Des Kelly

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For other people named Des Kelly, see Des Kelly (disambiguation).

Desmond "Des" Kelly (born 1965) is a British journalist and broadcaster.

He presents a live sport entertainment show on BT Sport called Life's A Pitch, Monday to Thursday night at 10pm. Kelly is also Executive Producer of the programme, which launched on 5 August 2013.[1]

Kelly is a presenter on talkSPORT commercial national radio station, which broadcasts from London across the United Kingdom. He is the host of The Press Pass every Sunday, from 6pm to 8pm, a show introduced on the first weekend of the Premier League season in August 2011. And is co-presenter with Colin Murray on Tuesday mid-mornings from 10am to 1pm.

Journalism[edit]

A past winner of the SJA Sports Columnist of the Year award, Kelly was nominated as UK Press Gazette Sports Writer of the Year and commended on four separate occasions by the Sports Journalists' Association for his articles.

In 2012 Kelly was named among the top 10 most influential sportswriters in Britain by the trade publication, UK Press Gazette.[2]

Kelly was a sports columnist on The Daily Mail for nearly a decade, having joined the paper in 2004. He left to concentrate on his BT Sport programme. A contributor to Sky News and BBC Breakfast, he is also a regular member of the BBC Radio Five Live Fighting Talk panel show and has appeared on Sportsweek and the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

Previously, Kelly was the Acting Editor and Deputy Editor of the Daily Mirror. Kelly replaced Piers Morgan after he was sacked for publishing faked photos of Iraqi prisoners being "tortured" by British troops[3] and edited the paper in the wake of that controversy. Kelly was also 'forced out' of the Mirror later in 2004 when Richard Wallace was handed the position.[4]

He is a former Assistant Editor and Head of Sport of the Daily Express, football editor of the Sunday Express, and the Chief Sports Reporter of the now defunct Today newspaper. He was previously a columnist for The Sunday Times, has written for GQ, appeared in the German newspaper Bild and also L'Équipe in France.

Broadcasting[edit]

Kelly was part of the BBC1's Inside Sport presenting team, which was hosted by Gabby Logan between 2007 and 2009. His contributions included interviews with Michael Schumacher,[5] Arsène Wenger,[6] Petr Čech[7] and a piece on GB Blind Football.[8]

Des has made television appearances on the BBC's Match of the Day 2 and remains the only journalist to appear as a pundit on either show. He has also guested on Channel 4's Clive Anderson's Sports Talk Show, Sky Sports' Hold the Back Page show and one of his first assignments was to provide live reports for Sky News from England's 3–0 win over Poland in 1989. He has been a contributor to a number of programmes, including BBC's The Noughties... Was That It? and Britain's Most Annoying People as well as GMTV and others.

On BBC Fighting Talk, Kelly is nicknamed "The Fonz" and "The Fruit Machine". He is known as "The Fruit Machine" in honour of a popular fancy dress anecdote. His "Fighting Talk" theme tunes are Happy Days and a traditional Irish reel.[9]


Outside journalism[edit]

Kelly is patron of the Great Britain Blind Football team and opened the new Royal National College for the Blind Paralympic Centre in Hereford.[10][11] He is also a member of the Jaguar Sports Academy and is on the judging panel for the Laureus World Sports Awards.

Kelly has also been an Executive Consultant for the PR agency Hill & Knowlton and director of the internet company Fast Web Media. At Hill and Knowlton he was Master of Ceremonies at various corporate nights involving supermodels Jerry Hall and Petra Nemcova, football manager Arsène Wenger, the BBC Match of the Day team, Cilla Black, chef Antony Worrall Thompson, the cricketers Nasser Hussein and Jeff Thomson and footballer Marcel Desailly.

He has completed two London Marathons, the Network Q Rally of Great Britain twice,[12][13] the Arctic Rally, the Belgium Bianchi Rally and others. He took part in the world's first two-seater F1 race with Fernando Alonso at Donington Park. He completed in the 2007 Isle of Wight Round The Island race on board an Extreme 40 sailing boat, made a parachute jump for MENCAP, has run with the bulls in Pamplona.[14] and climbed Kilimanjaro as part of a Football League team raising funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care in the summer of 2011.[15]

Personal[edit]

Kelly lives in Bristol. Born in London of an Irish family, he was educated at Wimbledon College and has a University of Surrey BA (Hons) in English and History from Froebel College in Roehampton, London.[16] TV presenter Carol Vorderman is a former girlfriend. After meeting at a Christmas party in 1999 they lived together in central London from early 2001. After nearly six years together, they split in December 2006. They rekindled the relationship in October 2007[17] but split again in 2010.

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