Absolute Radio has hired sports broadcaster Jon Champion as lead commentator of the station’s Barclays Premier League coverage for the 2014/2015 season.
Former Premier League defender and PFA chairman Clarke Carlisle will also become the station’s regular co-commentator for the 3pm games every Saturday, joining Ian Wright, Russ Williams and comedian Ian Stone.
It shows the station is continuing its commitment to live football under new owners Bauer Media.
Champion and Carlisle will both be on-air from 1.30pm for the build-up show with Russ Williams, before providing live commentary from 3pm. At the final whistle Jon hands over to Ian Wright and comedian Ian Stone, for post-match entertainment from 5-7pm, with reaction from the teams, fans, celebrities and football friends on the phone and via twitter @RnRFootball.
Champion’s new role at Absolute Radio sees him return to radio for the first time since 1995, having begun his career at BBC Radio York in the 1980s. In 1990 he was part of the BBC Radio Sports Department in London presenting the sports output on Radio 2. He was the first person to present a sports show on Radio 5 Live when it launched in 1994, and the following year he transferred across to BBC TV as one of the senior commentators on ‘Match of the Day’.
Absolute Radio’s Head of Presentation Paul Sylvester said “I grew up listening to Jon and when I think back to my formative years tuning into the football in the car with my Dad I can safely say that he’s very much part of why I love sport on the radio. Jon has an incredible command of the game, his knowledge and ‘goal commentary’ in particular is second to none, which will resonate with our audience”
The deal was struck in conjunction with USP Content, who will also continue to produce the programme with Absolute Radio.
Jon Champion said: “Radio was where it all began for me and I’m really excited to get back into the commentary box with Absolute Radio. The USP Content guys have helped put together a great show and I’m really looking forward to joining up with Russ, Clarke, Stoney and Wrighty on the Rock N Roll Football team.”