Conor McNamara

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Conor McNamara
Residence Limerick, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Education BA (hons) TV & Radio, Post-graduate diploma in Business Studies
Alma mater University of Salford
University College Dublin (UCD)
Occupation Sports commentator

Conor McNamara is an Irish sports commentator who lives in Manchester, England. He works for BBC Radio 5 Live, Match of the Day and BBC Television’s Rugby Union coverage.

McNamara was born in Limerick, Ireland, where he attended the Jesuit Rugby School – Crescent College – whose alumni include Terry Wogan, Richard Harris, Bill Whelan (Riverdance Composer) as well as rugby internationals David Wallace and Peter Clohessy.

McNamara studied at the University of Salford in Manchester where he holds a Degree in Television and Radio. He also attended the Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School at University College Dublin where he received a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Studies.

Early career in Ireland[edit]

While still at University, McNamara did his first football commentary for Irish national radio station Today FM - the 1997 FA Cup Final.

He joined the Irish TV station TV3 in Dublin at its launch in 1998 as Sports Presenter/Commentator. His first commentary for national television was the Republic of Ireland versus Yugoslavia in 1998. He became TV3's UEFA Champions League commentator in 1999, before joining the BBC in 2002.

Career at the BBC[edit]

While McNamara regularly commentates for BBC Radio 5 Live and Match of the Day. Away from sport, he voices the character of 'Squawk The Parrot' on CBeebies show "Swashbuckle".[1]

Football commentary[edit]

McNamara's first national radio commentary for BBC Radio 5 Live was Bolton v Tottenham in April 2002. His first Match of the Day commentary for BBC television was Everton versus Aston Villa in October 2004.

McNamara regularly commentates on the Premier League, The FA Cup, the UEFA Champions League and internationals. He has worked at 1998 FIFA World Cup, 2006 FIFA World Cup, 2010 FIFA World Cup, 2014 FIFA World Cup as well as UEFA Euro 2004, UEFA Euro 2008 and UEFA Euro 2012.

In both 2014 and 2015, McNamara was nominated as Football Supporters' Federation Commentator Of The Year.[2][3]

Rugby commentary[edit]

McNamara commentates on rugby union for BBC television and radio. He regularly covers Ireland's games for BBC radio. McNamara commentated on all 13 games TV3 Ireland covered for the 2007 Rugby World cup alongside BBC colleague Philip Matthews.[4] McNamara's first live TV commentary game for the BBC was Scotland versus Italy in the Six Nations Championship in 2011 and has commentated on at least one match at every tournament since. McNamara returned to TV3 for the 2015 Rugby World Cup as a presenter and commentator as TV3 had exclusive rights to the tournament and covered all games on TV3 and 3e alongside the like of Keith Wood, Peter Stringer and Stuart Barnes.[5]

Golf commentary[edit]

McNamara is part of the BBC’s golf commentary team and has worked at every The Open Championship since 2006. He has also regularly worked at The Ryder Cup,[6] The PGA Championship and The Solheim Cup.


McNamara is known to a younger, pre-school audience, as the voice of "Squawk"[7] the parrot on the British Academy of Film and Television Arts winning Cbeebies show Swashbuckle (TV series).[8]

Other BBC appearances[edit]

In 2011, McNamara's commentary featured prominently on the BBC's "Let it Live" campaign to promote digital radio.[9]

In 2012, his commentary was used on a similar campaign entitled "Don't miss a thing this summer".[10]

McNamara appears on Phil Williams’ Team Talk on Wednesday nights on BBC Radio Five Live with fellow BBC Sport broadcaster Dan Walker.[11]

In 2013, the video broadcasting website Vizibee ranked McNamara second in its list of top publishers.[12]


External links[edit]