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Derek Thompson (sports commentator)

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Derek Thompson in May 2006

Derek Thompson (born 31 July 1950 in Middlesbrough, North Riding of Yorkshire) is a presenter and commentator of horse racing on Radio Five Live and At the Races in Britain.


He attended Guisborough Grammar School and gave his first commentary - on a point-to-point meeting - at the age of 15. His broadcasting career began at the age of 18 on local radio. In 1972 he was based in London working for BBC Radio Sport, for whom he covered a number of Grand Nationals alongside Peter Bromley, Michael Seth-Smith and Michael O'Hehir.

In 1981, he moved to ITV, where he appeared on World of Sport and midweek racing coverage. In 1985, he joined the newly formed Channel 4 Racing team as a presenter. He was also part of a team of three who helped to negotiate for the release of the kidnapped Epsom Derby winner Shergar.[1] Thompson also commentates for At The Races and was a regular on talkSPORT radio.

On 26 June 2012 it was announced that Thompson would be stepping down from his duties for a short while as he was to undergo surgery to remove a tumour from near his bowel.[2]

In October 2012, it was announced that Thompson would not be staying with Channel 4 Racing when production of the programme moves from High Flyer to IMG in January 2013.[citation needed] The new production company dropped Thompson along with fellow veteran John McCririck. He returned to BBC Radio for the duration of the Cheltenham Festival in 2013.


  1. ^ "Horse Hunt Continues", Leader-Post, 5 March 1983, p. A10. Retrieved 15 November 2013
  2. ^ "C4's Tommo to stand down for cancer surgery", Racing Post, 26 June 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2013