Leon’s twitter page reads, “Welcome to the future”. It is a motto he lives by, as he strives to bring new ideas and dynamism to the sports and media industries.
With over a decade of experience working in sport and media, Leon has worked with, and alongside, some of the world’s most respected companies, notably – the BBC and ITV.
One of the leading operators in his field, he most recently covered the UEFA European Championships in France as a reporter for ITV – broadcasting to audiences of up to 16 million viewers. In 2012, Leon was confirmed as one of the BBC Sport TV reporters for the London Olympics – having joined the corporation with no previous television experience five years before the announcement.
Leon has earned a reputation for delivering big name interviews and has worked tirelessly to secure opportunities with the most celebrated names in sport – from Usain Bolt to David Beckham, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to Jose Mourinho.
During his time at the BBC he made a name for himself as a regular reporter on Match Of The Day, Football Focus, World Olympic Dreams and British Olympic Dreams programmes. He has also presented the amateur boxing coverage on BBC 2.
Leon has a real passion for making films and has written, directed and produced the highly rated BBC documentary on Usain Bolt: ‘The Fastest Man Who Has Ever Lived’.
He also made ‘Can Anyone Beat Bolt’ ahead of the London Olympics for BBC Three. The film saw Leon produce, direct and write the story of the contenders competing for the 100m crown at the 2012 games. Leon did all the extensive interviews with the fastest men on the planet as part of the project, including Usain Bolt.
In 2013, he spent time with England footballer, Jermain Defoe, in St Lucia and East London, as the reporter on the much praised ITV Life Story on the striker. In 2015, ITV Sport invited Leon back to interview Andrew Cole for the Manchester United legend’s Life Story. He has also covered the UEFA Champions League, Europa League and Bundesliga for ITV Sport.
A skilful broadcaster, one of his interviewees recently remarked, ‘You’re not like the rest of the journalists. It’s like you’re one of us.’
A keen writer, he is a columnist in The Voice Newspaper and has written for The Guardian, The Times and the Daily Mirror.
Through his broadcasting, writing and film-making he has already made a significant contribution to helping the world’s leading sports broadcasters reach new audiences, while offering their loyal followings something different.
Having begun his career as international spokesperson for football’s anti-racism campaigns Kick It Out and Football Against Racism in Europe – sitting at the negotiating table with the likes of FIFA head Sepp Blatter – Leon’s move away from campaigning has not seen his desire for a more inclusive and diverse sports industry diminish.
In 2010, Leon founded the Black Collective of Media in Sport (BCOMS), a network that lobbies the UK’s leading power brokers in the media industry to raise the prospects and profile of black sports journalists in the UK. BCOMS recently held it’s second conference on diversity in the sports media and released D Word 2 Guide. Leon also co-founded the Football Black List in 2008, a power list of football’s movers and shakers, now celebrated regularly at a major awards night.
In 2014, Leon founded the Sports People’s Think Tank (SPTT) with former Premier League footballers – Jason Roberts MBE, Michael Johnson and Darren Moore. The SPTT represents the views of hundreds of sports people and it’s first report can be read here – We speak with one voice REPORT. There have since been two more reports by the think tank. He was also a founder of the heralded On The Board corporate governance course for former professional footballers and diverse candidates aspiring to join sports boardrooms.
In 2015, Leon was confirmed as an ambassador for the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal. He was staggered that there was not one statue of a named black woman in the UK, so was keen to lend his support to the successful campaign.
The north Londoner is also making an impact as a sports consultant – and is currently working with some of the biggest footballers in the world. He has also assisted campaigns and sports authorities to connect with their respective audiences and constituencies.
In 2014, Leon co-founded and became a director of Refresh Films, an independent production company delivering cutting edge content and documentaries to a range of businesses and media outlets. Refresh Films provide the Professional Footballers Association with PFA TV, which Leon presents. Other clients include the Premier League, Professional Players Federation, SuperSport and Football Manager.