We all love talkSPORT. Sure there’s great discussion on our favorite sporting events, but what really makes the station great is the presenters! A lifeless, boring presenter would have you quickly switching off.
With that said, here’s our favorite talkSPORT ever. How do they compare with your list?
Martin Kelner is mostly popular for his time at BBC. But he has had many stints at stations such as Radio Leeds, Radio 5 Live, Radio 2, and of course talkSPORT.
Martin Kelner, asides from his sports radio presentation career, is also a journalist, comedian, singer, author, actor, and television presenter. Kelner has spent more than 40 years hosting shows on radio, mostly for talkSPORT and the BBC. Throughout Kelner’s career, he is accompanied by a sidekick comedian known as Edouard Lapaglie.
Martin Kelner currently hosts the Extra Time with Martin Kelner on talkSPORT, a program which is held on weekends from 1 am to 6 am. The program is aimed at insomniacs, elderly gentlemen, and Malaysians.
Kelner, who is also a journalist, does a weekly column with The Guardian known as “Screen Break.” This program took a look at the sports world on TV. He also did a column that looked at the sports world on the radio every fortnight. The Screen Break columns however ended in 2012 year-end. However, he currently writes travel pieces on Sundays for The Mail. He has also had a writing stint with The Independent, where Simon Kelner, his brother, was the executive editor.
Other publications he wrote for include the Racing Post, Men’s Health, GQ, Later, RCME, Landrover, The Observer Owner, Public Servant, and You magazine. He was also a contributor to YouGov, a public opinion and market research company website. He has also had humorous reviews on Amazon and has had TV previews written for Daily Mail from around 1994 and 1995.
He wrote a book titled Sit Down and Chair which looked into the sport’s history on British TV.
James Whale is one of the greatest presenters of all time at TalkSPORT. The author, podcast host, TV and radio presented gained prominence as the host of his radio show, the James Whale Radio Show in the 80s, a program which was simulcast on national TV at the time.
However, Whale also hosted a radio show between 1995 and 2008 at talkSPORT. He hosted the nightly talk show during the midweek. His show ran between 10 pm and 1 am. James Whale hosted his James Whale Show at talkSPORT, featuring prominent guests such as Jodie Marsh, Nick Pope, David Icke, Alex Jones, Lembit Öpik, David Shayler, Myleene Klass, Alistair McGowan. Another regular guest was the psychic Uri Geller, and Peter Stringfellow. Despite the popularity of his shows, his career was punctuated by series of controversies, from sexual harassment to inducing voters and making anti-global warming talks.
Whale and Tom Leykis, an American talk show host co-hosted their programs a few times. In April 2007, James Whale participated on BBC Two in a Newsnight program where he talked about the global warming scandal and a refuse pickup project at the time.
Whale, at the time, however, referred to global warming as a natural and not man-made phenomenon. He also made mention that recycling was a joke and that prisoners should be made to recycle waste and sort rubbish.
Meanwhile, James Whale, in 2008, was sacked for breaching the rules of impartiality during an election period.
It’s reported that James Whale got the sack for asking listeners twice to vote for then London mayoral candidate, now UK Prime Minister, as the new London mayor. His gesture caused talkSPORT to be fined £20,000 by regulator Ofcom.
Meanwhile, having left talkSPORT, James Whale started covering talkRADIO shows in October 2016 where he began presenting evening shows from Monday through to Thursday starting from 7 to 10 pm. The show reunited him with Ash Gould, his former producer at talkSPORT.
However, in August of 2018, James Whale was also suspended from his talkRADIO role pending investigation following an interview where he was reported to have sexually assaulted journalist and author, Nichi Hodgson. Meanwhile, he was reinstated on the 13th of August.
Michael Dickin was a radio DJ, popularly known for his late-night show at the talkSPORT radio station. He passed away in December 2006 aged 63 years as a father of 5 kids but is still known as one of the all-time best presenters at talkSPORT.
Dickin used to host the slot from 1 to 6 am on weekends from 1995 up to 2001 on Talk Radio. He returned to replace James Whale while Whale battled with kidney cancer. Shortly after, he was given the slot for the morning show, and he then moved to the show from 10 in the night up to 1 a.m. on the weekends before he died in 2006.
Dickin was born in Reading and began as a musician in the 60s. Dickin was a bassist and singer who discovered that he preferred playing records to recording them.
In 1977, Dickin moved down to Australia and worked for 2UE, a radio station dubbed as the largest in Sydney. When he returned to the UK late in the 70s, he would go on to spend 17 years more working for the LBC, Capital Radio, and BBC Radio 4. He began at talkSPORT (when it was known as Talk Radio UK) back in 1995, after he replaced Nick Miller.
He was on air when the news of the car accident that killed Princess Diana broke. He was on the air and made the news flash announcement of her death.
Although he had a reputation for being a controversial polemic, his put-downs were scathing.
Dickin is renowned for his deeply held opinions. Because of his passion, he was renowned for being “the angriest man in Britain” by talkSPORT’s listeners.
Discussions on his show typically included cars, trains, crime, taxis, young people’s problems, the fall of Britain, speed cameras, incompetence of service industry people, call centers, and parking tickets.
Dickin liked motorsport. A few of Dickin’s shows were broadcast in Bodmin, Cornwall, just a few miles away from home.
In addition, Dickin was a staunch atheist. His last program was all about God’s existence and the after life of His death; The staunch atheist and the writer of the book, The God Delusion, Dawkins had Richard Dawkins with him during his final show.
He died in an accident while he was driving nearby his Cornwall home on the 18th of December, 2006. His tribute show was presented by James Whale.
Alan Brazil is also known by talkSPORT listeners as one of the greatest presenters of all time on the radio station. Born in 1959, Alan is a former footballer who has played for Tottenham Hotspur, Ipswich Town, Manchester United, and Scotland, his country of birth.
He was a forward during his playing days but was forced to go into early retirement because of a recurring back problem. He became a broadcaster and moved into media presentation, first on TV, and then on the radio where he worked for many years as a talkSPORT presenter.
He has worked as a supporting commentator. Throughout his radio career, he has presented shows such as the “It’s like Watching Brazil” program. He became a talkSPORT show co-host for the program held on weekdays from 6 am to 10 am. The program would later be renamed as the “Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast”.
He worked with several co-hosts like Mike Parry, Ronnie Irani, and Graham Beecroft throughout his radio career. However, he was fired by his station in 2004 for missing a show. Meanwhile, he was reinstated 3 weeks later.
In one of Alan Brazil’s shows on talkSPORT in 2014, he made controversy following the suicidal death of Robin Williams, a British actor, when he said that he didn’t feel a lot of sympathy for suiciders, having argued that they often left their families in “diabolical” situations. Many talkSPORT listeners criticized him for the reason that Robin Williams suffered from depression before his death. Brazil would later apologize.
Paul Hawksbee, a long-time Spurs fan, is a sports-content radio presenter for talkSPORT. He has hosted the show Hawksbee & Jacobs with talkSPORT co-talkshow host from the beginning of 2000 since the British station started.
As a writer, he has also been a contributor in writing ITV’s TV Burp for Harry Hill, the original Evenbeeld, as well as Happy Hour for Al Murray.
Paul Hawksbee co-founded 90 Minutes, a weekly football magazine with reporter Clive Vedmore. Throughout his sports presentation career, he has met with and interviewed sports legends such as Brian Clough, Joe Frazier, Sir Garfield Sobers, as well as Sir Stirling Moss.
Paul Hawksbee was formerly Chelsea FC’s Media Head, a presenter on the Sky Sports You’re On TV show, and used to be the editor for football magazines such as Goal and 90 Minutes.
Paul is a fan of Tottenham Football Club of London and watched his first White Harty Lane match in 1968 when Spurs defeated Nottingham Forest 2-1, a game which he has a fond memory of.
He got the honor to make a guest appearance in the Tottenham Legends team where he played alongside many Spurs legends including Darren Anderson, Teddy Sheringham, Paul Miller.
Best talkSPORT Presenters Ever, Conclusion
There you have it! talkSPORT has never really lacked presenters who delved into topical issues and everything around the world of sports, especially in Britain. Most of these presenters aren’t just radio anchors but were trained and skilled in various social sciences. A lot of them also had careers in print journalism, acting, comedy, among others, from Martin Kelner to Mike Dickin and James Whale.
However, worthy mentions go to Danny Baker, Nick Abbot, Mike Parry, Danny Kelly, Keith Arthur, Mark Saggers, and Alan Parry, who were mentioned by talkSPORT listeners in a Digital Spy ranking of the best ever presenters on talkSPORT.