Behind the scenes at South Shields star's day in the spotlight at Soccer AM

Warren Byrne with former England captain Ray Wilkins, who was also a guest on the show.
Warren Byrne with former England captain Ray Wilkins, who was also a guest on the show.

Walking through the plush offices of the Soccer AM building, you get the sense that this is a well-oiled machine.

Thousands of guests, hundreds of crew members and many fans will have walked these corridors over the years.

Warren Byrne in his South Shields strip at Soccer AM.

Warren Byrne in his South Shields strip at Soccer AM.

It's a show which retains a big following among football supporters, and is one of the most-watched Saturday morning shows in the country.

But the first thing that strikes you as you walk through the doors is the personable nature of those who work there.

I attended the studio on Saturday as South Shields FC striker Warren Byrne's guest.

South Shields striker Warren Byrne makes TV appearance on Soccer AM

Byrne, of course, was to feature in the show, playing the role of 'Full Kit Banker' while his magnificent goal for Shields against Tow Law the previous Saturday was replayed, and salivated over.

The show might look anarchic at times, but it's a well-polished production.

The show might look anarchic at times, but it's a well-polished production.

Upon arrival at the studio, we were greeted by Stuart Wakeford, a member of the Soccer AM crew, who immediately put Warren at ease.

After all, as a non-league footballer who has spent his career playing mostly in the ninth and 10th tier of English football, he is not used to those kind of surroundings, or attention.

Our walk from the car into the building was slightly delayed, however, by the arrival of an Irishman who goes by the name of Sheamus, who is much lower-key off-screen than you'd expect a WWE star to be.

He quickly got talking with Warren about the badge he was adorning, that of South Shields FC, and with that, we were whisked into the main studio for rehearsals.

Warren emerge from the tunnel in the Full Kit Bankers segment of the show.

Warren emerge from the tunnel in the Full Kit Bankers segment of the show.

We were quickly joined by show co-host John Fendley, who upon spotting Warren, shouted 'Here he is, the legend!' before giving him a hug.

You get the sense he would have made anyone feel so welcome, but it quickly became clear that for all of the joviality he may show on-screen, there is a fierce professionalism off it.

As well as co-hosting the show, Fendley is the executive producer of Soccer AM, and as rehearsals for the 'Strip Club' part of the show Warren was set to star in progressed, he took centre stage.

Ironing out any weaknesses he saw in the segment, Fendley was in control, directing as well as presenting to make the show look as smooth as possible on-air.

Warren was given a full run-through of what would happen when the show went live, although one item was kept secret so that his true reaction could be revealed live.

With that, we were taken back into the green room alongside Sheamus, former England captain Ray Wilkins and actor Tom Davis, which led to a slightly surreal 15 minutes or so.

Familiar faces from Sky Sports screens - including Chris Kamara - walked past and the nerves began to jangle as Warren readied himself for his first appearance on live TV.

Eventually, we were invited through, with Warren taking his place behind the curtain while I was taken into the live audience, with half an idea of what to expect.

Sure enough, the 'Strip Club' section was introduced, leading to almost the entire audience breaking into dance.

Warren was then brought through for his starring role and got through it well, even receiving his surprise from the show, with Tottenham Hotspur and England midfielder Dele Alli congratulating him on his goal and jokingly inviting him to the Spurs training ground.

That wasn't an end to things for Byrne, though, as he was then asked to take part in the end-of-show game in the car park, when guests are invited to take penalty kicks against a giant, electronic version of German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Unfortunately, his spot-kick was kept out by the giant Neuer, but Byrne was in good company. Former England captain Wilkins - also an ex-player of Manchester United and Chelsea - took four attempts to beat him.

With that, the show was over, and there was just enough time for us to be taken back through the studio - which is littered with cameras but small, homely in size - towards the main entrance, with Warren just having enough time to have pictures taken with Sheamus and Wilkins.

As said, Soccer AM is a well-oiled machine, with scores of workers in the building all going about their jobs with the minimum of fuss. It felt very routine, very slick. Improvements can be made, but you get the sense the show is in the right hands.

Warren's segment on the show may only have been five to 10 minutes in length, but he was made to feel like a star, with people looking after his every need.

He also received complimentary travel and accommodation in a nearby hotel, while a car was ready to pick him up from the train station, and the studio.

For two days, he was made to feel like a professional footballer, and all this on the back of just one goal.

Soccer AM is one of the longest-running shows on British TV, and subtle changes have been made this season.

On this evidence, there's life in the old dog yet.