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Category: Radio

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Love letters: football commentators on their handwritten notes

John Murray, Ian Danter, Kris Temple and Peter Drury on how they write their notes and why they hold so many memoriesBy Mark Sanderson for When Saturday ComesJohn Murray, the football correspondent for BBC Radio 5 live, sits in his office, surrounded b…

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Murray Walker obituary

Motor racing broadcaster whose ‘pants on fire’ commentaries were loved by listeners and viewers over seven decadesSeldom can any frontrank outside-broadcast commentator have had a longer span at the microphone, or a voice more distinctively identifiabl…

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Ian St John obituary

Scotland and Liverpool footballer who later became a popular broadcaster, particularly in the ITV show Saint and GreavsieThe footballer and television personality Ian St John, who has died aged 82 after suffering from cancer, was a pivotal figure in th…

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Cricket castaways: the game’s long run on Desert Island Discs

Cricketers have a staple on the show since its launch in 1942. What can we learn about their appearances?By Peter Hoare for The NightwatchmanDesert Island Discs is older than one-day cricket, Test Match Special and covered pitches. It was born on the B…

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‘Surreal’ time in the TMS booth that came about by accident | Vic Marks

In another extract from his new book, Vic Marks explains how his time with TMS started in India and why his favourite commentator was Tony CozierWorking on Test Match Special has never been my main job and on most days it does not feel like a job at al…

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Radio scores as fans enjoy ‘feelgood factor’ of the World Cup

The BBC and TalkSport are benefiting from broadcasting experiments with increased engagementWith England’s World Cup opening game becoming the most-watched programme of the year so far, radio coverage seems on course to hit new heights too.BBC Radio 5 …

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Jimmy Armfield obituary

Blackpool and England footballer who was a member of the winning World Cup squad of 1966Around the time of the World Cup quarter-finals in 1966, the footballer Jimmy Armfield, who has died aged 82, was asked what chance he thought England had of winnin…

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Dick Enberg, legendary US sports broadcaster, dies aged 82

Veteran got his break covering John Wooden’s UCLA basketball teams.He also called Wimbledons, Olympics, baseball and NFL games.Dick Enberg, a Hall of Fame broadcaster known as much for his excited calls of “Oh my!” as the big events he covered during a…

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Liverpool deny BBC 5 Live rights to broadcast Spartak Moscow tie

• Radio commentary will only be available via club’s official website • Liverpool require a point against Russia side to reach knockout stagesAnyone hoping to listen to live radio commentary of Liverpool’s decisive Champions League tie with Spartak Mos…

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Cricket on the radio: TMS, fake Nazis and how to blend fact and fiction

When commentating on Test Match Special, I am sometimes tempted to drift off into fantasy to paint a picture for listeners. Apparently, I’m not the only oneBy Daniel Norcross for The Nightwatchman, of the Guardian Sport NetworkIt’s May 1941 and you’re …

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David Beckham admits ‘wrong decisions’ led to rift with Alex Ferguson

• Former Manchester United player ‘can see why manager got so frustrated’
• Beckham grateful for Ferguson’s support during ‘toughest time of my life’

David Beckham has said he made mistakes during his time at Manchester United that led to a breakdown in relations with Sir Alex Ferguson.

Beckham progressed from the youth ranks at Old Trafford but was sold by Ferguson to Real Madrid in 2003. Beckham accepts that his celebrity status and marriage to Victoria, a former Spice Girl, gave Ferguson cause to doubt his professionalism.

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David Beckham to be castaway on 75th anniversary Desert Island Discs

Special edition of Radio 4 programme will also have sound of sea wash during the credits for first time since 1960s

David Beckham is to be the castaway on the 75th anniversary episode of Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.

The former England footballer will appear on a special edition on 29 January, which will also feature the return of the sound of sea wash to the programme credits for the first time since the 1960s.

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Why listening to football on the radio beats watching it on TV

Football feels more exhilarating and less commercialised when broadcast over the airwaves. Just make sure you switch over before the phone-in shows begin

By Tony Cowards for When Saturday Comes, of the Guardian Sport Network

Ask any stand-up comedian what they most love about their job and the chances are they’ll say the buzz of a good gig, the backstage camaraderie or the fact that we don’t have to get up early in the morning. What is unlikely to be high on their list is the constant travel: for every minute on stage we probably spend 10 in a car, bus or train.

I drive to 99% of my gigs, which means I listen to an awful lot of radio (and, believe me, a lot of it really is awful). This means that I experience most live football through 5 Live’s commentaries. With the majority of my work being evenings and weekends, it means that most journeys are accompanied by a live match, whether it be a midweek league or European game, the new “Friday Night Football” or the more traditional, and ever rarer, three o’clock kick-off on a Saturday. If there’s a match on, I’ll listen to it. In fact, it’s got to the stage now where I prefer listening to football rather than watching it for a number of reasons.

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Why listening to football on the radio beats watching it on TV

Football feels more exhilarating and less commercialised when broadcast over the airwaves. Just make sure you switch over before the phone-in shows begin

By Tony Cowards for When Saturday Comes, of the Guardian Sport Network

Ask any stand-up comedian what they most love about their job and the chances are they’ll say the buzz of a good gig, the backstage camaraderie or the fact that we don’t have to get up early in the morning. What is unlikely to be high on their list is the constant travel: for every minute on stage we probably spend 10 in a car, bus or train.

I drive to 99% of my gigs, which means I listen to an awful lot of radio (and, believe me, a lot of it really is awful). This means that I experience most live football through 5 Live’s commentaries. With the majority of my work being evenings and weekends, it means that most journeys are accompanied by a live match, whether it be a midweek league or European game, the new “Friday Night Football” or the more traditional, and ever rarer, three o’clock kick-off on a Saturday. If there’s a match on, I’ll listen to it. In fact, it’s got to the stage now where I prefer listening to football rather than watching it for a number of reasons.

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Tony Cozier obituary

West Indian cricket commentator whose lilting tones and forthright analysis brought the game to life

Tony Cozier, who has died aged 75 of cancer, was the consummate, constant reporter of Caribbean cricket for more than five decades. He was recognised by cricket followers around the world more by his voice than his appearance. A surprising number of devotees did not realise that he was a white Bajan – a native of Barbados – yet all were captivated by the unmistakable, lilting tones of his commentary, while his readers trusted his clear and forthright analysis of West Indies cricket through thick and thin.

To watch Tony at work at a Test match was an education. He would glide between the TV commentary box to the (much smaller) radio box, then back to the press room where he would construct a couple pieces for the Nation newspaper of Barbados, then perhaps another for the Independent in the UK. It seemed such an effortless process, albeit without a minute wasted.

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Why TalkSport2 is a throwback to the stress-free days of Grandstand | Emma John

The radio broadcaster’s second channel represents a pretty noble attempt to give back some airtime to sports other than football

The radio broadcaster TalkSport launched a sister channel this month called TalkSport2. Its strapline is “Because Sport Never Stops”. This instantly brought to mind the Mitchell and Webb sketch where David Mitchell, in the guise of a Sky Sports presenter, quivers with emotion as he trails the weekend’s sporting offerings. “Catch all of the constantly happening football here,” he urges, building himself into a furious frenzy. “Thousands and thousands of hours of football, each more climactic than the last! Watch it all, all here, all forever, it will never stop! Watch the football! WATCH IT!!”

It’s a skit that perfectly punctures the hype around our national obsession. To be fair to TalkSport, its second channel represents a pretty noble attempt to add something new to the spectrum. No one can debate that football gets more than its fair share of coverage, and TalkSport2 is a venture that hopes to give other sports back some airtime without alienating its core Premier League-loving audience.

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Steve Davis: ‘Call me DJ Thundermuscle!’

The six-times world snooker champion is about to do the big Bloc weekender. Over a korma, he chats about bankrolling a Magma residency, his jerky dancing – and John Prescott on the sewing machine

It’s a Monday night in the Essex suburb of Shenfield and the Tandoori Nights restaurant is playing My Heart Will Go On to its handful of customers. But six-time world snooker champion Steve Davis would rather talk about Oneohtrix Point Never.

“He’s just so clever,” he says. “He’s like a modern-day composer, as clever as Stravinsky or Bartók.” He chucks out the names of more electronic producers he reveres, each more obscure than the last: Patten, Sanguine Hum, Katie Gately. “They may not be able to play musical instruments – it doesn’t matter. They create masterpieces that will be revered in 200 years.”

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No sane admirer of its work wants to see Radio 5 Live go online-only | Kevin Mitchell

The complete package of sport, news and chat, the station known as Radio Bloke would leave a huge hole if it was to follow BBC3 and become online-only

A familiar shiver rippled through the BBC this week. Radio 5 Live – known with only marginal justification to its critics and friends alike as Radio Bloke, the pioneering mix of news, sport and chat that is celebrating more than two decades of frontline service across a wide range of our daily experience – was to be shunted off the air and online, following BBC3 into the digital ether as the government’s budget cuts ripped away another slice of the corporation’s profile.

As reported in the Guardian on Wednesday, things are looking grim. There have been the ritual denials and a well-placed insider told Guardian sport: “All radio will probably be online one day – but not yet.”

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BBC Radio 5 Live could go online-only in radical cost cuts

News and sport station could follow BBC3 in going off air, or even face closure to save its £66m budget – but any such move is likely to be controversial

The BBC is considering making BBC Radio 5 Live online-only in radical cost-cutting measures as it seeks to fill a funding black hole.

The news and sport channel is the latest service to have come under review as the corporation tries to find savings to cover the £700m annual cost of free licence fees for the over-75s by 2020.

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The Spin | TMS: the key to being a functioning Test cricket addict | Andy Bull

It seems so arcane, and is often patronised, but Test Match Special, part soap opera, part sports commentary, is a perfect fit for this meandering game

Few things seem to perplex people quite like Test cricket. “I tried to watch it once, but couldn’t make head nor tail of it,” an acquaintance told me last Friday. A couple of hundred others have said similar things in the preceding years. Short leg. Silly mid-off. “Each man that’s in goes out and when he’s out comes in and the next man goes in until they’re all out, then the side that’s out comes in,” and all that. Reverse swing. Googlies. The lbw law. You might as well try to explain the merits of magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters, or the intricacies of neurosurgical oncology, Test cricket apparently being one of those things, along with rocket science and brain surgery, that outsiders tend to regard as being entirely incomprehensible.

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