Colin Murray at Live 8, July 2005
10 March 1977
Dundonald, Castlereagh, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
|Occupation||Radio and Television Presenter|
|Known for||Presenting Match of the Day 2, 5 Live Sport, Fighting Talk
Formerly Channel 5 football and BBC Radio 1
Colin Murray (born Colin Wright on 10 March 1977) is a British sports and music radio and television presenter. In 2010, he became host of BBC Television's Match of the Day 2 on BBC Two, while still anchoring shows on BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Live Sport and Fighting Talk and was still presenting on BBC Radio Ulster. He has previously hosted regular Channel 5 television and BBC Radio 1 shows . In 2007, he was named Music Broadcaster Of The Year at the Sony Radio Academy Awards.
Born and raised in Dundonald, east of Belfast, Murray first trained and worked as a news journalist. With a passion for both music and sport, he later moved into music journalism and publishing, before making his national radio debut in 1999 on Radio 1 in a short spell co-hosting The Session music show. This was followed by a television debut in 2002 as one of six co-presenters on Channel 4's short-lived morning show RI:SE. From 2003 onwards, Murray established himself as a music radio presenter on the weekday daytime Colin and Edith show alongside Edith Bowman.
In 2006 Murray began his first role on BBC Radio 5 Live hosting the sports themed Saturday morning comedy panel game Fighting Talk, and also began presenting Channel 5's live UEFA Cup football coverage on midweek evenings. In 2006 he moved shows on Radio 1, departing Colin and Edith to front the late night weekday evening music vehicle, The Colin Murray Show. In 2008 he also began presenting The Late Show with Colin Murray, a once a week late night music show for Radio Ulster. In 2009 he left Radio 1 to take on the additional roles at 5 Live – hosting Kicking off with Colin Murray on Friday nights, and 5 Live Sport on Sunday afternoons. In 2010 he moved from presenting live football on Channel 5, to fronting the BBC's Match of the Day 2 Sunday night highlights show.
Life and career
1977–1993: Early Life
Murray was born in 1977 in the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald in Castlereagh Borough (a suburb of the Greater Belfast urban area in Northern Ireland), and grew up in Dundonald's Ballybeen estate. He was educated at the Regent House Grammar School in Newtownards, and later at Dundonald High School, leaving after GCSEs. Hyperactive since childhood, Murray was asked to leave the grammar school due to what was perceived by teachers as a tendency to disruption – always asking awkward questions or telling jokes – traits he later identified as ideal for his future career in presenting, and which he felt should really have been nurtured by teachers.
1994–2002: Early career and Radio debut
After leaving school, Murray went on to study journalism full-time. He started work as a news journalist, working both in Northern Ireland as a trainee for The News Letter, before in 1994 moving to Toronto, Canada, for a year, working on a fellowship for the Toronto Sun. After returning from Toronto he moved into music journalism, writing for newspapers about rock and pop bands, including establishing a long standing column in the Irish Sunday People, before moving into music magazine business with a new title called BLANK. After Murray set it up and acted as co-publisher, Blank became the highest circulating music magazine in Ulster. After Blank was merged with another title, Murray left the magazine.
After Blank, Murray co-presented the weekly live music programme Session in Northern Ireland on BBC Radio 1, with BBC Radio Ulster presenter Donna Legge, broadcast only in Northern Ireland. Murray had initially thought the audition was for a show on BBC Radio Ulster. That was followed with six months in 1999 presenting the main national The Session programme from Tuesdays to Thursdays. Spells deputising for hosts of other major Radio 1 shows also followed.
By 2002 Murray's work in radio and television earned him an audition as one of six co-presenter of Channel 4's new national breakfast television show, RI:SE. Having initially auditioned as the entertainment presenter, Murray was instead was chosen as a news presenter. While at RI:SE he continued to co-host the evening session in Northern Ireland with Donna Legge one day a week, commuting between the Channel 4 studios near Heathrow and Northern Ireland. His time with RI:SE was brief and unhappy, with Murray later stating it "scared me off TV for a long time".
2003–2008: Radio Career
By 2003, Murray had teamed up with Edith Bowman (his former co-host from RI:SE) to work together on Radio 1 presenting their own Colin and Edith show. It began in September 2003 in the weekend late morning slot, but from March 2004 it was moved to the weekday afternoon slot. The partnership increased the listener figures to a decade high of 5.5 million.
In 2006 Murray became the new presenter of BBC Radio 5 Live's comedy sports panel quiz show, Fighting Talk, his first regular show on 5 Live. Broadcast live on Saturdays mornings, his first show was on 4 February. Also in February 2006, Murray became the anchor for Channel 5's midweek evening live European UEFA Cup football television coverage, with former anchor John Barnes acting as a roving reporter.
In 2006, Murray left the Radio 1 Colin and Edith show to start The Colin Murray Show, a new music show on the same station, from September, showcasing new and alternative music in the Mondays to Thursdays 10pm – Midnight slot, with Edith remaining in the lunchtime slot. Murray was inevitably compared with the late holder of the slot, John Peel, with Murray stating "What I like is that it's always represented honesty, and never been influenced by what's supposed to be cool at the time. Peel played music he liked; I just play music I like". In 2007 there was a year on year increase in listeners to the slot of 160,000.
From February 2008 Murray also began presenting a weekly late night music show on BBC Radio Ulster in Northern Ireland. After failing to find a suitable sound location, he actually presents the show from his own house, in his bedroom, drawing on his extensive music collection as well as new music downloaded onto iTunes. It began as a Saturday night show, but later moved to Fridays.
2009– Present: Departure from Radio 1 and Television Career
In 2009 Murray resigned from his Radio 1 late night show, to expand his work at BBC Radio 5 Live, becoming the new presenter of 5 Live Sport on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons, in time for the start of the 2009/10 football season. The Friday slot is a weekend preview show, Kicking off with Colin Murray, while the Sunday show comprises six hours of live sports coverage. Kicking Off saw a close to 20 percent increase in listeners after its first year, according to September 5, 2011 figures. Having taken a self-imposed two months holiday from work before starting at 5 Live, the 5 Live shows had to start without him while he recovered from a bout of H1N1 swine flu.
In 2010 Murray left Channel 5's football team to replace Adrian Chiles as presenter of the BBC's Match of the Day 2 football highlights television programme, broadcast on Sunday nights on BBC Two as a companion show to the flagship Saturday night Match of the Day show on BBC One. Reeson's Rumour-Mill recently postulated that following his replacement of Adrian Chiles, the BBC received multiple complaints regarding his questionable dress sense along with his untidy and shabby appearance. He also hosted the BBC Two nightly highlights show for the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosted in South Africa through June and July.
In sports television, Murray has also presented coverage of late-night American Football and the European Poker Tour for Channel 5. From January 2010, Murray has also presented the BBC's televised coverage of the annual BDO World Darts Championship, alongside Bobby George. In music television, Murray has co-hosted Glastonbury Festival coverage for both BBC Three (and Radio 1), presented a late-night music show Ear Candy on Channel 4, under the 4music strand, and guest presented the BBC music show Top of the Pops. He has also presented ITV2's coverage of the Brit Awards. In documentary television, in 2010 Murray co-wrote and presented the BBC Two documentary Davis v Taylor: The '85 Black Ball Final, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1985 World Snooker Championship final.
As a game show presenter, Murray has co-presented the Channel 4 challenge show Born Sloppy with Sara Cox, fronted the Soduku based game show Street-Cred Sudoku broadcast on UKTV G2 in 2005. and the Channel Five quiz show Payday in 2007. Other TV work has included presenting shows on BBC Three such as EastEnders Revealed, a companion show to the popular soap series. As a narrator, Murray has appeared on the BBC television series Can't Take It With You, and Boys Will Be Girls on E4. He has also provided the narration for the gameshow Scream if You Know the Answer! on Watch, alongside host Duncan James.
As a celebrity contestant/participant on various television shows, Murray has appeared as Mark Knopfler on Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes in 2005, performed in Comic Relief does Fame Academy in 2007, competed in the Celebrity MasterChef in 2009, and been the Dictionary Corner guest on the Channel 4 game show Countdown.
Murray has continued his journalism work into his presenting career by writing a monthly 'radio diary' piece for The Guardian newspaper. In 2005 Murray created the radio documentary, The Trouble With Drugs. In October 2009, Murray published his first book, A Random History of Football, ISBN 978-1-4091-1290-7, through Orion Publishing, a compendium of random and relatively unknown stories about football. In 2007, Murray directed magician Chris Cox's Edinburgh Fringe Festival show, Everything Happens for a Reason. Murray has also compèred at the Leeds Festival since 2004. In 2003 he co-hosted the Kerrang! Awards with Edith Bowman.
Outside the UK, Murray has been a weekly fixture on The Fan 590's breakfast programme in Toronto, Canada; he appears on Fridays with frequent FT panelist Greg Brady and Jim Lang wherein he discusses the week's big sporting topics in the UK, as well as the upcoming weekend's Premier League (or either international, FA Cup or League Cup) action.
Murray has been a fan of Liverpool F.C. since childhood. He got five stars tattooed on his arm when Liverpool won the European Cup for the fifth time. He has also stated he is a Chester F.C. fan after falling in love with the club following their rise from closure and fronted by the fans. He was guest of honour at the end of season awards. On his role as both a football presenter and a fan, Murray said in 2009 that "The biggest stick I get when I'm presenting football is from Liverpool fans", and in 2010 "I like a laugh but I am serious also about football and the impartiality required to respect all football fans." Murray is also the Irish Football Association's Football for All ambassador.
Whilst living in Toronto, Canada, he became a supporter of the baseball team Toronto Blue Jays and a fan of Major League Baseball in general, and has since spent his annual summer holidays in North America watching MLB games.
During the pre-show sound check of the 12 December 2009 episode of Fighting Talk, Murray said that he had quit smoking six weeks earlier. However, in a November 2012 episode of Kicking Off, Murray mentioned that while a pre-recorded segment was playing he went outside and smoked.
Murray has won three Gold Sony Radio Academy Awards. In the 2007 Sony Awards he was named Music Broadcaster Of The Year,in 2005 awards he was given the Feature Award for a documentary he made titled The Trouble With Drugs, while in 2011 he took gold for best sport program Fighting Talk.
In 2002 Murray was named IPR Northern Ireland Entertainment Journalist of the Year, for his long running music column in the Irish Sunday People.
- TV Interview: Early riser Belfast Telegraph, 8 June 2002
- "Interview: Colin Murray, BBC Radio One presenter". The Scotsman. 21 October 2009.
- "Colin Murray: The pop picker who got serious". The Independent. 20 May 2007.
- Murray, Colin (31 August 2008). "The DJ and the Blue Jays". The Observer.
- Our Colin is going back to his roots Belfast Telegraph, 26 January 2008
- "Colin Murray – Biography". BBC Radio 1. undated. Archived from the original on 23 January 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
- "Biographies – Colin Murray – Presenter, Radio 1 and 5 Live". BBC Press Office. April 2010. Archived from the original on 23 January 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
- "Rise duo to replace Mark and Lard". BBC News. 25 February 2004.
- "Colin Murray takes over Fighting Talk on Five Live" (Press release). BBC. 31 January 2006.
- "Murray to join Barnes on Five’s new-look football line-up". Channel 5. 2 February 2006. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved 23 March 2007.
- "Colin and Edith radio show to end". BBC News. 30 June 2006.
- "Is Colin Murray living the dream?". BBC. 9 December 2009.
- "Colin Murray leaves BBC Radio 1". The Guardian. 17 March 2009.
- Match of the Day 2 Scores Highest Ever Rating, Murray's personal website, 30 August, 2011.Retrieved: 23 June 2012.
- "Swine flu forces Colin Murray to miss the kick-off of his radio football show". The Independent. 18 August 2009.
- "Colin Murray will present Match of the Day 2". BBC News. 22 April 2010.
- "Jim Rosenthal to front Channel 5 football coverage". The Guardian. 15 September 2010.
- "UKTV gets its digits on Sudoku obsession". Broadcast Magazine. 10 November 2005.
- "Scream If You Know The Answer!". Lion Television. undated. Archived from the original on 23 January 2011.
- "Episode 4". BBC Programmes – Celebrity MasterChef – Series 4. BBC. undated. "First broadcast 17 June 2009"
- New 'Dave' Show Driving Wars Begins on October 19th, Murray's personal website, 5 September, 2011.Retrieved: 23 June 2012.
- "Chris Cox Everything Happens For A Reason". BroadwayBaby. 12 July 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2007.
- "Dry Your Skies". NME. 27 Aug 2004.
- Fighting Talk: 17 March 2012, BBC Radio 5 Live
- "Colin to host Football for All awards night". Irish Football Association. Retrieved 31 October 2008.
|BBC Radio Five Live
Fighting Talk presenter