Warnock whom he enjoyed a brief conversation with a few years ago in his role in the theatre.
“I met Neil Warnock once before when I was selling tickets for Billy Elliott at the theatre. He came to collect them and when I told him I was a Palace fan he apologised and told me who was at fault for all the goals we'd conceded the weekend before away at Reading!”