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Richardson presents final ever Sportsweek after 20 years

Garry Richardson

Broadcaster Garry Richardson has presented the final ever edition of his flagship BBC Radio 5 Live programme Sportsweek, after 20 years and more than 850 shows.

Yesterday (Sunday September 15th), Richardson broke the news live on air that the programme was to be his last. Following interviews with the coaches of the England men’s football (Gareth Southgate), rugby union (Eddie Jones) and cricket (Trevor Bayliss) teams, Richardson read a personal and pognant message. 

“It’s 20 years next month since I first started presenting Sportsweek and today is my final programme,” he said. “It’s been 20 years of getting up at 3.30am in the morning.

“The best part of 12 months ago, I told my bosses here at the BBC it was time for a lie-in on Sunday mornings. So I’d like to thank the people who have made it possible. I reckon I have presented well over 850 editions of Sportsweek and most of the programmes have been produced by Rob Smith.

“Rob has been an outstanding producer and a brilliant editor. Rob, thank you. I’ll still be broadcasting weekly on BBC radio, but from next Sunday I won’t be getting up quite so early.

“When you’ve done something so long that you really enjoy, it’s not easy to say I’m going to call it a day, but today is that day. Thank you for listening. Bye bye.”

You can listen to the message below, in a tweet posted by BBC journalist Mitch Mansfield.

The BBC is yet to announce who or what will replace Sportsweek in the Sunday-morning schedule. Long-serving station controller Jonathan Wall was recently appointed Head of BBC Sounds and his successor is still to be announced.

Richardson was renowned as a tenacious interviewer and held a host of big names to account on the show, which always featured a national newspaper journalist as his studio guest.

Several took to Twitter to wish the veteran broadcaster well and say they hoped his tradition of original journalism would be upheld by the station.

Oliver Holt, chief sports writer for the Mail on Sunday, said: “Garry Richardson is a superb journalist. Listening to Sportsweek has been a ritual 4 me for 20 years. Congratulations on a job v v well done.”

Owen Gibson, head of news for The Guardian, wrote: “Sad to hear Garry Richardson bowing out after 20 years of Sportsweek setting the agenda every Sunday morning.

“Hope 5 Live remembers there’s a place on the schedule for intelligent sports journalism and doesn’t fully climb aboard the banter bus.”

You can see a selection of messages below. 


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