Success – and on his own terms
July 20, 2016
July 20, 2016
Frankie Vu combines a career as a live sports host and a presenter on the CBBC and Disney XD children’s channels with life as a professional in the world of freestyle football.
Frankie (Francis), who attended QE from 2000 to 2008, once raced from an AS examination straight to Manchester to appear in a music video – an early highlight of a media career that remains just as fast-paced today.
In the video, for The Way I Are (sic) by the American rapper, producer and DJ, Timbaland, Frankie is seen performing as a freestyler. Freestyle football is the art of self-expression with a football, with players performing tricks using various parts of their body.
“I was still at QE when I won the UK football freestyle championship in 2006,” he says. “This actually stemmed from a serious sports injury that I had sustained the previous year: I found that football freestyle was a good way to work on my rehab during the long period I had to spend away from team sports.
“I fell in love with the process of getting something wrong so many times and of eventually succeeding, but in my own time and on my terms.”
On leaving QE, Frankie studied English Language & Communication at King’s College London.
“I was unsure what I wanted to do after university, so during the holidays I completed two summer internships at Centrica and Barclays. Although I enjoyed both, I wasn’t convinced that either was a good ‘fit’.
“However, in my final year I had attended a talk on careers in the media. One thing led to another and eventually I was invited to screen-test for Disney. Then – and this is a very condensed version of the story! – I secured my first TV contract at the end of the summer.”
Since then, he has been a host for the fencing and taekwondo events at London Olympics and for the wheelchair fencing at the 2012 Paralympic Games, as well as for other live sporting events, including rugby and NFL. He currently hosts at Arsenal’s Champions League home matches, interviewing stars from the past for its Champions Club.
His current TV work includes exploring the world of the future in CBBC’s Technobabble show – an interest he has also demonstrated in videos from the Mobile World Congress and through fronting previews for the Gadget Show Live.
Frankie has his own YouTube channel and is very much at home in the online world, being close to well-known vloggers including Zoella (Zoe Elizabeth Sugg), Marcus Butler, Caspar Lee and Jim Chapman.