World famous YouTube star, Caspar Lee, has been working with COPA90 recently, presenting our women’s football show: The Other Half. We caught up with Caspar to discuss the women’s game, Nelson Mandela, and his love for Spurs.
Hi Caspar, great to meet you! So has football always been a part of your life?
Hi, nice to meet you too! Well in South Africa football is the biggest sport. Even though we don’t have an incredible national team, ‘Bafana Bafana’ is a big deal for everyone.
My Dad was part of the team bidding for the 2006 World Cup for South Africa, so he actually got to meet Nelson Mandela to film a video where Mandela was asking FIFA to bring the World Cup to South Africa.
One of the most memorable stories my Dad ever told me was that when he was doing that with Mandela, he’d broken his leg, so Mandela said to him “next time you get in a fight with your wife you must tell her not to hit you so hard in the leg,” haha.
Other than that, I didn’t really play much football at school but I’ve always been involved with Tottenham Hotspur because my friend, Josh, and his family all support Tottenham, so he kind of brought me into that.
I get to go to the matches sometimes and I’ve been to the new stadium a few times. I love the fact we have a new manager now. Even though I loved Poch, I like the fact that we didn’t wait and wait to make a change. We were like ‘no, let’s do this now’ and that allowed Poch to leave with all the fans having a good taste in their mouths still.
What are your thoughts on Mourinho? Do you like him? Or are you still on the fence?
No, I like Mourinho! I like how interesting he is to watch as well. I love watching videos of him at press conferences. Poch is obviously an incredible manager who did incredible things, but Mourinho’s record is as good, if not better.
If you could interview one footballer, who would it be and why?
I think Son [Heung-Min]: the nicest man in football. He’d put me at ease and also he seems so sweet. I always remember him going ‘come on you Spurs!’ He seems to really love the club.
The interview would get a load of clicks as well because he has a massive fanbase. As soon as you walk out of the stadium, everyone’s just waiting for Son.
Do you have any favourite Spurs moments from down the years?
Well there’s last season’s Champions League run. That was just incredible to see them go from pretty much out the tournament to making the final. The end result obviously wasn’t in our favour, but the whole experience of seeing a city [Madrid] being taken over by Liverpool and Spurs fans was incredible.
I was really lucky to be able to go and watch so that was a big highlight. The games leading up to it as well were incredible as well. Even if you’re not a fan of Tottenham, everyone was looking at us and thinking ‘you’re quite cool’.
“I never thought I wanted to do The Other Half because I wanted to change the world, I got excited because I wanted to meet the people who are changing the world.”
Caspar Lee, YouTube star
When COPA90 first pitched the idea of The Other Half to you, what were your thoughts?
My first thought was that I’m not someone who necessarily talks about football – and I don’t claim to be the most knowledgeable – but what I liked is that COPA said they were looking for someone who could come in without already having a view on the situation; someone who’s more like most people out there who might not know too much about this [women’s football].
That got me very interested and also the people we had access to…I was like ‘wow, we’re going to be talking to a Ballon d’Or winner’. The people we managed to get into the series is pretty incredible.
I remember you saying when you were in the gym with Ada Hegerberg: “if this was Ronaldo, the whole place would be flooded” but there was no one around, how was that?
Yeah, it was interesting to be making content and a documentary about something that hasn’t been documented that much before, and hopefully be a tiny part of this transformation of bringing more media into the game.
It’s going to be a chicken and egg situation: more media is going to bring more viewers and more viewers will bring more media, so having the opportunity to support that was great.
Football is the most popular sport in the world and the fact ‘the other half’ haven’t been able to play properly in many countries for a long time – and there are many places where it’s still a massive struggle to play – it’s nice to be a tiny part of changing that.
I never thought I wanted to do The Other Half because I wanted to change the world, I got excited because I wanted to meet the people who are changing the world.
How did you find the overall experience and what did you discover along the way?
Good question! It’s interesting to see how normal the lives of these top, top athletes are. It’d be interesting to see if I was interviewing their [male] counterparts how long I’d get – the people around them would probably be a lot more difficult.
The game’s still in a place where you get incredible access, and I think that’s a good thing, but also potentially a bad thing. I hope there’s not too much access because it’s a big opportunity to be able to interview these people.
Some of the players said that sometimes there’s too much access to them or maybe there’s not the ‘right’ access to them from the ‘right’ press. Sometimes they’re just doing a random thing and they’d rather be classed in a more exclusive manner.
They deserve that because they are that good and, commercially, they’re starting to be able to demand that in terms of the amount of people watching and sponsorships and so on.
Another thing I found interesting was how articulate all the players were. Given they dedicate their lives to sport I didn’t expect everyone to be so good at interviews and so on it with their answers. But they also weren’t overly media trained so they didn’t hold back as much as I expected.
A lot of them have been able to go on and get really good jobs after playing as well like coaching or punditry. That shows they’re very special and great communicators, which I thought was incredible.
Did you have a favourite person that you met or a favourite episode?
I think going in Ada’s [Hegerberg] car was really exciting. It was insane just to be in the car with her for so long. We had a static interview with her before and then the car interview where she opened up a bit more.
Other than that, playing with the grassroots in the WSL in London was really fun. I scored a goal, so that was cool, haha.
How have you found working with COPA90 in general?
I’ve really enjoyed working with COPA90, I think there’s a really good culture here. I’ve been in the office for a few days filming and it just seems like a great place to work.
Finally, can you see yourself doing more football content in the future?
Yeah definitely, I’d love to do more football content. I feel like I’d want to do more women’s football content because I’ve learned so much and I just want to continue to learn more.
I don’t know, maybe you guys could throw me in the deep end with some men’s teams, ha. But I think women’s football is really fascinating and it’s just starting to take off. There’s loads of opportunities to get involved, so I’m keen to see if I can.
Check out The Other Half, COPA90's women's football show presented by Caspar Lee, exclusively on Facebook Watch.