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Martin Kelner at Radio Aire in 1982
|Birth name||Martin Barry Kelner|
|Show||BBC Radio Leeds|
|Station(s)||BBC Radio Leeds|
|Time slot||12:00–15:00 Monday to Friday|
Martin B. Kelner is a British journalist, author, comedian and radio presenter. Throughout his radio career, Martin has been regularly accompanied by his "Frenchman" comedy sidekick, Edouard Lapaglie (the alter ego of Tony Quinn).
Early career, radio and TV broadcasting
Kelner studied Arts and Social Studies at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, but dropped out, and he was employed as a reporter on the Western Daily Press in Bristol and for the Oxford Mail. He then joined the Central Office of Information, for whom he worked in Bristol, Lambeth, South London, and in Birmingham.
Martin Kelner moved to Radio Hallam in Sheffield to begin his career in radio. He started reading the breakfast show news before moving on to his own late night show. There was a brief spell at London's LBC and Manchester's Piccadilly Radio, before Kelner moved to Leeds in 1981 and the fledgling Radio Aire.
He left Radio Aire in late 1982, and worked for Yorkshire TV for a time on a programme called Calendar It's The Weekend. He was also a co-presenter on a TV show called Living It Up. Other television excursions for Kelner include Brainwave, a daytime quiz show and Pick of the Week.
Around 1986, Kelner joined the BBC, presenting his own Saturday night show on BBC Radio 2, various stand-ins across the network, and later his own Saturday afternoon show on Radio Two from 1994 to 1996. Around the same time he was presenting a local radio late night show broadcast from the Radio Leeds studios and broadcast across the BBC Night Network in the north, on which he first gave airtime to radio comedy sketches from Caroline Aherne. She portrayed the Mrs Merton character on his radio show ad-libbing conversations with Kelner for around eight years. He also introduced Aherne into network broadcasting on Radio Two and the original BBC Radio Five.
He returned to Manchester to present the breakfast show on 100.4 Jazz FM, where he introduced another great comic talent to the public in the shape of Jake Yapp's Dora Dale, with whom Martin produced the hit BBC7 comedy show, Pleased To Meet You. This show was nominated for a Sony National Radio Award on 28 March 2007 in the category of Best Comedy Programme.
From 2006 until 2010 he presented his own podcast, the Piss Poor Podcast, accompanied for the most part by Edouard Lapaglie. He also appears on BBC Radio 5 Live as a regular panellist on Fighting Talk (twice finishing as series runner up and winning the series championship in 2013), and has contributed to Chart The Week on Richard Bacon's programme. His most regular radio slot had been the BBC Radio Leeds Breakfast Show which he co-presents Mondays to Thursday from 6:30am to 9:00am, but was reassigned to the lunchtime slot in November 2012.
Writing and journalism
Kelner's journalism includes a weekly column for The Guardian, Screen Break, taking a lighthearted look at the world of sport on TV, and a fortnightly column about radio. Screen Break finished on 31 December 2012; in his last column, Kelner provoked controversy on Twitter by describing Danny Baker as a "Self-regarding arsehole". He writes occasional travel pieces for The Mail on Sunday, and has written for The Independent, of which his brother Simon Kelner was executive editor. Kelner began writing for The Racing Post at the beginning of 2013.
Other publications he has written for include GQ, Men's Health, Later (now defunct), RCME, The Observer, Landrover Owner magazine, You magazine, and Public Servant, the local and national government journal. He also has contributed to the YouGov website.
His first book, about the outer suburbs of show business, was called When Will I Be Famous?. His second book, Sit Down and Cheer, looked at the history of sport on British television.
in the summer of 2013, Kelner had surgery to remove a sarcoma, and was cared for at St James Infirmary, Leeds. After the tumour was removed, he was treated at the hospital's Intensive Treatment Unit for a week, and later returned to his home in Wakefield for further recovery. In his blog post, Kelner noted that it would be early 2014 until he could fully "return to professional life". While he resumed his column in The Racing Post (at first on a semi-regular basis) and BBC Radio 5 Live later announced his return to Fighting Talk on 2 November, it is yet unknown when he would return to BBC Radio Leeds and resume his lunchtime programme.
- Kelner, Martin (30 August 2013). "Carry On Up The Nurse". Retrieved 31 October 2013.
- Martin Kelner's personal website including latest and archived Podcasts.
- Guardian Sports Columnists Index – Select Martin Kelner
- An overview of Kelner's radio career
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