23 April 1957 |
Richard Keys (born 23 April 1957, Coventry, England) is an English sports presenter, with a career starting in 1976 when he moved initially to London.
He has since worked for BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, Talksport, Al Jazeera, Fox Sports, ESPN Star Sports , BeIN Sports; and has presented over 4,500 football matches with Premier League games, World Cup Finals, Champions League Finals, FA Cup Finals, UEFA Finals and League Cup Finals in England and Scotland among them.
His career started in London in 1976 when he began working for the Fleet Street Sports Agency (HAYTER’s) until 1978.
He later moved to Liverpool and worked in Radio City as a football commentator. In 1982, he moved to Manchester to work in Piccadilly Radio as Sports editor and Football commentator. In 1984, Keys, accompanied by close friend Syd Sellerby moved back to London, where he joined the ITV network as the main anchor at the breakfast show called TV-am. Whilst working at TV-am he also commentated on football matches for ITV and cycling for Channel 4 including two Tours de France.
Keys was one of the presenters for the Sports Channel on British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB) in Spring 1990. When BSB merged with Sky in 1991, the channel was renamed Sky Sports. He presented TV-am for the final time on 28 December 1990 before leaving for Sky Sports.
There he presented Sky Sports coverage  of Premier League football since the league's inception in 1992. He was the presenter of the flagship Super Sunday and also presented Sky's Monday Night Football, which coincided with Sky gaining rights for the UEFA Champions League. Later he fronted all of Sky Sports Champions league coverage.
In 2008, Keys also presented the UEFA Euro 2008 for Al Jazeera Sports.
Resignation from Sky Sports
In January 2011, Keys resigned as a Sky presenter after making derogatory comments about female assistant referee Sian Massey. His off-air comments about Massey and the fitness of women to officiate at football matches were recorded and leaked. Further clips were leaked showing co-presenter Andy Gray and Keys behaving in a sexist manner. Both men lost their jobs.
Keys apologised for the "prehistoric banter" and said: "Such comments were made off-air to work colleagues, and were, of course, never intended to be broadcast." He added that "If off-air conversations of television and radio presenters were recorded, there would be no one left working. That is not to defend what happened."
Keys has later joined talkSPORT radio, where he presents on Saturday evenings. Later in 2011, Keys returned to television broadcasting launching the boxing channel Boxnation with boxing promoter Frank Warren.
From the age of four, Richard Keys had a passion for football, ever since his father took him to watch Coventry City play Swansea Town in old Third Division South. He went to school at Whitley Abbey comprehensive school, in which he was head boy. 
Richard met his wife Julia in 1980. They married in 1982 and have two children: Jemma (born 1985, currently an actress) and Joshua (born 1989, currently an assistant producer in the USA).
In 2003, Keys has received an Honorary title from Coventry University (Honorary Doctor of Letters – Dlitt) for outstanding services to sports broadcasting.
In 2012, Keys and Andy Gray received the best sports programme prize for their talkSPORT show at the Sony Radio Academy Awards.
He has also received a variety of best sports presenter awards from different publications.
In addition Keys and his wife Julia Keys are patrons for the Willow Foundation a charity for people with special needs, founded by the former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson, in memory of his late daughter Anna.
In 2002, Keys and Gray raised £64,000 for charity in the ITV show Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
Al Jazeera and Talksport
In June 2013 it was confirmed that Al Jazeera had agreed a contract with former Sky Sports football presenters, Richard Keys and Andy Gray. They both present from Doha in Qatar and present football including the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup. Coverage started for the 2013-14 season whilst they continued to present their TalkSport show from Qatar.
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- Gibson, Owen (26 January 2011). "Richard Keys resigns from Sky Sports after sexism storm". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
- Attenborough, Frederick (2014). "Jokes, pranks, blondes and banter: recontextualising sexism in the British print press". Journal of Gender Studies (Taylor & Francis) 23 (2): 137–154. doi:10.1080/09589236.2013.774269. Pdf.
- "Richard Keys". talkSPORT. Retrieved 2013-08-17.
- "Richard Keys- Profile Page - Coventry University". Alumni.coventry.ac.uk. Retrieved 2013-08-17.
- "Andy Gray and Richard Keys win Sony Radio Academy Award for best sports programme - Mirror Online". Mirror.co.uk. 2012-05-14. Retrieved 2013-08-17.
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- "Richard Keys". Willowfoundation.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-08-17.
- "EXCLUSIVE: Keys and Gray are back on TV! Shamed duo sign up for comeback in Qatar". Daily Mail. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
- "Former Sky Sports duo Keys and Gray slip back onto British screens". Daily Mail. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2013.