Broadcast area United Kingdom Global
Frequency MW: 1053, 1071, 1089, 1107 kHz
11D (England/Wales/N. Ireland)
12A (Scotland)
Freeview: 723
Sky: 0108
Virgin Media: 927
First air date 14 February 1995 as Talk Radio UK
17 January 2000 as Talksport
Format Sports commentary
Sports discussion
Sports phone-in
Sports news
Audience share 2.2% (September 2014, RAJAR)
Owner Wireless Group
(News Corp)
Sister stations Talksport 2
Virgin Radio UK

Talksport (styled as talkSPORT), owned by Wireless Group, is a sports radio station and the Global Audio Partner of the English Premier League.

Broadcast from London to the United Kingdom, Talksport is the only national radio station broadcasting sport and sports coverage 24 hours a day, having dropped 39 hours of non-sports content on 2 April 2012.

Its content includes live coverage of sports, exclusive interviews with the leading names in sport and entertainment, phone-ins and discussion.

Talksport, alongside sister station Talksport 2, is an official broadcaster of the Euro 2016, Premier League, FA Cup, England friendly internationals, Football League, League Cup, Aviva Premiership, Super League, ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and NatWest t20 Blast, Royal London One-Day Cup, Indian Premier League, ICC World Twenty20, as well as broadcasting selected Champions League and Europa League games.

In the United Kingdom, Talksport is available on 1053 kHz, 1071 kHz, 1089 kHz, and 1107 kHz, DAB, Sky, Virgin Media, Freeview, on mobile, and online at Talksport will be available on Freesat from April 2016.

Outside the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, Talksport broadcasts live commentary of every Premier League match around the world in multiple languages including English, Spanish and Mandarin.

On 25 June 2016 Rupert Murdoch's News Corp announced that it was acquiring the parent Wireless Group company for $296 million.[1]

Talk Radio era

The station was originally and officially launched as Talk Radio UK on 14 February 1995, with Sean Bolger and Samantha Meah presenting the original Talk Radio Breakfast Show. However the first live broadcast had been Caeser the Geezer's phone-in which aired the previous night. Other presenters on Talk Radio included Jeremy Beadle, Scott Chisholm, Moz Dee, Tommy Boyd, Anna Raeburn, Gary Newbon, Terry Christian, Ronnie Barbour, Jonny Gould, and Dale Winton. Also joining the line-up were Caesar the Geezer and Wild Al Kelly, dubbed as shock jocks.

A year later Talk Radio launched a new breakfast show presented by Paul Ross and Carol McGiffin. Former BBC Radio 1 DJ Simon Bates also joined the station along with James Whale, Ian Collins, and Mike Dickin.

Talk Radio made their first foray into the world of sports radio rights bidding, by purchasing the rights to broadcast the Football League from BBC Radio Five Live for the 1997–98 season. In addition, the station broadcast their first FIFA World Cup from France in 1998, with them bringing in the Sky Sports commentary team of Alan Parry and Andy Gray to commentate on the major matches. Tony Lockwood, Clive Allen, and Dave Roberts covered additional games in France. Talk Radio also acquired up the rights to broadcast Manchester United's matches in the Champions League for the 1998–99 season.

Creation of Talksport

On 12 November 1998 TalkCo Holdings, whose chairman and chief Executive was former Sun Editor Kelvin MacKenzie, purchased Talk Radio.[2] This led to a mass clearout of presenters including Nick Abbot, Anna Raeburn, Tommy Boyd and Peter Deeley, with them putting in place a more sports oriented programming schedule, including The Sportszone with Alan Parry, Gary Newbon, Tony Lockwood, Tom Watt, and former Century Radio sports editor Dave Roberts presenting the weekend edition of The Sports Breakfast.

In late 1999, TalkCo, rebranded as The Wireless Group, announced a relaunch of Talk Radio to become the UK's first national commercial sports radio station called Talksport. The relaunch occurred at midnight on 17 January 2000 and was accompanied by the station moving from Oxford Street to a new studio in Hatfields on the South Bank of the River Thames. Now mainly dedicated to sport, the programming lineup was drastically altered, beginning with The Sports Breakfast show, a mid-morning motoring show called The Car Guys, with further sports programming in the afternoon and evening. Almost all the station's talk show presenters were axed at the time, including The Big Boys Breakfast with David Banks and Nick Ferrari, with only James Whale, Ian Collins, and Mike Dickin surviving. To complement their new format, Talksport purchased the rights to broadcast Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle in the UEFA Champions League, the FA Cup, England football internationals, UEFA Cup, England's winter cricket Tours to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, and India, British and Irish Lions tours to South Africa and New Zealand, and rights to the Super League, Rugby League World Cup, and World Title Boxing Fights.

The new line-up involved a number of presenters and commentators. They included Alan Brazil, Mark Nicholas, Chris Cowdrey, Geoffrey Boycott, Mike Parry, Peter Shilton, Brian Moore, Brough Scott, Tom Watt, Gary Newbon, Ian Darke, Tony Banks, and Alvin Martin.

UK Programming

Talksport's programming consists of sports talk, live coverage, discussion and phone-in debate 24 hours a day.

The weekday schedule begins with the morning's sports news, debate and reaction on The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast which is co-hosted by guest presenters including Dominic Cork, Ray Parlour and Ray Wilkins. Jim White follows with an in-depth look at the day's sport with interviews and discussion. Hawksbee & Jacobs present through the afternoon with sports gossip, interviews and chat, followed by Drive Time with Adrian Durham and Darren Gough round-up the day's sports news with debate.

Kick Off, hosted by Mark Saggers, then guides listeners through the evening's sporting action with live commentary and discussion. Andy Goldstein and Jason Cundy take further phone-calls and debate on The Sports Bar before handing over to the overnight show, either The Two Mikes or Extra Time, an overnight sports show with news, interviews and action from around the globe.

On Saturday and Sunday, Talksport has full coverage of the weekend's sport starting with The Weekend Sports Breakfast, followed by all the pre-match build-up on The Warm Up with Jon Richardson, Matt Forde and Max Rushden. Every weekend, you can follow the latest news and scores from around the grounds on Matchday Live and Sunday Exclusive, including live Premier League commentary, followed by a post-match phone-in, and The Press Pass on Sundays, a quick-witted analysis of the week's sports stories combined with reaction to all the Premier League action hosted by Ray Stubbs.

Talksport also broadcasts specialist programming long-running fishing-based phone-in, Fisherman's Blues, hosted by Nigel Botherway, Howzat!, a cricket show with Dominic Cork, Fight Club, a monthly boxing programme hosted by Gareth A. Davies, My Sporting Life with Danny Kelly, an in-depth interview with sporting legends, and Trans-Europe Express with Danny Kelly, a weekly European football show.

Notable presenters

Notable current presenters

Talksport have a selection of regular presenters and commentators, which include Adrian Durham, Alan Brazil, Andy Goldstein, Andy Gray, Andy Jacobs, Bob Ballard, Dominic Cork, Danny Kelly, Darren Gough, Gary Taphouse, Georgie Bingham, Jason Cundy, Jim White, Jon Richardson, Jim Proudfoot, Mark Saggers, Max Rushden, Nat Coombs, Paul Hawksbee, Ray Stubbs, Richard Keys, Sam Matterface, and Geoff Peters.

Former professional sportsmen provide expert comment on a variety of the station's programmes, including: Alvin Martin, Andy Gray, Bobby Gould, Danny Higginbotham, Jeff Probyn, Matt Holland, Mike Tindall, Micky Quinn, Michael Gray, Neil Warnock, Perry Groves, Ray Houghton, Ray Parlour, Ray Wilkins, Stewart Robson and Stuart Pearce.

The station also has a team of staff and freelance journalists and reporters bringing listeners the latest news and sport through their bulletins and programmes, including Graham Beecroft.

Notable former presenters

Talksport's original line-up included Alan Brazil, Mark Nicholas, Chris Cowdrey, Geoffrey Boycott, Alan Parry, Peter Shilton, Brian Moore, Brough Scott, Tom Watt, Gary Newbon, Ian Darke, Tony Banks, James Whale, Ian Collins, Derek Hatton, and Mike Dickin.

Other past presenters include: Colin Murray, Stan Collymore, Jon Gaunt, Nicky Horne, Tommy Boyd, Charlie Wolf, George Lamb, Bill Young, Gethin Jones, Mike Mendoza, Rhodri Williams, Jeremy Kyle, Dave Roberts, Chris Cooper, Rodney Marsh, Ian Wright, Rob McCaffrey, Russell Brand, Russ Williams, Johnny Vaughan, Steve Bower, Kelly Dalglish, and George Galloway.

Live sports coverage

Talksport and Talksport 2 has exclusive and non-exclusive rights to various sports in the UK:[3]

Horse racing

Programming highlights

Station management

Scott Taunton was previously the Business Development Director at UTV, responsible for radio and new media. A native of Australia, he has been working in the UK for a decade and took over from Kelvin MacKenzie as Chief Executive of Talksport in July 2005.

Liam Fisher is National Radio Controller for Talksport and Talksport 2, in addition to Talkradio and Virgin Radio UK.

Steve Morgan is Programme Director, and Mike Bovill is Managing Editor of Talksport 2.


In a number of areas, particularly in areas where the signal from the main 1089 and 1053 kHz transmitters overlap with each other, Talksport operates a number of filler transmitters on different frequencies:

The 1089 and 1053 kHz frequencies were originally used by BBC Radio 1 between November 1978 and June 1994.

It is also transmitted across the UK digitally via DAB digital radio, Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media and Freesat. Talksport is also streamed online; however, due to rights restrictions on live coverage, some live sport commentaries are not available online.

Since August 2011, several shows on Talksport have been available on Sirius XM satellite radio in the US and Canada.


According to the RAJAR audience figures for Q2/2014, Talksport's audience is 3.4 million adults in the UK,[21] which is highest achieved since the station launched as Talk Radio in 1995.

Talksport 2

The new station launched on 15 March 2016 as part of a Sound Digital's successful bid for second national commercial DAB multiplex. The launch date coincided with the opening day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival.

Talksport 2 is a 24-hour sports station which focusses on a broad range of live sporting action from the UK and around the world and includes rugby, cricket, tennis, golf, football and horse racing, plus US sport. On its first day, Talksport 2 broadcast commentary of India v New Zealand in the ICC World Twenty20, Atletico Madrid v PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League and Indian Wells Masters tennis.[22]

Since its launch, Talksport 2 has acquired broadcast rights to Aviva Premiership, Super League, ATP World Tour Masters 1000, ICC World Twenty20, NatWest t20 Blast, Royal London One-Day Cup, Indian Premier League, WGC Match Play, La Liga and Champions League.

It broadcasts specialist programming dedicated to the Football League, La Liga, European football, rugby league, rugby union, boxing, cricket, tennis, NBA, US sport, and golf.[23]

The winning bid also saw the return of Talkradio, as well as Virgin Radio.[24] Former Talksport chief executive Kelvin MacKenzie had proposed a rival sports station as part of Listen2Digital’s opposing bid for the second national commercial DAB multiplex.[25]

Talksport Live

Talksport is the global audio partner of the Premier League, which enables them to broadcast commentary of every Premier League match outside the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland in several languages including English, Spanish and Mandarin.[26]

Talksport Live also broadcasts selected fixtures in the FA Cup, League Cup and Bundesliga.[27]

Talksport South Africa

In April 2014, Talksport announced plans to launch South Africa’s first 24-hour sports radio station.[28]

The medium wave licence will broadcast to a potential audience of eight million people covering Gauteng province and taking in the commercial and administrative hubs of Johannesburg and Pretoria.

It is claimed Talksport 540AM will be modeled on its sister station in the UK to "deliver first class sports journalism, high quality debate and live match commentary to the South African audience."[28]

Other media

Books, DVDs, and games



  1. Gallivan, Rory (25 June 2016). "News Corp Buys Wireless Group for $296 Million" via Wall Street Journal.
  2. "About". talkSPORT. Retrieved 18 January 2007.
  3. "Press".
  4. MEDIA BRIEFS: Premiership games live on Talksport PR Week, 4 May 2001
  5. 1 2 talkSPORT Station History – 2003
  6. "TalkSport in legal row with BBC over Euro 2004 rights – Press Gazette".
  7. "Infront signs 2006 FIFA World Cup™ radio agreement with talkSPORT UK - Infront Sports & Media AG".
  8. "Sky Sports' Kelly Dalglish joins Talksport". Press Gazette. 11 August 2006. Retrieved 18 November 2008.
  9. Day, Julia (10 October 2006). "TalkSport wins Premiership rights" via The Guardian.
  10. Russell Brand returning to radio BBC News, 15 April 2009
  11. BBC radio loses third of live Premier League matches, 18 February 2010
  12. talkSPORT unveil Rugby World Cup plan Radio Today, 8 August 2011
  13. "Every Euro 2012 match to be broadcast on talkSPORT".
  15. "Premiership Rugby and talkSPORT in new deal".
  16. Plunkett, John (5 November 2012). "TalkSport snaps up radio rights to Lions' Australia tour". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  17. "TalkSport wins rights to Brazil World Cup".
  18. talkSPORT (29 January 2016). "talkSPORT 2 announces launch date".
  19. talkSPORT (20 May 2016). "talkSPORT to broadcast more English Premier League coverage than ever before".
  20. talkSPORT (16 May 2016). "talkSPORT announces presenter team for Euro 2016".
  21. talkSPORT (31 July 2014). "talkSPORT smashes audience record".
  22. "Talksport 2 announce launch date". talksport. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  23. "talkSPORT Schedule".
  24. "Digital Two applications published by Ofcom". Radio Today.
  25. Plunkett, John (9 February 2015). "TalkSport founder Kelvin MacKenzie in bid to launch rival station" via The Guardian.
  26. talkSPORT (3 September 2013). "Harness the power of the English Premier League".
  27. talkSPORT (5 July 2013). "About".
  28. 1 2 talkSPORT (2 April 2014). "UTV awarded South African broadcasting licence".
  29. Own goal for Soccer Bet Press Gazette, 17 October 2003
  30. Tryhorn, Chris (15 September 2004). "MacKenzie takes TalkSport to TV". Media Guardian. Guardian News and Media.
  31. talkSPORT Hand Back Television Licence to OFCOM, 11 August 2006
  32. Dowell, Ben (6 July 2007). "Channel 4 wins radio multiplex bid". Media Guardian. Guardian News and Media.
  33. Plunkett, John (14 October 2008). "4 Digital radio partners in crisis talks". Guardian News and Media.
  34. Radio Today Archived 3 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  35. - For men who like to talk sport talkSPORT, 26 July 2010
  36. Sport Magazine Archived 29 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  37. talkSPORT Road Trip (DVD)
  38. talkSPORT – Legends & Anthems (CD)
  39. The Talksport Book of World Cup Banter: All the Ammo You Need to Settle Any Argument
  40. Why Are You So Fat?: The TalkSPORT Book of Cricket's Best Ever Sledges
  41. Deans, Jason (5 December 2000). "TalkSport hails victory in sports row". MediaGuardian. Guardian News and Media.
  42. Hodgson, Jessica (12 April 2002). "DJ fired after royal death threat". MediaGuardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 16 August 2008.
  43. talkSPORT Station History – 2002
  44. Deans, Jason (6 April 2004). "Brazil reinstated by TalkSport". MediaGuardian. Guardian News and Media.
  45. Plunkett, John (18 May 2006). "Brazil out of the World Cup". MediaGuardian. Guardian News and Media.
  46. Dowell, Ben (5 July 2006). "Brazil back in World Cup". MediaGuardian. Guardian News and Media.
  47. Tryhorn, Chris (7 August 2006). "TalkSport rapped for 'derogatory' comment". MediaGuardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 16 August 2008.
  48. "Talksport rapped over gay jibes". BBC News. 20 August 2007. Retrieved 6 May 2008.
  49. "Radio host James Whale is sacked". BBC News. 6 May 2008. Retrieved 6 May 2008.
  50. Martin, Nicole (18 November 2008). "Gaunt Suspended For "Nazi" Slur". The Telegraph. Retrieved 18 November 2008.
  51. Jon Gaunt still pursuing legal action against TalkSport, 20 January 2009
  52. "Rod Lucas dropped by Talksport". The Telegraph. 19 November 2008. Retrieved 19 November 2008.
  53. DJ named on BNP member list joined to research story, 19 November 2008
  54. "Andy Gray and Richard Keys move to Talksport". BBC News. 8 February 2011.
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