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      26.08.2010 15:30
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      Bring back Gaunty!

      Talksport are in a good place right now after surviving falling revenues. Their commercial rivals in the likes of Heart FM, Absolute and Capital Radio are not so healthy and the squeeze on advertising revenue in the recession is starting to hurt. The recent re-branding of local radios under the one Heart symbol was not only to make the product more profitable but the chance to erase the local radio tag and cull the poorer performers. If they could syndicate more chunks of the station to be played on more of the stations and so employ less staff then they can save what's left and hopefully leave local radio to the BBC. But Talk Sport are on a different tack, throwing up a spinnaker to actually take on the BBC on all levels now as Rupert Murdoch's tie in with Sky gives them more financial clout and confidence, the purchase of 64 Premier League games to be covered on Talk Sport this season a sign they are very serious on competing BBC Sport to try and pull the audience away and get them listening to commercials instead of Alan Greens rants. They have also broken the BBCs monopoly on rugby by getting the 'exclusive' rights to the 2011 Rugby World Cup, a real surprise if you consider the TalkSport audience demographic.

      The BBC have had to react this season to the more serious challenge from commercial rivals to start new programs and employ new 'racier' pundits like the excellent Robbie Savage to fill the gaps now they have no live games on Saturday evenings and the early Sunday 1:30pm slot, Alan Green effectively sacked from 606 for his rumbustious opinionated style. When he told a listener last season that he was wrong and should shut up live on air, and this a phone in show for the listeners opinion, I knew he was toast. Green has always been resentful he never got telly work and when the dreadful Jonathan Pearce got promoted above him to Match of the Day he seemed to self-destruct. Now the BBC are simply aping TalkSport with their after match coverage through the likes of the loveable knockabout that is Robbie Savage and the increasingly ubiquitous Colin Murray, and to be honest it's rather fun and needed, Fighting Talk a cracking hours radio on Five Live. Laddish is the way forward and football on the radio will never be the same again.

      Talk Sport isn't that greatest station on the airwaves and very blue-collar, but it's an alternative to an increasingly timid and politically correct BBC. Because Radio Five Live has been forced to move to Manchester as part of the punishment post Hutton Report because of ex Director General Greg Dykes stance on the illegal establishment war in Iraq many Five Live big name presenters are refusing to go north without huge 'resettlement incentives'. Big names like Simon Mayo have jumped ship and other presenters like the blousy Victoria Derbyshire (born in Rochdale) and Scottish public schoolboy Nicky Campbell have been given a month off fully paid as a bribe to move north. Talksport have seized on the precious unrest and stolen their opportunity to jump in to start harvesting their audience, Radio Five Live having the most working-class listenership of the BBC daytime radio audience.

      My radio listening...

      I dont listen to radio morning shows as they tend to try to be too manic to wake us all up and so Alan Brazil half cut and Ronnie Irani until 10pm doesn't appeal on Talk. My Talksport day begins at 10pm when I decide to either listen to the child like morning show with Mike Parry and Mike Graham, a silly double act, the show weakened a lot when the surprisingly good Andy Townsend (Parry's Ernie Wise to his Eric Morecombe) recently declining a new deal in the slot with the station so to concentrate on TV. Parry plays devils advocate in an idiot way to his mostly idiot audience but a very sharp operator underneath all the silliness. He knows who the stations core demographic is and isn't going to stray to far from that. Parry and company replaced the great John Gaunt, as near as you can get to a loud mouth right wing American style 'shock jock', but sacked last year after a series of incidents, the final one of calling a local councillor a 'health Nazi' live on air, one too much for the station. He was, of course, the victim of a feeble regulator and a big mouth and is currently appealing on human rights reasons to return, human rights layers he despised on air. The station hasn't been the same since and when James Whale was fired two weeks later in 2008 you knew Murdoch was more worried about losing advertising revenue than his best presenters.

      Radio Five have a vast array of male overweight stands in for Victoria Derbyshire on the late morning slot to go up against Mike Parry, Stephen Nolan the seediest. After 12 the sexy intelligent Gabby Logan delivers the lunch time slot on Radio Five, but her show rarely anything but boring and girly. Hawksby & Jacobs over on Talksport get the afternoon slot from 1-4pm, which, although funny in places, is too long at three hours, their droll double act a little bit too highbrow and spontaneous for their audience sometimes. But they were going up against Simon Mayo on Radio Five when they started and now have to take on Richard Bacon ( not everyone's cup of tea), and so always hard to build an afternoon following against Radio Fives unfair budget.
      Ian Wright has long since been sacked from the 4-7pm slot and it's been taken on by Adrian Dunbar and ex player Jason Cundy and Alvin Martin. One thing Talksport have done that is positive is using ex players as hosts to get a more insightful view on things. But solid football talk is not my thing so I flick back to Radio Five in the summer or put a movie on in the winter for the evening slot.

      Now Talk Sport have live Prem games the controversial Stan Collymore has been moved there and to weekends to build an audience they hope to keep across the station. Talksports first three live games have all been 6-0 so the omens very good. 666. The number of the beast.

      The likeable and more intelligent Ian Collins takes you through the post football hour of 10pm until Ipm and then some dreadful night jock takes the 7 or so listeners through until 6pm and Brazil and Irani, the Scott notorious for late night drinking sessions and not showing up for work. Adrian Goldberg used to the grave yard slot but resigned to set up some other projects and work on Radio Five Live instead, the articulate Brummie the new Adrian Childs to fill the BBC' silly regional quotas, the Welsh Christine Blakeley's clone on The dreadful One Show an example.

      Weekends are Talksports growing strength with those Premier League games with football talk shoes all the way. As much as a bad boy Collymore is I find him engaging (although hectic) on the commentaries and a bloke who represents footballers and fans a like, be it he is much brighter than most, why he works well on radio. I say good luck to the bloke although lets hope Talk Sport don't offer Marlon king a show.

      -Controversies-

      April 2002: The entertaining Tommy Boyd (he of 70s kids show Magpie fame) and his production team were sacked from Talksport after a callers anti-Royal Family view went through on air. Boyd claimed he did not share the views of the caller at a disciplinary hearing. In the early days the station was called Talk Radio and feared being shutdown for not reacting to controversy.

      June 2006: Alan Brazil got in trouble with Ofcom for referring to the Japanese as "the nips" during the 2006 World Cup. Brazil is very Scottish and likes a nip of something himself. Slag the queen off sacked. Slag the Japs off no problem!

      August 2007: Mike Mendoza and Sun hack Garry Bushell made derogatory comments about gay people, and the station was subsequently censured by regulator Ofcom. Bushell left when his six month contract expired soon after. Bushell was a pretty good host to be fair.

      May 2008: James Whale was sacked by Talksport after urging listeners to vote for Boris Johnson in the 2008 London Mayoral Election. The station was fined twenty grand by Ofcom because his comments fell in the election cycle, a big no no in the media to back a particular party, even though it's obvious the station is a right wing Tory mouthpiece in North London.

      November 2008: Jon Gaunt was fired for repeatedly calling that local councillor a "Nazi". Gaunt has since pleaded unfair dismissal, but as yet no court case. His campaign has, rather ironically, been backed by tiny Liberty activist Shami Chakrabarti, she of the black eye shadow, who had previously been one of Gaunt's pet hates.

      November 2008: Rod Lucas was dropped by the station after he appeared on that leaked membership list of the BNP. The station clarified that this wasn't a sacking as Lucas was only a temporary member of staff. The presenter himself claimed that his membership of the party was part of a covert research project.

      November 2010: Talk Sport were censured by Ofcom for their anti terror advert, deeming the campaign too intrusive, all but asking its predominately white audience to report Asians who have their curtains drawn, don't go out much and buy pesticides. The challenge was upheld and the advert removed. We can't have radio stations upsetting potential terrorists now can we?

      Is the station any good?

      To be fair it's ok, but no more. The thing is we have no real alternative to the BBC and for me radio is just too safe in general. I listened to John Gaunt because he broke the silence and spoke for most people in this country and when he was sacked then I, the listener, was also sacked by Talk Sport. John lives in Northamptonshire and I have spoken to him a couple of times and he is not the right wing firebrand he is painted as. He is just very English and middle class and just like your mum and dad on issues like immigration and crime. Yes he went over the top and kept pushing it until he was sacked but free speech in moderation should never be gagged and the fact he got the stations highest audiences was probably the real reason Ofcom wanted him gone. Just briefly the nation had a voice and Talk Sport was the megaphone.

      Now the station is aimed at idiots and run by them, hours and hours of full football debate and presenters fearful of having an opinion. The naughty George Galloway was effectively forced out for his left wing views, especially on Israel, and Talksports strong North London Jewish roots soon saw him off. They don't seem to want a left wing balance and so no surprise Gaunt goes off on a right wing one. But as long as they have the rights to premier league games and grow their sport portfolio they will be a noise and have to be taken seriously, a champion of the working man who likes to go football and drives a white van.


      http://www.talksport.co.uk/

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        08.05.2010 21:37
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        Talksport but only for a few hours at a time

        I listen to several radio stations depending on what time it is and what day of the week it is, one of these being Talksport. At work I am fortunate to have a digital radio which makes the reception crystal clear, previous to this I could only listen on an analogue radio and as Talksport is broadcast on the medium wave the same as Absolute or Five Live it was hard to hear and enjoy at times.

        The schedule generally stays the same but there are a variety of presenters who either host their own shows or turn up to stand in for others on occasion or give their opinion on the topics of the day.

        The breakfast programme is presented by former Tottenham and Ipswich footballer Alan Brazil who is assisted by former cricketer Ronnie Irani. They discuss all the sports stories from the night before interviewing guests who are quite possibly related to those stories or those who have something relevant to contribute. Sport especially football is the main focus of the show but financial news is also discussed and there is general banter with the two presenters along with contributors mocking each other in a friendly way similar to you may do with your work colleagues or friends.

        Following this at ten is a three hour programme with Mike Parry and ex footballer Andy Townsend who also appears on ITV's football coverage. They also talk about sport but weave in other topics such as the political news of the day or other social issues that affect the country. Members of the public are invited to phone in and give their opinions on the subjects in question and to respond to views that have been expressed by the two hosts, Mike Parry is particularly well known for coming out with ideas that inspire people to call the station, I don't know if he really believes what he is saying or if he does it to ensure that people who are inclined to, will call in.

        My favourite segment has to be between one and four in the afternoon presented by Andy Jacobs and Paul Hawksbee . This is a more light hearted affair where recent sporting events are discussed but not with the volume of people phoning in as in the previous programme. Listeners are often given a theme like can you think of a footballer who could also be a piece of food like Ryan Giggs could be Ryan Figgs and are invited to text these to them, there are lots of word play contributions like this during the afternoon's broadcast. Callers also relate stories involving a particular subject usually involving sport and there are various guests who are maybe promoting a book or a documentary or those who have had some kind of sporting achievement. There are competitions and the general feel of the show is relaxed and friendly and I find Paul Hawksbee very funny. They regularly receive updates from cricket correspondent Jack Bannister if any matches are taking place and also speak to football experts from all over the world. Recently an "Ask Andy" segment has been incorporated in to the programme where listeners can pose a question to Andy on any topic they like, this is not a serious feature, and they are kind of mocking a current Arsenal player's invitation to ask him questions on his website. As I said before this is by far my favourite part of Talksport's schedule and I find it very entertaining with an afternoon cup of tea while I am working.

        By the time the drive time show begins to be honest I am quite often a little tired because one of problems with the station is that they do seem to talk about the same thing all day long. When Wayne Rooney was injured one or two months ago the conversation about it was never ending, now I love football but I have to admit it was a bit much. From four till seven Adrian Durham and Darren Gough take over and it is similar to the mid morning programme with public contributions.

        The evening shows can feature a number of presenters, Mark Saggers, Stan Collymore, Ray Houghton, Mickey Quinn, Ray Parlour and these amongst others feature heavily at the weekends as well. I particularly like to listen to Danny Kelly who often fronts broadcasts in the evening.

        From ten at night until six in the morning sports content is halted and shows with more political and other topics to the daytime are on air. Ian Collins often takes the reins from ten until one and then during the night it will be Adrian Goldberg or Mike Graham but to be honest I much prefer to listen to BBC Radio Five Live tackling these issues or at this time of night I listen to Iain Lee on Absolute which is a different matter all together and if you have heard his show you will know what I mean.

        Talksport does have more to offer than just sport but the name of the station gives away that this is what they are really going to focus on and even as a massive sports fan I have to listen to it in medium doses otherwise I get fed up. Another problem is that some callers can often come across as just so silly in some of the opinions they express and the way some of the presenters talk and give their views shows a real level of ignorance to me. Although I really like the station it can be annoying and the level of intelligence they think they are aiming at is no better demonstrated than in the trails they broadcast to promote their programmes and station as a whole, I struggle to see why they think these are amusing.

        I like their discussion about sport but it does repeat itself after a while and I think they often relegate serious subjects to a low level and it is probably looked at more seriously on other networks.

        If you want some entertainment in the afternoon definitely listen to Hawksbee and Jacobs, they are brilliant. Hawksbee is a writer on Harry Hill's TV Burp and that as we all know is well funny.

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          18.04.2010 07:58
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          An excellent radio station and but for Jeremy Kyle and the fishing show it would be perfect

          With an hours travel to work and an hour back each day on the bus I have recently started to take my personal DAB radio to allow me to listen to Talksport and catch up with the latest sports news, chatter and information and I must say that I am hugely impressed and remember now why I used to listen to Talksport so much.

          Talksport is one of the biggest commercial radio stations in the UK and is listened to by many millions of people each day. The station can be accessed through either analogue or digital radio or on the talksport website and this leads to it being listened to not just in the UK but all around the world.
          The format of the station is fairly simple in that they have on a number of different presenters throughout the day with many of the shows having more than one presenter and thanks to many former sporting celebrities the station has people who can offer up genuine and insightful comments and information on what is going on in the world of sports. Some of the sportsmen include Stan Collymore, Darren Gough, Jason Cundy, Ray Houghton, Ronnie Irani, Alan Brazil, Ian Wright and Andy Townsend who are all forthright with their views and thanks to their backgrounds in sports they have honesty that makes them endearing to the listener.
          Talksport does offer a number of communication channels for the listener aswell and for me this helps to make the show as you get to hear genuine people like yourself comment on things you are listening about, whether it be through text message, e-mail or calling in the listeners are able to give their forthright views. Thankfully if the presenter doesn't agree they won't backdown on their views to suit the listener instead they will put forward their point and back it up.
          With amazing presentation standards, presenters willing and able to be forthright in their views and interesting debates all married together with excellent listener interaction this is truly a radio station offering superb shows throughout.

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            05.10.2009 11:06
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            Still worth a look, even for non-sports fans

            Sport is something I have no interest in, but even for people like me Talksport still holds some interest, because between 10pm at night and 6am each morning the station is given over to general talk radio. A few years ago the main talk show presenter was the ever-rebellious James Whale, with the excellent Ian Collins following on through the early hours, but after Whale was eventually sacked by the powers that be the show has struggled to find a suitable replacement presenter.

            Collins now regularly presents in Whale's own slot, and he is an intelligent, entertaining and wholly professional presenter who normally manages to make even the dullest topics seem interesting, whilst his slot is usally filled with interviews with interesting characters from all walks of life. George Galloway also regularly does a weekend slot, and regarless of how one views him politically his sharp, passionate and hugely intelligent presenting manner always makes for enlightening and entertaining radio.

            Unfortunately the late night slot fares much worse these days, being presented by hacks such as Adrian Goldberg who endlessly spout bland and predictable opinions in between conducting listener polls on fascinating topics such as "what's the biggest thing you've ever eaten" and "would you have sex with Jordan?".

            A decidedly mixed bag overall then, but Talksport is still worth a listen on occasion, and its worth tuning in to Collins or Galloway's show as both are frequently very interesting. As for the other presenters however, steer clear.

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              08.08.2009 22:09
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              Best station for sports fans out there

              As I work on shifts both days and nights, thanks to the beauty of the internet I have listened to all of Talksport's shows over the years so feel pretty well qualified to write about it! It does what it says on the tin i.e. it is talk radio with a sports leaning but is much more than that to me. Unashamedly aimed at "blokes" probably in the 20-50 years range it is a mixture of sport, current affairs, humour, phone-ins, competitions and general chaos at times. It is not a sexist station at all though, the "bloke based-banter" and "post-match debating" is done with tongue firmly in cheek and many female listeners do call in and have their say.

              The presenters are a good mix of seasoned journalists, professional presenters and ex-pro footballers and cricketers. The format is pretty fluid as far as the presenters go, the "teams" change regularly but as there are very few weak links this is never a problem and helps keep it fresh. Mostly sponsored by commercial vehicles and lagers, the station really comes alive during the footie season with a lot of live coverage but does feature many other sports - rugby and cricket have their own shows. Some of the links voiced by a Finchy (from the Office) sound-alike (maybe it is him?) are very near the knuckle but often hilarious. It is a good and more lively alternative to Radio 5 Live or local radio stations.


              PRESENTERS
              =========

              ALAN BRAZIL

              "MAAAARNING!" roars the Glaswegian Ipswich (Spurs, Man U etc for the record) legend at 6am, probably having only arrived at the station about 2 minutes earlier for the start of The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast. Despite being sacked for non-appearance after the 2004 Cheltenham Festival, the colourful and controversial Mr Brazil was re-instated, wrists well and truly slapped though champagne lifestyle still intact by all accounts. He is an opinionated and lively presenter, always entertaining and takes no prisoners, his main whipping boy being newsreader Iain "The Moose" Abrahams. Loves a sherbet and this was well documented in "There's an Awful Lot of Bubbly in Brazil", a book written by fellow Talksportist, Mike Parry.

              RONNIE IRANI

              Ex-Essex and England cricketer "Chicken Biriani" joined big Al on the breakfast show in 2007 and whilst very much the underdog on air, he makes a good contribution to the show, his cricket knowledge proving invaluable during the current Ashes series. Can't say I'm a big fan of his Lancashire drawl though to be honest, particularly as he professes to be an Essex boy these days.

              MIKE "PORKY" PARRY

              Seasoned journalist, the Pork-meister has been a Talksport stalwart for many years, a lot of those spent on the breakfast show with Mr Brazil which may have contributed to his dodgy ticker ! The ginger-bonced, short armed self-proclaimed "seeker of truth and justice" comes up with some weird and wacky ideas but is often very entertaining while he continues his quest for the first Mrs Parry. He was one of the reasons I first started listening.

              ANDY TOWNSEND

              Fairly new signing, the ex Villa/Chelsea/Norwich/Republic of Ireland (etc) midfielder, Andy often plays Good Cop to Mike Parry's Mad Cop on their late morning show. An intelligent ex-pro, he brings a lot to the table and talks a lot of good sense, hence his frequent appearances in front of the TV cameras at European matches.

              HAWKSBEE & JACOBS

              A friendly and entertaining duo who have made the afternoon slot their own, Paul Hawksbee and Andy Jacobs bring their own brand of humour and chat to a great show, a Talksport staple. One's a Spurs supporter, the other Chelsea (don't ask which) so the "banter" is quite lively at times. Worth listening to for the Clips of the Week slot on Friday alone, where Mssrs Parry and Brazil feature regularly, if not exclusively!

              WRIGHTY & DURHAM

              My dream team for 'Bow Time (the drive time slot sponsored by Strongbow), these two always put on a lively three hours for your delectation. Ex Palace and Arsenal legend Ian Wright wears his heart on his sleeve and speaks with passion, honesty and humour. His mangling of the English language can be hilarious at times but he comes across very well on air, miles better than on TV IMO. Devils Advocate and Posh fan (a coincidence I'm sure) and another ginga, Adrian Durham likes to play the bad guy and is not afraid to tell it how he sees it. This lead to a classic on-air confrontation with Jamie Carragher when Durham accused the Liverpool defender of bottling it for retiring from international football rather than fight for his place. He often presents match-day live with aplomb.


              MICK QUINN

              Pie fan and ex-footballer (in no particular order), the Newcastle "legend" brings charm and Scouse wit to the various shows he doubles up on. Good guy and a great listen.

              JASON CUNDY

              Wasn't too keen to start with to be honest but the ex-Chelsea man has warmed to the task and is now a humorous and clever presenter who isn't afraid to speak his mind, much to the chagrin of Jack Bannister, the station's cricket commentator. I recently saw him on a celebrity "A Place in the Sun" on TV where he was checking out £1m pads in the South of France with his beautiful wife. Where did it all go wrong Jase ??

              JEREMY KYLE

              Often on on Sunday afternoons, champion of the chavs, Kyle is a bit full of himself as you'd expect but knows enough about sport to hold his own nicely.

              KEITH ARTHUR

              Famous angler (well he's on Sky) Mr Arthur presents his piscatorial programme "Fisherman's Blues" between 6am and 8am every weekend. The guy has an encyclopaedic knowledge of every lake, river and tackle shop home and abroad and his show is one of those laid back and friendly affairs that non-anglers can enjoy as well.

              DANNY KELLY

              Ex squaddie and relative newbie, the "rotund legend" and Spurs fan presents with vim and vigour and obviously loves his job. Speaks like a true and unashamed fan down the pub. At his best with Mr Collymore . . .

              STAN COLLYMORE

              I'll admit I was amazed when I first heard car-park fan Stanley on air but to be honest he deserves his slot(s). The Cannock born footballer has a fast and furious style, is very articulate for a Midlander (joke!) and is one of the few presenters who can carry a show solo, in fact he seems to prefer it. Now seems to own the post match phone-in on a Saturday. He can be outspoken but has played at the top, is very knowledgeable and never shies from a question.

              IAN COLLINS

              Often has the morning slot and filled in a lot for Jon Gaunt before his sacking, but is usually on from 10pm to 1am now with his current affairs discussion and phone-in. Seems to have a thing for KFC - a bucket of the "Colonel's finest" seems to gets a mention on every show lol ! Informed and opinionated, he's a good listen.

              DARREN GOUGH

              Fast bowler turned dancer, "Goughie" often gets a spot on 'Bow time and is a lively presenter but with dodgy taste in music. Typical Yorkshireman, blunt and outspoken, he is an asset to the show - in small doses !

              TONY CASCARINO

              Not on much these days but the journeyman striker most famously known for playing for Ireland when he wasn't Irish, is a straight talking and funny guy. OK, I'm a Millwall fan so I'm biaised towards the "Cas" but he does make a valuable and often hilarious contribution when on-air. Last seen running from a poker tournament in Vegas followed by 5 security guards....

              ADRIAN GOLDBERG

              Has the dubious distinction of carrying the night shift. Friendly and calm, he handles the insomniacs, drunks and pervs with aplomb.

              GEORGE GALLOWAY

              Last but not least, cat impersonator, ex-friend of Saddam Hussein and all-round colourful and controversial character, Gorgeous George hosts his late night phone-ins at the weekend. Not for me....


              INFO
              ===

              Talksport was officially born in 1998 after former Sun editor Kelvin Mackenzie purchased Talk Radio and turned it into the sports orientated commercial radio station I know and love now. It broadcasts on 1053 and 1089am as well as DAB.

              Listen live on www.talksport.net

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                11.05.2009 18:22
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                a good station

                Talksport is a british radio station , hosted on 1053 am and on DAB digital radio . Of course the clue is in th title , the topic is mostly sport but there are many other political , funny and everyday issues discussed . Apparently it was formerly called 'talk radio' which was also a debate station but talksport is mainly sport debate.There are many ex-sportsmen on the station such as Ian Wright , Darren Gough , Alan Brazil , Ronnie Irani and Jason Cundy . Talksport also do an online magazine on their website which is free to use and I would reccomend this , its packed with good looking women , funny articles and great interviews . The station is very focused on phone ins and people texting and e-mailing in , to create great debate . The breakfast show is hosted by Alan Brazil (the alan brazil sports breakfast) and the drivetime show from 4 til 7 , is hosted by Ian Wright and Adrian Durham and called 'bowtime' (it is sponsored by strongow cider) you can access talksport on radio , online and also on sky and freeview. Its a great station but there are too many advert breaks.

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                  07.11.2005 11:18
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                  Overview of talkSport Radio

                  Over the last few years I’ve clocked up quite a few miles doing various jobs. Whilst I’m in the car, listening to the radio becomes very important for my state of mind. After all, chances are you will hit serious traffic at some stage so having the back up of music really helps. I recently wrote about Virgin radio as this is one of the main stations I listen too but an excellent alternative is talkSport.

                  I’ve been listening to talkSport for a few years now. I’d never really been a fan of talk radio but it was this station that changed my mind more than anything. The station can be found at 1053 or 1089AM, Freeview 723, Homechoice 625, NTL899, Sky858, Telewest 927 or on digital radio. You can also listen online while you’re on the PC. I tend to listen to it on either 1053 or 1089AM in the car but my radio is pretty hopeless only picking up FM and AM (which was a drag when on holiday in Ireland as I couldn’t listen to the Ashes coverage on LW).

                  talkSport is the nation’s largest commercial radio station and the owners do play on this fact. This means that the station relies heavily on advertisers for revenue and one of the drawbacks of listening is the high profile given to sponsors and advertising in general. I’d never really thought about too much before until I got talking to a friend about it one day who drew my attention to the regular debates that take place usually in a sports café somewhere. He pointed out, quite rightly, that if, say, John Smiths was sponsoring the programme then the sponsor seemed to get mentioned in conversation every 5 minutes or so. He was right! Let’s face it, if the presenters really did crack open a can of John Smiths as often as they suggested during the show, then they would be pretty inebriated by the time the programme finished *grin*

                  Needless to say, the most popular show is the Breakfast Show running between 6am and 10am. Currently it's sponsored by Ford Transit and presented by Alan Brazil and Graham Beecroft. My personal view is that this duo isn’t as strong as when Brazil teamed up with the ebullient, Scouse numpty, Mike Parry. The problem was that Mike had a heart attack earlier in the year and had since been kept away from the early morning schedules so it’s down to Brazil and Beecroft to wake the nation with their sports chatter. If you like sport then you’ll love the show. Alan Brazil is an ex-footballer formerly of Ipswich, Manchester United and Scotland amongst others. His broadcasting career began with local station Radio Suffolk. He went on to appear on TV for regional station, Anglia which led to appearances on GMTV. Onwards and upwards, Brazil appeared with Andy Gray in "The Boot Room" on Sky TV and led to a job as Sky’s Nationwide League and Worthington Cup commentator.

                  Graham Beecroft is a self-employed journalist who has been around for ages. Known as “Beaky” on the show, Graham is another Scouser supporting Everton as does Mike Parry. All sports get discussed on the show e.g. Formula One motor racing, horse racing and so on although there is clearly a heavy bias towards football. One of the attractions of listening to talkSport is the endless banter that the presenters encourage. Brazil is always encouraging listeners to text in with humorously abusive messages, usually taking the Mick out of the presenters and often accusing them of being numpties or tubes. I’m not really sure what a numpty is but it’s clearly bad whilst a tube is something with nothing at the top or at the bottom with nothing in the middle!. Alan Brazil clearly gets a kick out of this himself with plenty of sniggering as the messages get read out. Even the news-readers get involved as “Moose” often manages to slip in some excruciating puns and Brazil makes some derogatory comment about Mrs Moose. It’s all laddish, good humour and always puts a smile on my face although it’s Mike Parry’s sparring that used to make my smile the most. One of the best things about last Christmas was the cover version of The Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black” that Parry made with negligible resulting sales. For some reason, the ginger numpty thinks he can sing when everyone else knows he can’t!

                  One more thing worth mentioning is the convivial relationship that Alan Brazil has with the PR man from Barclays Stockbrokers, Mr Henk Potts. Henk does the financial updates but seems to go out entertaining almost every day with Alan Brazil. The two of them manage to generate yet more banter during the show and I’ll wager that as many people loathe Mr Potts as love him. It’s a daily feature of the show that the duo's plans for the afternoon will be discussed on air and usually involves a trip to a posh restaurant for lunch or a night out at the horses. Rumour has it that Brazil’s off-air good life had got to the point where the producers actually sacked him this year but he did manage to get re-instated again probably with an ongoing promise to behave himself from now on. He still appears to enjoy the good life though!

                  I often listen to the afternoon show too whilst driving home. Hawksbee & Jacobs are on between 1pm and 4pm and very popular too. I rarely get chance to listen to them due to the hours involved but the little snatches I’ve heard are good. It sounds like an irreverent show and I know that they take clips of other shows where a gaff has been made and play them back to the listeners. No, it’s “The Game” with Rodney Marsh & Paul Breen-Turner in association with The Times that I often listen too between 4pm and 7pm. This slot was formerly done by Patrick Kinghorn and Tony Cascarino and, if I’m honest, I preferred their show to this one. I do find Rodney Marsh and Paul Breen-Turner just too dry for my liking and miss the chemistry of the diminutive Kinghorn and those dulcet tones of the former Villa and Ireland striker, Tony Cascarino. Rodney Marsh made his name on Sky’s "Gillette Soccer Saturday" until he made an unfortunate jibe about the Asian Tsunami and found himself promptly sacked. There seems to be an uncomfortable edge between the two presenters on the drive time show. The banter and chat is still very much based around football and I do enjoy the phone-ins.

                  I hardly ever make the evening show but, again, from what I’ve heard it’s pretty good. "Kick Off" with Adrian Durham & Alvin Martin is another sports review show and Ray Houghton and Gabrielle Marcotti are frequent guest on the show. Marcotti brings an intelligent angle to the debate as well as being a leading authority on European football, in particular, the Italian League.

                  I simply never listen to the famous James Whale whose show starts at 10pm. Whale is famous for being outspoken and is almost into “shock-Jock” territory. James Whale tends to discuss the topical issues of the say rather than concentrate on sport and with his almost legendary status, I’m sure he does a fine show.

                  Something I’ve heard advertised but can’t testify as to how good it is would be news broadcaster Howard Hughes and his new show called "The Unexplained", investigating some of the greatest mysteries. Howard, who presents the programme every Saturday night from 8pm, delves into the mysterious world of UFOs, witchcraft and psychic phenomena. Apparently, Howard has won seven prestigious radio industry awards so if this is your bag then maybe it’s worth a try.

                  talkSport offer official and unofficial coverage of live sporting events although I find the unofficial angle a tad bizarre as it means the commentary comes via watching the event on a monitor rather than actually being there. I liked the regular updates from The Ashes tests during the summer usually via Jack Bannister and because of my lack of LW in the car, I will always remember the anxious last few overs in the drawn final test from the Oval. I was returning from a day at Alton Towers with the family, desperate to know what had happened and talkSport kept flitting to and from the ground with updates. I liked the extra touch of linking up with fellow broadcasters in Australia but the radio coverage of the cricket was a real boon even if I'd have preferred to listen to continuous coverage from "Test Match Special" (bah)

                  If you want to know more and/or like doing competitions then do check out the web site at http://www.talksport.co.uk. It carries the latest schedules, talkSport polls, online listening and so much more and whilst it’s not as good as the Virgin Radio site, it’s still pretty good and well worth a look.

                  I’m sure there will be aspects of talkSport that I haven’t covered but hopefully I’ve given you an insight into the shows that I listen to and the reasons why I like the station. There are drawbacks too like the over exposure to advertisers and maybe some of the current shows not being as good as their predecessors but if you like talk radio and, in particular, sports talk radio then this is a viable alternative to the monolithic Radio 5 Live (which I also listen too!). Of course, if you want to listen to music then this definitely won’t be for you....but then it is talk radio! All I can say is give it a try!

                  Thanks for reading

                  Marandina

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                    26.12.2001 01:40
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                    Talk Sport is probably the most moronic radio station in Britain bar Radio One and its only use is to listen to big matches when Radio Five are covering the alternative. Its broadcasters are washed up pros or knackered hacks no longer entrusted with the proper news with a bottle in the top pocket. If you do stumble upon the station they are almostly certainly going to a "Darren from Catford" about the pros and cons of Chelsea’s back four 24/7. It’s a constant flow of endless football talk appealing to white van drivers and the unemployed. The radio station though proudly boasts the unlikely demographics of being the most listened to broadcaster by the thirty something male professional classes. Which doesn’t explain why all the callers seem to be forklift drivers from Wallsall. As soon as you hear the first ten callers to Alan Brazils second soccer talk show of the day you quickly realize that that bold statement couldn’t be further from the truth. Tommy Boyd is one of those aging washed up radio pros who is paid to wind up the hapless working classes to ring in and be ridiculed. It makes for good listening late Friday night as drunks, students and wallies get a slaughting. The other late night slot is reserved for some tedious shock jock from America with the dead mans shift going to an even more anonymous DJ. The reason i write about it though as that fading old mega star obvious looking to turn a few books over Christmas was given the Christmas Eve morning show. It didn’t take long for him to get the spoons out like Chas and Dave on an East End knees up. He resorted to the old watch trick where you shout work work work at it and one in a hundred out their start ticking. Shame we cant do that to the council estate just around the corner. But Uris star status has long since faded like a red giant as only two people called in to say that the spoon fell of the radio and they were
                    n’t actually in the room when it happened. The stereotypical forty something mid life crisis im stuck in a boring job punter rang in to tell Gellar of his UFO abduction behind the Sainsburys in Dulwich. Apparantly you are more "significant"in your dull life if you have a paranormal experience. Then he went to a diatribe of how he was “visited” by a strange light in Cyprus as a wee kiddy and then zapped in the head with a laser!. This of course explains the magical powers of the chosen one or international playboy conman, as he’s known by most in the trade. Psychics like him though all around the world united on September the tenth this year and failed miserably to warn of us the atrocities of the next day. I think this is outrageous and they should all be banged up under the new terrorism laws. Uri knew of course but forgot to tell us,well he is Jewish you know. It’s a feasible station if they just played some comedy hours to break the monotony of wall to wall excritiating football chat. They had the cricket commentary last year i believe although they had adverts every over that proved intolerable. Britain really is short on decent radio stations as we are over run by playlists of dance music and tired old burnt out Smashey and Niceys talking about Darlingtons chances of avoiding the drop. Very dull indeed.

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                      27.09.2001 07:27
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                      Having listened to talk radio right from the start with the likes of 'Ceasar the Geezer' (anyone remember him?) and Anna Raeburn (agony aunt), I was gutted when I heard they were changing to talk sport. I thought I was going to burst into tears! (well, not quite but you get my drift, right?) I hate sport, all forms of it! But I found myself listening just to see what changes they made.(i've actually learnt a thing or two about football! Sometimes I really enjoy daytime!) I was annoyed to find they'd taken the problem area away, they were extremely amusing! But glad they kept the likes of James Whale and Tommy Boyd. James Whale is on at 10pm Monday to Friday. He is open, honest and blunt, but highly addictive! Sometimes, he can get a bit carried away, like the attack on America. Although it saddened us all to the point of tears (well, me anyway!), 2 weeks on and he is still talking about it. Its a very important issue to discuss I agree, but only so much can be said about the atrocity of it all. Apart from that, he is normally worth listening to. Sometimes he has a psycic on his show where people call in to have a reading, he is spookily accurate! The best presenter by far (on all stations) has to be Ian Collins (1 am), he does quirky little shows like 'kill my query' where listeners send in questions such as "who was Tom, Dick and Harry in the saying". Other listeners answer them. Brill! He is a very funny man who picks up the funny little things in life! Listen in the evening if your not into sport, you won't be dissapointed!

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                        12.03.2001 02:55

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                        Hosted by Tommy Boyd on TALKSport, this show has qucikly become widely known throughout communities. Each and every Sunday, Tommy opens the radio waves to those who are feeling that little bit strange on a Sunday night. It is the perfect time to ring up and say something completely ridiculous. The good thing is there are no filters. simply ring up and you will go to air, and with no-one knowing what you are about to say, it is your moment to produce the most compelling jibberish known to mankind. Set the tape recorder going, keep the phone number on redial, and speak your nonsense, like you only know how, and believe me, once you have been on, and heard yourself live on the national radio station, you will be eager for more. Downsides; Lack of sleep, due to the rush of speaking garbage about your worst enemies on live air. Stomach pains from laughing to much at the nutters who take part. Goodsides; Something to tell your mates about in the morning. Something to listen to over and over again. Also, a damn good laugh on the depressing thought that is a Sunday evening. So....get ready for bed, switch that radio on.....and listen away. You will not be dissapointed. Slownoris :) Sunday 10pm (1053/1089MW) TalkSport

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                        20.01.2001 03:34

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                        Years of retuning finally ended when I discovered Talk Radio - no music was played and the schedule was filled with intellegant and informative chat, conversation and phone ins - what appeals to me obviously doesn't get enough listeners to generate enough adverting revenue for a commercial radio station. That is why soon after my arrival Talk Radio was repackaged as Talk Sport and the output became almost entirely sports based. The coverage of sport is not on a par with 5 live from the BBC - though as Talk Sport is able to buy rights to new events it is improving. With summer 2000 being dominated by sporting events Talk Sport chose a good time for its rebranding - it's a shame so much quality talk had to be pushed aside to make way for sports coverage though, and I continue my search for a station I can listen to for more than thirty minutes.

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                        13.01.2001 01:25
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                        Recently, I came across Talksport whilst flicking through the radio channels on Sky digital. It’s a radio station about sport hence the name. I realised that there were a lot of sky pundits presenting the show like Alan Brazil, Rob Mcaffrey and many more. Well, anyway I thought I would listen to it, it seemed ok. At night time, it was no longer sport but general debate with James Whale, which was interesting. He’s a good presenter but a bit abusive and controversial, so he likes to think of himself. Well, anyway I was quietly impressed by this time, I only ever listened to Radio 5 live, so I thought I would give this station a go for a week or so. On the weekends, they change the slots and there are different presenters, and that’s when I came across Tommy Boyd. I hadn’t heard of him before, but I was very impressed. He was so good, the best presenter that Talksport have. He lets people talk, he had a good argument, and the topics were good. I really like his style of presenting, and on Sunday he has the ‘Human Zoo’ which I think is a good name for a show. I think that for sport, Talksport are poor, although they have good cricket coverage. However, for football Radio 5 Live are much better, and Nicky Campbell has without the doubt the best programme. But, on weekends, I do listen to Tommy Boyd, because he’s great. If you haven’t heard of him, do so he’s good……very good.

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                          03.12.2000 00:41

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                          When you stagger in from the pub Friday or Saturday night, instead of sticking on the a***s end of Match of the day before some totally un funny Irish comic comes on a pointless show who’s only on the program because he has an Irish accent and the assembled audience of polite middle class punters will clap at anything because their on telly and their mates might see em from Uni. . Why not sample the bitter taste of the wonderfully irreverent nonsense that is Tommy Boyd on Talk Radio where the basic idea of the show is for people with any brain cells to not phone in and laugh at the morons who do. Subjects like, All people on council estates are losers, and Boy bands are the future of music. Or my favorite. Robin Williams? Has he made the ten best films off all time.?.The callers lap it up and phone in like sheep to be cut to pieces by the wind up master. Too much radio is serious and I love it when a show just takes the p******s like Kenny Everett used to do so we can escape the tedium of the god awful format off of”Drive Time” radio with twin presenters reading a line each or the endless dross repeated over and over again on Radio 1,let alone late night Irish so called comics, aghhhhhhhhhh. Go on give it a go and you will see what I mean, or maybe I’m just silly.The rest of the day its pretty crap with tooooo much football talk even in mid July. I like the Test Match coverage though.

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                          14.11.2000 06:34
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                          Update 9th January at end of original opinion As a listener to the original Talk Radio I was surprised and a little sceptical when it was announced that the station was to become Talk Sport. I had liked the majority of Talk Radios shows and especially liked listening to the breakfast show while driving in to work. After the changeover I thought I would see how the new station would settle down and as I do like sport I felt sure there would be some shows that interested me. What did concern me was what would happen to the Talk Radio favourites like James Whale. I am very pleased to say that after taking a while to find a balance I think the station is now just about right, with quality sport like test matches or sports talk programmes like The Season Ticket with Tom Watt and non sport related programmes at night. For anyone who thinks they haven't heard of Tom Watt, he's an avid Arsenal fan and is probably best known for playing Lofty in Eastenders, although he's probably sick of still being reminded about it now. His shows are always about football and always interesting, if only due to the enthusiasm Tom brings to the programmes. I was also extremely happy to find that Talk Sport have did not decided to abandon their other non-sport popular nightime presenters so there is still a place for James Whale and other less well known presenters like Ian Collins. James Whale has only recently returned to presenting after having a major operation due to cancer and let's hope this talented man makes a full and speedy recovery. If you havent yet tried this station and you like your sport during the day and good quality and controversial entertainment at night it's worth listening to Talk Sport. ----------------------------- Update 9th January 2001 The “new” station of Talk Sport was one year old yesterday and they have marked the occasion by making change
                          s to some of the schedule. The main ones I have noticed so far are that Alan Brazil's breakfast show is now co-hosted by Mike Parry, who is extremely controversial but entertaining. The second is that Tom Watt’s Season Ticket will now only be on a Friday teatime. Although Tom is an excellent presenter and very entertaining his replacements for the 4PM to 7PM slot are extremely funny. Their names are Paul Hawksbee and Andy Jacobs. Who on earth are they I hear you cry. Well if I tell you that they were previously two of the scriptwriters behind the hugely successful Fantasy Football with David Badiel and Frank Skinner you will get an idea of the type of humour in their new show. Last night, for example, one of the topics they were asking for calls on was extra people that could be added to a Subbuteo set to make it more up to date. The suggestions included fighting football fans, team mascots like Elvis the Eel (Southend) and a new team made up entirely of footballers wives, Posh Spice, Louise etc. These two used to have a show on Sunday mornings called the Sunday morning kick about and a cricket show one night. I regularly listened to the Sunday show and quite often ended up laughing out load it was so funny. I don’t know yet whether they are still doing Sunday but if you get a chance to listen to the tea time show I would highly recommend it.

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                            05.10.2000 03:12

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                            Talksport used to be known as talk radio, until it made the transition from a 'anything to talk about' radio station, to one specialised in sport. I, do enjoy listening to the night time presenters, when it is not about sport. They have James Whale, Ian Collins, and the best by far Tommy Boyd. Next time you can't get to sleep, listen to Tommy Boyd, he his just ace. He lets people come on say whatever they want, no 'conservative radio' here. He his one of the most honest, and most entertaining person the radio station has to offer. He basically tells it has it is. You have to listen to him, you will like him. When they changed from talk radio to talk sport, their were a few eyebrows raised. As most of it's day times shows were axed. I, don't think it has really worked. Radio Five Live is the best at sport and news headlines 24 hours a day, and certainly have the best presenters. Talk sport has become like Sky sports nursery, where the likes of Alan Brazil, have been bought it. The best parts of Talk radio, are the ones they have retained from Talk Radio, and kept the old presenters. James Whale is also good, he comes on Monday to Thursday between 10 and 1 at night You can find it on 1053 and 1089 medium wave. They have live sporting coverage of European Champions league and cricket. Worth a listen!

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