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This website endeavours to bring its readers the very latest news regarding the UK's national commercial sports radio station. In bringing you news on talkSPORT, we will be using a number of sources including the Media Guardian, Media Week, Radio Times and UK Radio.

talkSPORT News Archive:
October 2004 I November & December 2004 I January & February 2005 I March & April 2005 I May 2005 I June & July 2005 I August & September 2005 I October & November 2005 I December 2005 & January 2006 I February & March 2006 I April 2006 I May 2006 I June & July 2006 I August & September 2006

Talk 107’s Adrian Allen Linked with talkSPORT
Added: Friday 29th September


Adrian Allen, presenter of Weekend Breakfast on Talk 107, has been linked with talkSPORT and is rumoured to be joining the station over the Christmas and New Year period.

Allen has been a regular phone-in and talk show presenter on various stations around the UK over the past few years including LBC in London, BBC Radio Cleveland, Real Radio Wales, 106 Century FM in the East Midlands and is currently presenting on Talk 107 in Scotland and a networked late-night weekend show on Alpha FM, Sun FM and Durham FM in the North-East.

However, Allen is now being rumoured to be joining talkSPORT over the forthcoming Christmas and New Year period to present the station’s Weekend Overnight output in for Mike Mendoza. In previous years, Charlie Wolf, Mike Mendoza, Duncan Barkes and Mark Keen were heavily involved with filling-in for the station’s main talk presenters but according to a source, it is quite possible that Adrian Allen from UTV owned Talk 107 could be in the frame this year.

Meanwhile, talkSPORT has been nominated for The 2006 Radio Academy Promotions & Marketing Gold Award which celebrates creativity in station production, promotions and marketing. talkSPORT are nominated for the Gold Award along with BBC Radio 1, Century FM, Kerrang Radio and Somethin’ Else, the largest independent radio producer in the UK and a top ten producer of TV entertainment.

In addition, talkSPORT will broadcast live commentary of CSKA Moscow v Arsenal, Manchester United v FC Copenhagen and Bordeaux v Liverpool in the Champions League on Tuesday 17th October and Wednesday 18th October respectively. Further schedule information will be made available as soon as possible.

Champions League Live: Benfica v Manchester United
Added: Friday 22nd September

talkSPORT will broadcast live commentary of Benfica v Manchester United, plus extensive coverage of Arsenal v FC Porto in the Champions League on Tuesday 26th September.


On Tuesday 26th September, Jim Proudfoot presents Champions League Live from 7:00pm live from Arsenal with coverage of the night's fixtures, including live commentary with Nigel Pearson and Alvin Martin from the Estádio da Luz for Benfica v Manchester United. talkSPORT will also coverage of the other fixtures in the Champions League, including extensive coverage of Arsenal v FC Porto from the Emirates Stadium.

In addition, regular updates, half-time and full-time scores will be provided from the night's programme in Football League One and League Two. From 10:00pm, Jim Proudfoot will be on The Final Whistle for the ultimate post-match football phone-in discussing and analysing the night's action in the Champions League and Football League One and League Two.

The full schedule for Tuesday 26th September on talkSPORT is as follows:

1:00am The Late Night Ian Collins Show 6:00am The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast with Graham Beecroft 10:00am Jon Gaunt 1:00pm Sportswatch with Andrew McKenna 1:10pm Hawksbee & Jacobs 4:00pm The Game with Adrian Durham & Rodney Marsh 7:00pm Champions League Live: Benfica v Manchester United 10:00pm The Final Whistle with Jim Proudfoot 11:00pm-1:00am James Whale.

The following night on Wednesday 27th September, Champions League Live is once again presented by Jim Proudfoot from 7:00pm for live commentary from the Champions League. talkSPORT will provide commentary from from Anfield for Liverpool v Galatasaray with extensive coverage from the Georgi Asparuhov Stadium for Levski Sofia v Chelsea. Commentary will be provided by Chris Cooper and Alvin Martin, plus Jim Proudfoot will be on The Final Whistle from 10:00pm with the ultimate post-match phone-in.

The full schedule for Wednesday 27th September on talkSPORT is as follows:

1:00am The Late Night Ian Collins Show 6:00am The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast with Graham Beecroft 10:00am Jon Gaunt 1:00pm Sportswatch with Andrew McKenna 1:10pm Hawksbee & Jacobs 4:00pm The Game with Adrian Durham & Rodney Marsh 7:00pm Champions League Live: Liverpool v Galatasaray 10:00pm The Final Whistle with Jim Proudfoot 11:00pm-1:00am James Whale.

UEFA Cup Kick-Off with Rhodri Williams & Ray Houghton
Added: Friday 22nd September


talkSPORT will broadcast a special UEFA Cup edition of Kick-Off with Rhodri Williams & Ray Houghton on Thursday 28th September for coverage of the night’s action.


Rhodri Williams and Ray Houghton will present coverage of a packed night of UEFA Cup action on Thursday 28th September between 7:00pm-10:00pm bringing listeners extensive updates and reports from matches in the First Round Second Leg of the tournament following the previous night’s fixtures in the Champions League on Matchday Two involving Chelsea and Liverpool.

Throughout the night, UEFA Cup Kick-Off with Rhodri Williams and Ray Houghton will provide coverage of Blackburn v Salzberg from Ewood Park, Rangers v Molde from Ibrox, Sparta Prague v Hearts from the Toyota Arena, Tottenham v Slavia Prague from White Hart Lane, Paris SG v Derry City from the Parc des Princes, Palmero v West Ham United from the Renzo Barbera and Newcastle v Levadia Tallinn from St. James Park.

Following coverage of the night’s matches in the UEFA Cup, Rhodri Williams and Ray Houghton present UEFA Cup Final Whistle between 10:00pm-11:00pm for the ultimate post-match football phone-in. talkSPORT will also provide coverage of the draw for the Group Stage of the UEFA Cup on Tuesday 3rd October from 11:00am with Jon Gaunt, Sportswatch with Andrew McKenna and Hawksbee & Jacobs.

The full schedule for Thursday 28th September on talkSPORT is as follows:

1:00am The Late Night Ian Collins Show 6:00am The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast with Graham Beecroft 10:00am Jon Gaunt 1:00pm Sportswatch with Andrew McKenna 1:10pm Hawksbee & Jacobs 4:00pm The Game with Adrian Durham & Rodney Marsh 7:00pm UEFA Cup Kick-Off with Rhodri Williams & Ray Houghton 10:00pm The Final Whistle with Rhodri Williams & Ray Houghton 11:00pm-1:00am James Whale.

OFCOM Considering the End of National AM Licences
Added: Thursday 21st September

OFCOM is considering taking away taking away Virgin Radio and talkSPORT’s AM licences in 2012 to use the spectrum for new digital stations, reports the Media Guardian.

Peter Davies, OFCOM’s Director of Radio and Multimedia, has said that three new national stations and a whole range of local stations could be squeezed out of the AM spectrum used by Virgin Radio and talkSPORT. However, Davies’ comments have provoked angry responses from talkSPORT claiming that ditching AM broadcasts in 2012 when their licence would be up for renewal was both “crazy” and “illogical”.

Speaking to a Digital Radio Conference, Davies said “Both licences are due for renewal in 2012, possibly earlier, if they handed back their licences. These AM national licences could be reused for DRM. You could get potentially two more national networks using a high-powered frequency and a range of local services from talkSPORT’s licence. With Virgin you could get a national frequency and a number of local services.

Scott Taunton, UTV Radio Managing Director, said the station’s AM frequency was essential for his business and turning it off in 2012 would be "commercial suicide". He told the Media Guardian: “Surely OFCOM is not thinking about turning talkSPORT off? We have increase listening hours by 30% since 2000 on AM.”

He also said that until many more households and mass market cars have digital radios, it is "pointless" to talk about turning AM off. OFCOM should set a analogue switch-off timetable first, said Taunton, who thought 2020 was about the right time. He added: “I'll fight tooth and nail to have our licence extended even further, the public interest is best-served by an AM service being available until we have a date for switch-off. In 2012 more than half our audience will still be listening on AM, so to turn us off would be commercial suicide."

Taunton added that the AM frequency may be more valuable to talkSPORT than to Virgin Radio music station as music sounds worse than speech on the crackly AM signal and a much larger percentage of Virgin Radio’s listeners than talkSPORT have already have migrated to digital or listen in London on FM. Taunton also floated the idea that talkSPORT be allowed to keep its AM service past 2012, even if Virgin Radio were happy to have its AM licence turned into DRM.

Davies also added that OFCOM is not in a position to announce a date for the switch-off of the analogue radio signal, mirroring the move that has been made in the television industry. He added that OFCOM will put out a consultation early next year that will "start to ask the question about if the switch off is a good idea".


Matt Lorenzo in for Ian Danter on Evening Kick-Off

Added: Wednesday 20th September


Matthew Lorenzo from Sky Sports News will in for Ian Danter on Evening Kick-Off alongide Alvin Martin on Friday 29th September on talkSPORT.


Whilst at Sky, he presented Sky Soccer Weekend on Sky Sports and hosted Saturday Night, a two-hour live entertainment show on Sky One before leaving for ITV in 1992. After moving to ITV Sport, Lorenzo was a presenter at the launch of their Champions League coverage and hosted the 1994 World Cup as well as working on GMTV every weekday between 6:00am-9:25am hosting the sports news.

In 1999 he returned to Sky and is now a presenter on the 24 hour sports news and information service Sky Sports News. His most memorable moment since joining Sky was in 1989 when he was interviewing an Irish priest live during the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival. He only found out during his first answer that the interviewee was blind drunk and could not even manage to pronounce his own name!

A big football fan, Lorenzo once put two goals past Italy goalkeeper Galli, whilst he was on holiday in a small Italian village called Roggio. He is a follower of most sports but his passions are football as he supports West Ham, and Formula 1. He also plays golf twice a week.

Matt Lorenzo will be on Evening Kick-Off alongside Alvin Martin on Friday 29th September on talkSPORT between 7:00pm-10:00pm. Lorenzo was originally going to be on the station over the 2005 Christmas period but his commitments with Sky Sports News meant that he was unable to be on talkSPORT.

New Media Age Reviews Official talkSPORT Website
Added: Monday 18th September


New Media Age has reviewed the official talkSPORT website and given it a score of 76/100, but claims that its sports news service is “trailing behind its rivals.”


The UK’s only weekly magazine covering the business of interactive media such as the internet, wireless internet and interactive TV, New Media Age reviewed the official talkSPORT website, which was revamped and relaunched earlier this year and compared its online services to that of similar rivals such as BBC Radio Five Live, Sky Sports and other sports-based television and radio websites.

NMA rated the website’s content at 15 out of 25 giving it a modest score: “Site content is a little disappointing, though, with sports stories bunched together, and users have no effective means of specifying news on their sport of choice”, whilst website usability fairs slightly better at 18 out of 25: “The station's website revamp banishes navigation problems that plagued the old site and made it, by the company's own admission, "trickier to navigate than Hampton Court maze”.

Branding is rated at 20 out of 25 with NMA saying: “As a vehicle for promoting the radio station, the site does an excellent job, with the brand prominent regardless of the section you're searching in”, and Monetisation was scored at a very high 23 out of 25 giving the overall score for the official talkSPORT site a 76 out of 100.

NMA said: “Overall the site does a good job of reflecting the station's character and encourages interactivity with its customers, but as a source of sports news it's trailing behind its rivals such as BBC Radio Five Live and Sky Sports.”

talkSPORT’s James Whale Returns to Five Nights a Week
Added: Friday 15th September


James Whale will return to a five night week on talkSPORT after replacing Mike Dickin on Sunday between 10:00pm-1:00am from October.


Whale returns to Sunday, replacing Mike Dickin, following the removal of his Whale on Sunday show from the schedules in August, with The Sunday Session with Rhodri Williams & Jason Cundy as the replacement. Whale also presented the 10:00pm-1:00am Sunday night slot for talkSPORT and Talk Radio before his kidney cancer scare in 2000 but since his return, he has only worked a maximum of four nights a week between Monday and Thursday., in addition to his Whale on Sunday show.

Dickin, who was talkSPORT’s mid-morning phone-in presenter between 2000 and 2004 before the appointments of Ian Collins and Jon Gaunt, will continue to present the 10:00pm-1:00am slot on Friday and Saturday night with his unique brand of late night debate and conversation. It is understood that Dickin could possibly be suffering with ill-health and is therefore downsizing his commitments with the station further despite him presenting five shows a week just over 2 years ago.

From Sunday 1st October, the regular talkSPORT schedule for Sunday will be as follows:

1:00am Mike Mendoza 6:00am Fisherman’s Blues with Keith Arthur 8:00am The Sports Breakfast with Andy Townsend & Mike Parry 12:00pm The Sunday Session with Rhodri Williams & Jason Cundy 4:00pm The Final Whistle with Patrick Kinghorn, Gabriele Marcotti & Ray Houghton 8:00pm George Galloway 10:00pm-1:00am The James Whale Show.

Meanwhile, talkSPORT have secured the broadcast rights to Benfica v Manchester United in the Champions League on Tuesday 26th September. Jim Proudfoot will anchor the night’s coverage from the Emirates Stadium for Arsenal v FC Porto, with the station providing extensive commentary and coverage from the  Champions League on Matchday 2.

Champions League Live on talkSPORT
Added: Tuesday 12th September


talkSPORT will broadcast live commentary of three matches from the Champions League on Tuesday 12th September and Wednesday 13th September.


On Tuesday 12th September, Jim Proudfoot presents Champions League Live on talkSPORT from 7:00pm live from Stamford Bridge with coverage of the night's fixtures, including full live commentary with Nigel Pearson and Alvin Martin from the Phillips Stadion for PSV Eindhoven v Liverpool. talkSPORT will also coverage of the other fixtures in  the Champions League, including regular updates and reports from Stamford Bridge for Chelsea v Werder Bremen from the Bundesliga.

In addition, regular updates, half-time and full-time scores will be provided from the night's programme in the Championship, League One and League Two. From 10:00pm, Jim Proudfoot will be on The Final Whistle for the ultimate post-match football phone-in discussing and analysing the night's action in the Champions League, Championship, League One and League Two.

The full schedule for Tuesday 12th September on talkSPORT is as follows:

1:00am Mike Allen 6:00am The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast with Graham Beecroft 10:00am Jon Gaunt 1:00pm Sportswatch with Andrew McKenna 1:10pm Hawksbee & Jacobs 4:00pm The Game with Adrian Durham & Rodney Marsh 7:00pm Champions League Live: PSV Eindhoven v Liverpool 10:00pm The Final Whistle with Jim Proudfoot 11:00pm-1:00am James Whale.

The following night on Wednesday 13th September, Champions League Live is once again presented by Jim Proudfoot from 7:00pm for live commentary from two matches in the Champions League. talkSPORT will broadcast live commentary from Old Trafford for Manchester United v Celtic with Jim Proudfoot and Alvin Martin on the station's 1089/1053am frequencies, whilst talkSPORT will also broadcast live commentary of Hamburg v Arsenal with Chris Cooper and Gary Stevens from the AOL Arena on the station's digital frequencies: DAB Digital Radio, Sky, NTL:Telewest, Homechoice and Freeview.

The full schedule for Wednesday 13th September on talkSPORT is as follows:

1:00am Mike Allen 6:00am The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast with Graham Beecroft 10:00am Jon Gaunt 1:00pm Sportswatch with Andrew McKenna 1:10pm Hawksbee & Jacobs 4:00pm The Game with Adrian Durham & Rodney Marsh 7:00pm Champions League Live: Manchester United v Celtic (Digital Only: 7:45pm-9:30pm Champions League Live: Hamburg v Arsenal 10:00pm The Final Whistle with Jim Proudfoot 11:00pm-1:00am James Whale.

talkSPORT Plan to Increase Advertising Rates
Added: Tuesday 12th September


talkSPORT has flagged plans to increase its advertising rates in the coming year, to match those of stations with similar premium audiences, reports Media Week.

It is estimated by media buyers that talkSPORT's trading rates are 10-15% lower than the prices charged by national commercial rivals Virgin Radio. talkSPORT Managing Director, Scott Taunton said last year when UTV Radio bought the station that he would like to spend the next 6-12 months negotiating better rates with media buyers. Taunton said: "talkSPORT delivers the young, male audience most buyers find difficult to reach and trades at a discount compared with stations like Capital, Heart and LBC.

Meanwhile, talkSPORT yesterday reported a 38% year-on-year rise in revenue for the six months ending 30th June. Group operating profits for UTV, which include the ITV franchise, have risen 30% in the last six months. UTV Radio made an operating profit of £6.3m, after deducting start-up losses of £1.4m launching Talk 107, a new talk station, in Edinburgh and U105 in Belfast.

John McCann, Chief Executive, said a strong Irish economy helped raise advertising revenues there by 16%. British radio advertising revenues also rose, in contrast to an overall market decline of 3%. talkSPORT's revenues rose more than a third, boosted by the World Cup as advertisers targeted the station's audience of hard-to-reach young men. McCann said: "talkSPORT in relation to the World Cup was in a class of its own. Provided we sold the product properly, it was always going to outperform the market by a significant margin."

In addition, Shell has signed a deal with talkSPORT to sponsor its updates and reports of the remaining Formula One Grand Prix season. The sponsorship will promote Shell's V Power Fuel with reports and updates provide by talkSPORT's Mike Bovill during races.

talkSPORT Receive Complaints Over News Bulletin Giggles
Added: Monday 11th September

Rodney Marsh could be in line for discipline from talkSPORT following complaints after causing newsreader Robyn Schonhofer to giggle during her bulletin.


The Sunday People is reporting that talkSPORT received a number of furious complaints from listeners to The Game with Adrian Durham & Rodney Marsh on Wednesday 6th September. Marsh apparently caused newsreader Robyn Schonhofer to laugh during one of her bulletins on the show whilst reading a report of a British soldier being killed in Afghanistan.

Schonhofer's giggling was seemingly caused by Marsh hitting his head on his studio microphone and then described the bulletin as "comedy news" afterwards. Marsh's co-presenter on The Game, Adrian Durham, apologised to listeners for the incident shortly afterwards describing as "not great taste".

In addition to complaints from listeners, Conservative MP for Milton Keynes Mark Lancaster criticised Marsh, the former Manchester City and Queens Park Ranger forward, for his actions on talkSPORT last Wednesday. He said: "It was disrespectful to the memory of the soldier, who served his country proudly."

talkSPORT Programme Director Bill Ridley said: "We deeply regret the incident", but it is not the first time that Marsh has come in for criticism following an incident on-air. Marsh was sacked by Sky Sports in 2005 for making a pun about the Asian Tsunami and David Beckham during the You're on Sky Sports phone-in show.


talkSPORT's Ian Abrahams Wins Radio Broadcasting Award
Added: Friday 8th September


talkSPORT reporter and newsreader Ian Abrahams has been named Football Radio Journalist of the 2005-2006 season by In Flyte Media & Promotions.


Abrahams, who is newsreader on The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast with Graham Beecroft and reporter on Football First with Nigel Pearson, Alvin Martin & Gary Stevens every Saturday, was handed the prestigious award by In Flyte Media for his "outstanding commentating from football games throughout last season."

In Flyte Media & Promotions monitor five different radio stations every Saturday afternoon during the season, and made the judgement on pre and post-match reports from Premiership games. Dave Carson from In Flye Media said: "Ian delivers his reports with a football fans' enthusiasm, sprinkled with his legendary one liners. talkSPORT should congratulate themselves on a job well done every Saturday by all their presenters".

Abrahams joined talkSPORT in 2002 from LBC. Before that, he worked as Sports Editor at Invicta FM in Kent in 1992 and between 1993-1996 worked as a sports reporter for Sports Media Broadcasting. Before joining talkSPORT, Abrahams worked for LBC and News Direct as their Sports Editor between 1996 and 2000.

Meanwhile, it is understood that Mike Allen will be in for The Late Night Ian Collins Show next week whilst Collins and Lisa Francesca Nand take a well earned break. Allen, a former LBC and Talk Radio presenter will be presenting on talkSPORT between Tuesday 12th September and Friday 15th September.

The Sports Breakfast's Alan Brazil Wants to Stay at talkSPORT
Added: Thursday 7th September

The Sports Breakfast's Alan Brazil yesterday told Hawksbee & Jacobs that he would like to stay as presenter on talkSPORT for "another seven years".


Brazil, who joined talkSPORT as presenter of The Sports Breakfast in 2000, has this week released his autobiography There's An Awful Lot of Bubbly in Brazil which was ghost written by fellow talkSPORT presenter Mike Parry. In his interview with Hawksbee & Jacobs on Tuesday 5th September, Brazil talked about his career with Celtic and Ipswich, co-presenters Mike Parry and Graham Beecroft and working for talkSPORT.

Speaking to Hawksbee & Jacobs, Brazil said: "It's been great fun working for the station. I think we have some top presenters. We're all different and have different ideas about how it should be but if you had asked me seven years ago whether I would be getting up at 4:00am in seven years time, I'd have said no way. So, hopefully I can do another seven years."

Despite being at the station for almost seven years, it has not been without incident. Brazil was sacked by former talkSPORT Chief Executive Kelvin MacKenzie following his failure to turn up to present The Sports Breakfast after a week at The Cheltenham Festival. However, Brazil was reinstated after massive listener demand to the station. Separately, Brazil was sacked once again, this time under UTV Radio but was once again reinstated after negotiations with station management. He signed a new three year contract in July.

Meanwhile, Ian Collins and Lisa Francesca Nand will be taking a break next week with a yet unconfirmed presenter standing-in. In addition, George Galloway will be in for Mike Dickin on Friday 8th September between 10:00pm-1:00am and Duncan Barkes will be in for Dickin on Saturday 9th September and Sunday 10th September between 10:00pm-1:00am.

talkSPORT's Rhodri Williams Signs for Setanta Rugby Coverage
Added: Thursday 31st August


talkSPORT presenter Rhodri Williams has joined Setanta Sports TV to host the channel's coverage of Rugby Union's Celtic League and the French Championship.


Setanta Sports, who have recently signed fellow talkSPORT presenters Adrian Durham and Jim Proudfoot, have announced that former Sky Sports News anchor will be the channel's presenter of the Magners Celtic League, which includes a number of top teams in Wales, Scotland and Ireland as well as coverage of the French Championship: Ligue Nationale de Rugby.

Williams told the Western Mail: "For virtually all of my broadcasting career I've been involved with what I call "new-start" projects. This is another such opportunity. Setanta are expanding their sports coverage, which includes rugby, and I'm delighted to be part of it. I'm sure the Magners Celtic League is going to be an exciting competition. Having a sponsor has created a buzz and most of the teams have made some good signings."

Adding, Williams also said: Having players of the ilk of Justin Marshall involved in Celtic rugby shows it's capable of attracting leading players. It's up there with the Premiership and the French Championship. Munster are the European Champions and Ireland won the Triple Crown for the second time in three years."

Setanta Sports representative Jim McMunn said: "I am delighted that Rhodri will be working with Setanta Sports this season as we expand our coverage of both the Magners Celtic League and the top 14 French Rugby. Rugby will be a staple diet of the channel schedules and Rhodri will be the face of that live coverage and our weekly magazine show In Touch."

Williams, who has put revelations about his private life behind him, will continue with his role at talkSPORT as presenter of Evening Kick-Off alongside Ray Houghton and Alvin Martin on Thursday and Friday nights and The Sunday Session with co-presenter Jason Cundy. He said: "I've had an incredibly busy summer with talkSPORT, with the soccer World Cup and everything else that has been taking place on the sporting front."


talkSPORT's George Galloway Show Live from Beirut
Added: Friday 25th August


MP George Galloway is presenting his talkSPORT and Talk 107 phone-in show from Beruit this week, in the station claims is the first such live broadcast from a war zone.


The Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, who brought controversy upon himself earlier this year with us antics on Channel 4's Celebrity Big Brother, is to broadcast his talkSPORT and Talk 107 show live from Beirut on Saturday and Sunday evening between 8:00pm-10:00pm. Galloway joined talkSPORT in March and said he wanted to make his show the "most talked-about talk show on radio".

Galloway said: "I'm the first British political figure to visit the wreckage of Beirut and the south of Lebanon, seeing for myself the enormous toll taken by 33 days of aerial bombardment. I'll be reporting to listeners on just what I've found here and inviting guests from across the spectrum in Lebanon who know what they're talking about. I'll be taking calls as normal and we'll make it a two day special on the conflict in the Middle East, its fundamental causes and, a way forward for peace."

Galloway will be taking calls from listeners based in the UK, which will focus on the conflict in the Middle East, its causes and possible paths to peace. It is understood that fellow talkSPORT presenter James Whale may also be appearing on the show from London to add an extra dimension.

Meanwhile, Ian Danter will be in for Rhodri Williams on Friday 15th September on Evening Kick-Off and on Sunday 15th October on The Sunday Session alongside Jason Cundy. George Galloway is in for Mike Dickin on Friday 8th September and Friday 15th September, with Duncan Barkes in for Dickin on Saturday 9th September and Saturday 16th September. James Whale is in for Dickin on Sunday 10th September and Sunday 17th September. In addition, Kelly Dalglish will be in for Rhodri Williams on The Sunday Session on Sunday 17th September with Williams in for Andy Townsend on The Sports Breakfast.

And, Virgin Radio owner SMG is likely to reject a proposed merger of equals with talkSPORT owners UTV. According to reports the £400m merger proposed by UTV was in fact seen by SMG as an attempt to buy the company at a discount while SMG looks for a successor to Chief Executive Andrew Flanagan.

UTV Radio Plan Launch of New Talk Station

Added: Tuesday 22nd August


UTV Radio have revealed plans to launch a news-based talk radio station on DAB Digital Radio in order to maximise the sports coverage on talkSPORT.


Managing Director of UTV Radio, Scott Taunton, has said that the company was considering launching a talk radio station devoted to topical news, current affairs and general discussion on the second national digital radio multiplex, which is due to be advertised by OFCOM towards the end of 2006. Taunton said that he expected to get the space to allow UTV Radio to launch a new station.

Commenting on proposed content, Taunton told Media Week that the station would not be highbrow or a competitor to BBC Radio 4, but a competiror to the London talk station LBC: "This will be about opinionated phone-in debate rather than political analysis. In the sense of current affairs, LBC would be a direct competitor in the London market place, but not the national marketplace."

London's LBC will be launching on a number of local and regional DAB digital multiplexes around the UK from September, however, talkSPORT was, of course, originally a general talk radio station before former Chief Executive Kelvin MacKenzie relaunched it was a sports-based station in January 2000. Between 1995 and 2000, Talk Radio occupied the frequencies that talkSPORT is currently on broadcasting a range of phone-in and discussion programmes, including sports discussion and coverage.

However, it is considered that any new talk station from UTV Radio could eventually mean that talkSPORT would drop most, if not all, of its non-sports programming and concentrate solely on sports coverage, phone-ins and commentaries. Currently, an average of 11 hours a day is given over to non-sports programming with Jon Gaunt, James Whale and Ian Collins amongst talkSPORT's regular talk show presenters. However, the majority of non-sports programming on talkSPORT are broadcast after 10:00pm with sports programming occupying peak slots on the schedule including Breakfast and Drive.


talkSPORT's Jim Proudfoot Signs for Setanta Sports TV
Added: Monday 21st August


talkSPORT commentator and presenter Jim Proudfoot has signed a contract with Setanta Sports TV and will join on Friday 1st September from Sky Sports.

Proudfoot, who has worked for Sky Sports for the previous 8 years, will be joining Setanta Sports from Friday 1st September as the channel's main commentator on their coverage from Italy's Serie A. He joins fellow talkSPORT presenter Adrian Durham and ex-talkSPORT presenter Richard Kaufman on the digital channel's coverage from the European Leagues which include of Serie A, Le Championnat and the Bundesliga.

At Sky Sports, Proudfoot commentated on a wide range of matches from different competitions including the Premiership, Football League, Champions League and International Football alongside his role at talkSPORT. For the station, he commentated on Euro 2000 and 2004, and 2002 and 2006 World Cup as well as a number of other Premiership, Champions League and FA Cup matches. In addition, he has recently been appointed the Tuesday and Wednesday presenter of Evening Kick-Off between 7:00pm-10:00pm.

Speaking to this website, Proudfoot said: "Working for Sky has been a huge privilege, but I'm delighted to be joining Setanta Sports, a move that I believe will further my career, and give me a chance to work in a more front-line role on television than I have previously. It will also enable me to return to talkSPORT after a minimal involvement over the last couple of seasons. It was an honour to commentate on the World Cup Final and it's fantastic to be returning to work for the station on a consistent basis."

Meanwhile, a private equity group is preparing a counter-bid for SMG following Friday's merger offer from talkSPORT's owners UTV, according to The Observer. It said on Sunday that Rob Woodward, former Commercial Director of Channel 4, and Richard Findlay, formerly of Scottish Radio Holdings, are understood to have recruited private equity backers for a counter-bid for SMG. It reported its sources in London as saying that 3i and the private equity arm of investment bank UBS have been sounded out about a possible £300m bid. The Observer reported that Permira, Candover, CVC and Cinven may also table an offer.


SMG Confirms Merger Approach from UTV
Added: Friday 18th August


SMG, owner of the Scottish ITV franchises and Virgin Radio, has admitted that it has received a merger proposal from talkSPORT's Northern Ireland-based owners UTV.


The Scottish-based company has long been seen as a takeover target as the UK's television network consolidated in the wake of Granada and Carlton's merger to form ITV, which owns a stake in STV, an SMG owned Scottish ITV franchise. There had been speculation in recent months that UTV had approached STV and was keen on a £400m merger.

SMG is currently valued at around £220m, while UTV has a market capitalisation of about £175m. In a statement today, SMG, which last month saw Chief Executive Andrew Flannagan ousted by unhappy investors, said: "The board of SMG notes the press speculation regarding a possible merger with UTV. SMG confirms that it has received a merger proposal from UTV. Under the terms of this proposal, SMG shareholders would receive a 50 per cent interest in the merged entity."

SMG also owns cinema advertiser Pearl & Dean and Primesight, the UK outdoor advertising specialist, in addition to national commercial rock station Virgin Radio as well as a number of other digital radio stations, while UTV owns U105 in Belfast, Talk 107 in Edinburgh and national commercial sports station talkSPORT.

Meanwhile, UTV Radio-owned Talk 107 in Edinburgh has signed Scottie McClue to host the station's Late Night Live phone-in show which broadcasts between 10:00pm-1:00am from Sunday to Thursday. McClue joins Talk 107 from sister station Q96 and replaces Micky Gavin who moves to the station's afternoon show between 12:00pm-3:00pm alongside sidekick Barry.


talkSPORT to Release World Cup & Interactive DVD's

Added: Wednesday 16th August

talkSPORT have teamed up with media publishers Lace to release two DVD's titled talkSPORT World Cup Road Trip and talkSPORT DVD Game in the Autumn.


talkSPORT and Lace have teamed up to release what is billed as "this years most exciting talkSPORT products to date". The talkSPORT World Cup Road Trip DVD will be released on Monday 30th October and is an unprecedented, behind the scenes access with talkSPORT's team at the World Cup in Germany. The DVD will also include all the colour, commentary, drama, debate and all the extraordinary emotion from all the stadia, fanfests and studios in Germany on a unique account of the greatest football tournament through the eyes and mouths of the men with the microphones.

On Monday 20th November, talkSPORT release their second DVD of the year with the talkSPORT DVD Game. The game incorporates the characteristics of the presenters and station itself, making it a fun and fast on what is described as a "state of the art game". Presenter participation, footage, sound effects and pictures are included in the game with over 2000 brilliant talkSPORT challenges. Both DVD's will be available in shops based on the highstreet and internet including Amazon.co.uk priced £14.99 each.

Lace International is the UK's leading independent DVD publisher of sport and special interest titles. Lace have also formed partnerships with a variety of third parties, offering sales, marketing, production and distribution services to the likes of Channel 4, Ministry of Sound and Ventura.

Meanwhile, talkSPORT have released their schedule for Bank Holiday Monday 28th August. Highlights include an extra helping of Keith Arthur on Fisherman's Blues and Andy Townsend & Mike Parry on The Sports Breakfast, plus Ian Danter & Ray Houghton in for Hawksbee & Jacobs between 12:00pm-4:00pm. The full schedule for Monday 28th August on talkSPORT is as follows:

1:00am Mike Mendoza 6:00am Fisherman's Blue with Keith Arthur 8:00am The Sports Breakfast with Andy Townsend & Mike Parry 12:00pm Ian Danter & Ray Houghton 4:00pm The Game with Adrian Durham & Rodney Marsh 7:00pm Evening Kick-Off with Kelly Dalglish, Gabriele Marcotti & Jason Cundy 10:00pm-1:00am The James Whale Show.

talkSPORT Secure Broadcast Rights to Live Football Coverage

Added: Tuesday 15th August

talkSPORT have secured live broadcast rights to the Champions League, Carling Cup Final and Football League Play-Off Finals for the forthcoming 2006-2007 season.


talkSPORT are yet to confirm the clubs involved, but the station will broadcast live commentary from the Champions League throughout the season. Last season, talkSPORT secured rights to matches involving Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool in the competition and also broadcast the Champions League Final in Paris between Arsenal and Barcelona. The Group Stages for the Champions League will get underway on 12th and 13th September with the draw taking place on Thursday 24th August in Monaco.

In addition, the station has also secured the broadcast rights to the Carling Cup Final for the next three years and will broadcast live commentary from Final on Sunday 25th February at a venue that is likely to be the Millennium Stadium because of the continuing fiasco regarding the construction of the new Wembley. talkSPORT broadcast the Carling Cup for the first time in the 2004-2005 season including the Final between Chelsea and Liverpool at the Millennium Stadiun in Cardiff.

In a further deal with the Football League, talkSPORT have also secured the broadcast rights to the Football League Play-Off Finals in the Championship, League One and League Two for the next three years. It will be the first time that talkSPORT will provide live commentary from the Football League with the Play-Off Final for the Championship taking place on Monday 28th May. The League One Play-Off Final is scheduled for Sunday 27th May with the League Two Play-Off Final schedule for Saturday 26th May.

It has also been revealed that talkSPORT will also be looking to broadcast live International matches involving England during their Euro 2008 Qualifying campaign. Following the success of talkSPORT's official coverage of the World Cup, the station is very unlikely to broadcast unofficial commentaries of matches but will be looking to purchase the rights to England's away matches over the next season. The station has also indicated that it will be looking to purchase rights for other competitions but this will depend on the costs of acquiring the rights. Further news will be made available in due course.

Meanwhile, Coral have become the lead betting partners with talkSPORT following the signing of a six figure sponsorship deal that started on Monday 14th August with The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, yesterday hosted by Mike Parry and Graham Beecroft in for Alan Brazil.

talkSPORT's Kelly Dalglish Rejects New Sky Sports Contract
Added: Monday 14th August


talkSPORT's Kelly Dalglish has rejected a new contact offer from Sky Sports and will be leaving the broadcaster next month, according to The People and Sunday Mail.


Dalglish will begin a new role as presenter of Evening Kick-Off on talkSPORT every Monday between 7:00pm-10:00pm alongside Gabriele Marcotti and Jason Cundy from 21st August. However, the daughter of former Liverpool legend Kenny, has rejected the offer of a new contract with Sky Sports to apparently devote more to time to her new fiancée in the coming months. Dalglish had been with the broadcaster since their round-the-clock news channel launched in 1998 on Sky Digital.

It is reported that Dalglish turned down a huge pay-rise on top of her current £100,000 a year contract as presenter on Sky Sports News, which indicated that management at Sky wanted to keep her. However, it is understood that she would like to spend more time planning her wedding to partner of five years Tom Cates, who also works in television. Speaking to the Sunday Mail, Dalglish said: "I think the time is right. There's no problem with Sky but I have to do what I feel is right"

Adding, she said: "I'll have a break before I know what I'll do. I don't want to organise the wedding in the spare minutes I have away from work and I need a change career-wise anyway. The wedding is in the spring and I hope I can kick-start my work again when I get back from honeymoon."

The People is also speculating that talkSPORT, who employ her for one show a week on the station, will be eager to employ her on a more regular basis following her departure from Sky. It is understood that Daglish was a big hit on the station after appearing as a guest on The Game with Rodney Marsh and talkSPORT were apparently keen to get her on board. The People said that Sky refused to allow her present most of the proposed shows for fear of her rivalling their coverage. However, they allowed her to present the Monday Evening Kick-Off show, but her decision to leave Sky could now give her more time for her role at talkSPORT.

It was revealed last week on this website that Dalglish would be the new presenter of Evening Kick-Off each Monday, with Jim Proudfoot regularly presenting on Tuesday and Wednesday and Rhodri Williams on Thursday and Friday. In addition, Terry Christian was also signed by talkSPORT to present The Final Whistle every Saturday between 5:00pm-8:00pm alongside Micky Quinn.


talkSPORT Hand Back Television Licence to OFCOM
Added: Friday 11th August


talkSPORT has handed back its television licence to OFCOM, reversing the decision of former Chief Executive Kelvin MacKenzie to expand the business beyond radio.


talkSPORT TV launched on Sky Channel 235 in October 2004 and later on William Hill TV Channel 425, providing six hours of programming a day during The Game with Patrick Kinghorn & Tony Cascarino and Evening Kick-Off with Adrian Durham between 4:00pm-10:00pm each weekday and weekend. Additional hours and programming would have been be added if enough regular viewers initially tuned into the channel.

However, following the takeover of talkSPORT and The Wireless Group by UTV Radio in May 2005, talkSPORT TV ceased broadcasting in September last year. It was reported that costs to run the television station reached £500,000 a year despite the channel originally being used as a marketing tool and raise awareness and push the talkSPORT brand according to Kelvin MacKenzoe. Programme Director Bill Ridley stated at the time that "there is huge potential for the TV channel."

Media Agencies also welcomed the launch but questioned what the audience the channel would attract. Kirsty Hutton, Buying Director at Total Media said: "talkSPORT has been very successful, the brand is well thought of in the marketplace and they have a good track record. But is there a gap in the television market for this style? What size of audience can they attract?"

UTV Radio has now decided to hand back its talkSPORT TV television licence to industry regulatory body OFCOM, signalling that the station has little interest in moving its brand into television for the foreseeable future. This contrasts the strategy with GCap's Classic FM, which has a branded TV channel, Classic FM TV on Sky Channel 359 and NTL Channel 921.


Football First International Special: Around the Grounds

Added: Wednesday 9th August

talkSPORT will broadcast extensive match updates and reports from the night's International Friendlies, including England v Greece on Wednesday 16th August.

Jim Proudfoot and Gary Stevens present Football First International Special: Around the Grounds between 7:00pm-10:00pm on Wednesday 16th August on talkSPORT. Throughout the night, the station will provide extensive match updates, reports and goal flashes from Old Trafford for Steve McClaren's first game in charge of the England Team against Euro 2004 Champions Greece with reporter Chris Cooper.

In addition, talkSPORT will also have reporters at Lansdowne Road for the Republic of Ireland v Holland and Finland v Northern Ireland as the home nations warm up for their vital Euro 2008 Qualifying campaign which gets underway from September. talkSPORT will provide extensive coverage and live match commentary from the Euro 2008 Qualifiers throughout 2006-2007 in preparation for the tournament in Austria and Switzerland.

Following the conclusion of the night's International Friendly matches, Jim Proudfoot and Gary Stevens will present The Final Whistle: International Special between 10:00pm-11:00pm with post-match analysis and discussion on the ultimate post-match football phone-in.

The full schedule for Wednesday 16th August on talkSPORT is as follows:

1:00am The Late Night Ian Collins Show 6:00am The Sports Breakfast with Graham Beecroft & Micky Quinn 10:00am Jon Gaunt 1:00pm Sportswatch with Andrew McKenna 1:10pm Hawksbee & Jacobs 4:00pm The Game with Adrian Durham & Rodney Marsh 7:00pm Football First International Special: Around the Grounds with Jim Proudfoot & Gary Stevens 10:00pm The Final Whistle: International Special with Jim Proudfoot & Gary Stevens 11:00pm-1:00am The James Whale Show.

Meanwhile, Graham Beecroft and Micky Quinn will be broadcasting The Sports Breakfast from The Oval on Thursday 17th August as part of talkSPORT's coverage of England's Fourth Test against Pakistan. Throughout the day, Jack Bannister will provide listeners with regular updates and reports every 15 minutes.


talkSPORT's Rhodri Williams "No Need to be on TV" Says Agent
Added: Tuesday 8th August


talkSPORT presenter Rhodri Williams has "no need" to make a return to television following tabloid allegations about his private life, according to his agent.

Williams, who is a former a Sky Sports News, Animal Hospital and current talkSPORT presenter, lost his clean-cut image in March after The Sunday People newspaper claimed it had video footage of him and former This Morning host John Leslie involved in a "cocaine-fuelled orgy" with a "blonde woman old enough to be their daughter". Following the revelations, Sky Sports later confirmed that Williams contract had been "terminated with immediate effect".

In April, Williams was back presenting for the cameras after co-hosting the Welsh TV & Film Baftas in Cardiff. However, Williams' agent Jeremy Hicks has said that he would like to concentrate on working as a presenter for talkSPORT. In the last couple of months, Williams has co-presented with Mike Parry standing-in for Andy Townsend on The Weekend Sports Breakfast and Adrian Durham on The Game.

In addition, it was also confirmed that Williams would team up with Jason Cundy to be the regular presenters for talkSPORT's new Sunday afternoon sports show between 12:00pm-4:00pm. talkSPORT also confirmed that he would also become the station's regular presenter of Evening Kick-Off on a Thursday and Friday night between 7:00pm-10:00pm. Williams is also the station's presenter of The Rugby Show, having hosted it during the Six Nations Championship earlier this year and the British Lions Tour of New Zealand in 2005.

Agent Jeremy Hicks told Wales on Sunday: "He has got a heavy schedule and has had no time to think about TV. In fact, his work on radio has increased. Business opportunities arise at different times and you deal with them as they come along. He does not have a need to be on TV. Most people have been supportive."

talkSPORT Rapped by OFCOM for "Derogatory" Comment
Added: Monday 7th August


talkSPORT have breached the OFCOM Broadcasting Code when Sports Breakfast presenter Alan Brazil used the word "nips" to refer to the Japanese.

A listener to talkSPORT's Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on Monday 19th June made a complaint to OFCOM claiming that Alan Brazil has used the term "nips" when referring to the Japanese. The listener who complained thought that such language was inappropriate and offensive.

The incident came during a "light-hearted" exchange on The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on Monday 19th June about an escaped bear in Bulgaria that was being pursued by hunters. After turning the discussion to whale hunting, Brazil said: "These old nips are at it again". Brazil's co-presenter tried to take the sting out of the remark, replying: "That's a bit harsh, remember they are at the games here", a reference to Japan's participation in the World Cup that tookplace in Germany in June and July.

talkSPORT responded to the complaint accepting that the use of such a term was inappropriate and assured OFCOM that both Alan Brazil and the producer of The Sports Breakfast had been spoken to about the incident to avoid any repetition. talkSPORT also pointed out to OFCOM that the word was not used in anger, or in a manner that would incite racial hatred, but was an "unfortunate off-the-cuff remark" that they still regretted.

OFCOM, however, ruled that talkSPORT were in breach of Rule 2.3. They believed that whilst the station stressed that the remark was not intended to be deliberately inflammatory, OFCOM considered that its use in this context was inappropriate. They also said that presenters should be wary of using language that is generally regarded as derogatory.


talkSPORT Kick-Off New Season with Two New Presenters
Added: Monday 7th August

talkSPORT have signed Kelly Dalglish and Terry Christian as new presenters of the station's Monday Kick-Off and Saturday Final Whistle football phone-in shows.

Dalglish, who is currently a presenter on Sky Sports News and daughter of former Liverpool and Scotland forward Kenny Dalglish, has been signed by talkSPORT to present Monday's Evening Kick-Off, whilst, Christian, who is currently the Breakfast Show host on BBC Radio Manchester, has been appointed as the new presenter of post-match football phone-in The Final Whistle every Saturday between 5:00pm-8:00pm.

In addition, talkSPORT and Sky Sports commentator and reporter Jim Proudfoot will be the new regular presenter of Evening Kick-Off on Tuesday and Wednesday, whilst, Rhodri Williams will be the permanent host of Evening Kick-Off every Thursday and Friday night between 7:00pm-10:00pm with a comprehensive round-up of the latest news, results and phone-in discussion.

Patrick Kinghorn, who has been the regular presenter on Saturday's Final Whistle for the past couple of seasons alongside Micky Quinn and stand-in presenter on Evening Kick-Off, will continue with the Sunday edition of The Final Whistle alongside Gabriele Marcotti and Ray Houghton each week between 4:00pm-8:00pm providing coverage of the day's action from the Premiership, Football League and Europe.

It is likely that along with Kinghorn, Ian Danter, Nigel Pearson, who has recently been appointed as the new presenter of Football First on Saturday and Chris Cooper will deputise for the station's regular presenters on Evening Kick-Off and The Final Whistle throughout the season following the opening weekend of the Championship season and the opening day of the Premiership season on Saturday 19th August.

talkSPORT Sign Sky Sports News Presenter Kelly Dalglish
Added: Monday 7th August


Sky Sports News presenter and daughter of a former Liverpool legend Kelly Dalglish has been signed by talkSPORT to present Evening Kick-Off on Monday nights.


In addition to the signing of Terry Christian for the Saturday Final Whistle, and the announcement that Jim Proudfoot and Rhodri Williams are to share responsibility on Evening Kick-Off between Tuesday and Thursday on talkSPORT, it has been revealed that the station has signed its first permanent female sports presenter. Kelly Dalglish will be the new presenter of Evening Kick-Off every Monday night between 7:00pm-10:00pm on talkSPORT, alongside Gabriele Marcotti and Jason Cundy.

Dalglish began her broadcasting career in 1998 when she joined the launch team on Sky Sports News and was one of the channel's first presenters. She actually made her debut on television alongside her father Kenny Dalglish in an advert for British Telecom some years earlier. In addition to her role on Sky Sports News, she also fronts Sky Sports coverage of Golden League Athletics and the Women's League Cup Final.

Born in Glasgow in 1976 and educated at Glasgow University gaining a degree in Mathematics, she soon moved south of the border to the Merseyside area when her father Kenny joined Liverpool from Celtic. And as a football fanatic, Dalglish has been a regular at matches since the age of 11.

In the build-up to the Euro 2000 Play-Off clash between Scotland and England in November 1999, Dalglish left viewers with no doubt who she supported when she wore a Scotland shirt on-air and she is also a passionate supporter of Liverpool. And to date, the highpoint of her career was being on air when the story of David Beckham's transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid broke.

Now, Kelly Dalglish will become talkSPORT's first permanent female sports presenter hosting the Monday night Evening Kick-Off show between 7:00pm-10:00pm. The station signed a Lisa Francesca Nand in April as the first female presenter but she co-hosts a general talk show with the Late Night Ian Collins Show every weeknight between 1:00am-6:00am on talkSPORT.

Speaking about her new show on talkSPORT, Dalglish said: "I know that a lot of men think that women know nothing about football. I want to prove them wrong. Trust me when I say I don't need the offside rule explaining. I want Kick Off to be a show where fans and listeners can not only look back at the weekend's games but also where they can begin to look forward to their sides next fixture. If they want to sing a sides praise or vent their spleens I don't care, as long as we have fun."

talkSPORT Sign Terry Christian for The Saturday Final Whistle
Added: Monday 7th August

BBC Radio Manchester Breakfast presenter Terry Christian has been signed by talkSPORT to present the station's post-match football phone-in show The Final Whistle.

In a series of changes to the regular talkSPORT schedule, including the addition of Kelly Dalglish to Monday's Evening Kick-Off and Jim Proudfoot and Rhodri Williams as presenters for the rest of the week, Christian has been brought in by the station to succeed Patrick Kinghorn as presenter of talkSPORT's post-match football phone-in show The Final Whistle, which broadcasts every Saturday between 5:00pm-8:00pm.

Speaking about joining talkSPORT, Christian said: "The Final Whistle will be an antidote to a format that on other stations that often sound like a forum for the brain dead. I'm sick of hearing people talk about football that never go to matches. I've been a season ticket holder at Manchester United for over 20 years. I've no doubt that me being an ardent United fan will be like a red rag to a bull to many of the talkSPORT listeners, especially those that live in the east of Manchester."

Christian is probably best known for fronting The Word on Channel 4 in the early 1990's, but he currently presents the BBC Manchester Breakfast Show as part of the station's new re-launch earlier this year. In addition, he has also appeared on Backchat and Fear Factor on Sky One and is a regular contributor to the BBC's Heaven and Earth Show. More recently, he has been seen on Turn on Terry on ITV1, as well as The Farm on Channel 5 in 2004 alongside Rebecca Loos.

In addition to BBC Radio Manchester, Christian has also presented for BBC Radio Derby, BBC Radio 4, Signal Radio in Stoke and Piccadilly Radio and Century FM in Manchester. He was also one of the original presenters on Talk Radio UK, when the station launched in 1995, presenting a Sunday evening show between 7:00pm-10:00pm before leaving the stationa few months later.

Meanwhile, The Weekend Sports Breakfast with Andy Townsend & Mike Parry, which broadcasts every Saturday and Sunday morning between 8:00am-12:00pm on talkSPORT, will now be sponsored by DIY company Wickes. The deal includes Wickes giving away tickets to matches in the Championship as well as the chance to win a VIP day out at a top Championship fixture.


Setanta TV Sign talkSPORT's Adrian Durham as Presenter
Added: Thursday 3rd August


Setanta Sports TV has signed talkSPORT presenter Adrian Durham to anchor the station's live coverage from the Scottish Premier League.


The SPL is amongst a number of leagues and sports events that Setanta Sports provides coverage of on their channels. In addition, Setanta has coverage from Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Erdivisie, British Horse Racing, Celtic League Rugby and French Top 14 Rugby as well as the best from the States including MLB, NHL, NFL, NBA and NASCAR. And from August 2007, Setanta Sports will also be the first broadcaster, other than Sky Sports, to broadcast live coverage from the Premiership.

With the ever growing portfolio of sports rights, Setanta Sports has signed talkSPORT's Adrian Durham to anchor the channel's coverage from the SPL. Durham, who is the station's presenter of The Game between 4:00pm-7:00pm from Monday to Thursday alongside Rodney Marsh, will therefore be unable to present Football First with Alvin Martin and Gary Stevens on a Saturday and will be replaced by Nigel Pearson from Saturday 19th August for the opening day of the 2006-2007 Premiership season.

Durham joined talkSPORT in April 1999 as sports newsreader on Breakfast and became presenter of Football First at the beginning of the 1999-2000 season each Saturday afternoon. For a short time, he also hosted The Sports Breakfast and has also had stints on 505 alongside Lawrie McMenemy. For a number of years until May 2006, Durham was also the host of Evening Kick-Off alongside the likes of Alvin Martin, Ray Houghton and Gary Stevens before replacing Paul Breen-Turner on The Game just before the World Cup.

In addition, Durham also did television work for Eurosport on various occassions anchoring International and UEFA Cup coverage before joining Setanta Sports to front the digital television channel's live coverage of Celtic's Tour of the United States in July as well as the 2006-2007 SPL season which began on 29th July.

Football First with Nigel Pearson, Alvin Martin & Gary Stevens
Added: Thursday 3rd August


Nigel Pearson has been revealed as talkSPORT's new presenter of Football First every Saturday between 12:00pm-5:00pm alongside Alvin Martin and Gary Stevens


Pearson, who joined talkSPORT in 1997 initially as a reporter, will replace Adrian Durham as the station's presenter of Football First alongside Alvin Martin and Gary Stevens each Saturday from 19th August for coverage from the Premiership, Football League and SPL with reporters positioned around the grounds across the UK with regular reports, updates and goal flashes throughout the afternoon.

Durham presented Football First every Saturday afternoon during the season between 2000 and 2006 but is stepping down to become a presenter on digital TV channel Setanta Sports anchoring their SPL coverage each weekend. Durham will continue his role as presenter on The Game alongside Rodney Marsh from Monday to Thursday between 4:00pm-7:00pm.

In the past few months, Pearson has become more involved with talkSPORT's coverage moving from reporter to one of the station's main commentators. He was alongside Alvin Martin for Arsenal v Barcelona in the Champions League Final in Paris and was alongside Rodney Marsh for the World Cup as talkSPORT provided live commentary from every single match throughout the tournament. Pearson has also presented a number of shows including The Weekend Sports Breakfast, Evening Kick-Off and is this week alongside Micky Quinn on The Game standing-in for Adrian Durham and Rodney Marsh.

Chris Cooper will present Football First for the opening day of the 2006-2007 Championship and Football League season on Saturday 5th August as well as the following week on Saturday 12th August. Pearson will take over the reigns on Football First alongside Alvin Martin and Gary Stevens from 12:00pm on Saturday 19th August for the opening day of the 2006-2007 Premiership season on talkSPORT.

RAJAR Q2 2006: talkSPORT's Latest Audience Figures
Added: Thursday 3rd August


talkSPORT's audience figures for Quarter 2 of 2006 have been released by RAJAR and show a gain of 7.2% for reach quarter-on-quarter giving the station 2.2m listeners.


In the previous Quarter, Q1 of 2006, talkSPORT suffered a 16.6% loss in each year-on-year, a loss of 5% quarter-on-quarter and market share down 0.2% year-on-year also. talkSPORT reached and audience of 2.0m listeners each week during the period between 2nd January and 26th March 2006 but the latest audience figures show a rise of 7.2% quarter-on-quarter.

For Q2 of 2006 between 27th March and 25th June, which includes part of the World Cup, talkSPORT have a reach of 2.2m listeners each week which is a 0.5% rise compared against the same period in 2005. The station also maintains a market share of 1.7% compared to the previous quarter but it is down 0.1% from Q2 of 2005. talkSPORT listeners listen on average for 8.2 hours each week and total 18.2m hours for the period.

Audience figures have also been released for The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast with Graham Beecroft which broadcasts on talkSPORT each weekday morning between 6:00am-10:00am. In Quarter 1 for 2006, The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast with Alan Brazil & Graham Beecroft reached an audience of 976,000 listeners every week. In Quarter 2 for 2005, it reached 1,029,000 listeners, however for Quarter 2 of 2006 The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast reaches an audience of 947,000 listeners each week. This represents a 3.3% loss in audience quarter-on-quarter and a loss of 8.0% year-on-year.

In London, talkSPORT bucked the trend as their audience rocketed by 23% over the previous quarter and up 28% year-on-year. The station, which achieved a reach of 654,000 in the capital, also posted huge increases in London listening hours, which leapt by 10% quarter-on-quarter and 16% year-on-year to 5.8m. In a press release, talkSPORT Programme Director Bill Ridley, said: “These figures really buck the trend and we look forward to building on these increases as the football season gets underway."

Elsewhere, BBC Radio Five Live has a reach of 6.0m, down from 6.2m quarter-on-quarter and up from 5.8m year-on-year, despite two and a half weeks of the World Cup and the run-up to the tournament. Its share is 4.5%, slightly up on the year. The BBC Radio Five Live Breakfast Show with Nicky Campbell and Shelagh Fogarty also slipped, from an audience from 2.3m quarter-on-quarter to 2.2m for Quarter 2, 2006.

UTV's new talk station for Edinburgh Talk 107 posted its first set of RAJAR audience figures following its launch in February 2006. Talk 107 has an audience of 16,000 listeners each week, which is reach of 2% and a total market share of 0.2%. The average Talk 107 listeners also listens to the station for just 2.2 hours each week compared to 8.2 hours for talkSPORT.

Brazil & Parry Reunite for talkSPORT's Monday Sports Breakfast
Added: Wednesday 2nd August


The Media Guardian is reporting that Alan Brazil and Mike Parry will reunite for one day each week on talkSPORT's Sports Breakfast every Monday from 7th August.

The return of Mike Parry to The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on a Monday morning between 6:00am-10:00am on talkSPORT will mean that Graham Beecroft, who is the current co-presenter alongside Brazil, will now only co-host between Tuesday and Thursday thus reducing his working week to four-days. Beecroft will therefore be able to spend a longer weekend with his family in Merseyside rather than having to travel down to London on a Sunday to present at talkSPORT on a Monday.

The duo of Alan Brazil and Mike Parry on talkSPORT's Sports Breakfast was broken in August 2004 following the conclusion of Euro 2004 in Portugal. Parry was diagnosed with a serious heart condition and spent many weeks in Surrey's Harefield Hospital trying to recover from his life threatening illness. A few months later, he was given the all-clear to partly continue working for talkSPORT on a part-time basis.

Initially, making phone appearances on The Sports Breakfast to Brazil and a short-stint as co-host alongside Ian Collins on the mid-morning phone-in, Parry was allowed to present once again on a regular basis on The Weekend Sports Breakfast each Saturday and Sunday morning with Andy Townsend. For the past year, Parry has struck up an entertaining partnership with the former Republic of Ireland International and has interviewed some of the biggest names including Sven Goran Eriksson, David Beckham and Alan Shearer.

Earlier in the year, Parry was alongside Brazil filling-in for Beecroft on The Sports Breakfast for a week and was a key figure in talkSPORT's World Cup coverage. But now, Parry will permanently reunite with Brazil every Monday morning between 6:00am-10:00am on The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast and told the Media Guardian that he has been raring to get back in the studio with Brazil.

Parry said: "As the listeners will know, you need to be fighting fit if you want to square up to Alan in the debating stakes. As anyone who was worked with Alan will tell you, you can have the patience of a saint and he'll still get you hot under the collar. It was only when the doctors were sure my heart could take the on-air arguments we're bound to have that they gave me the all-clear and said I could go in the studio with him without the need to have an ambulance on standby."

Brazil also told the Media Guardian: "I've missed Porky but if he thinks I'm going to go easy on him, he has another thing coming. I won't stand for Mike defending Rooney if he has a bad game. If I've got an opinion, and it's not often I haven't, I'll be making it."