Jim Rosenthal

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Jim Rosenthal
Jim Rosenthal.jpg
Jim Rosenthal

(1947-11-06) 6 November 1947 (age 72)
OccupationRadio/Television presenter
Years active1972–present
Spouse(s)Chrissy Smith
ChildrenTom (b. 1988)

Jim Rosenthal (born 6 November 1947) is an English sports presenter and commentator. In a long broadcasting career, Rosenthal has presented coverage of many sports including football, rugby, automotive racing, boxing and athletics. He has covered eight FIFA World Cups, three Rugby World Cups, two Olympic Games and 150 Formula One races.[1]

Early life[edit]

Rosenthal grew up in Oxford, the son of Maud Ruth (née Levy) and Albrecht Gabriel "Albi" Rosenthal, a music scholar and book seller.[2] His father was born in Munich, Germany. His paternal great-grandfather, Leo Olschki, founded the Leo S. Olschki Editore publishing house, and his maternal grandfather was German Jewish physician and writer Oscar Levy.[citation needed]

Rosenthal attended Josca's Preparatory School before going to Magdalen College School. He then joined the staff of the Oxford Mail and went on to work for BBC local and national radio.[3]

Rosenthal (left) with boxer Errol Christie, some time in the 1980s

Rosenthal worked for Snooker Scene magazine in the early 1970s where his editor was Clive Everton, and Rosenthal, a keen amateur hockey player, edited the short-lived Hockey Scene magazine, also owned by Everton.

Broadcasting career[edit]

Rosenthal worked for BBC Radio Birmingham before moving to Radio 2. He worked for the BBC Radio Sports Unit between 1976 and 1980.[4] His television career began when he joined ITV in 1980.[3] He was part of the ITV team covering the FIFA World Cup since 1982.[5]

In the 1980s, Rosenthal commentated on boxing matches for ITV when first-choice commentator Reg Gutteridge was otherwise engaged or unable to travel. In the 1990s, Rosenthal was a presenter of ITV's The Big Fight Live, which reached huge nationwide audiences for boxing contests involving the likes of Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank and Naseem Hamed, then the likes of Amir Khan and Joe Calzaghe when it returned in 2005.[1]

Rosenthal covered three Rugby World Cup campaigns for ITV, including anchoring coverage of England's victory in the 2003 final. He was the presenter of Formula One (F1) on ITV for eight years and presented 152 Formula One races from 1997.[5] In October 2005, it was announced that Steve Rider had been re-recruited by ITV from BBC Sport, to assume Rosenthal's former role for the 2006 Formula One season.[6]

Rosenthal presented ITV's Champions League football coverage, as well as their boxing output. He presented ITV4's Champions League Live show and the channel's live match coverage, until he was dropped in 2008 from his exclusive contract with ITV after 28 years with the channel. ITV's head of news and sport, Mark Sharman, said at the time:

Internationally, Rosenthal regularly hosted the UEFA Gala Dinner in Monaco, a football spectacular that is broadcast across the world. He has presented the live FA Cup draws for ITV and editions of BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek show when regular presenter Garry Richardson is on holiday.[citation needed]

In 2010, Rosenthal took on announcing duties on game show The Whole 19 Yards and reported for ITV Sport during the opening ceremony of the World Cup in South Africa.[7] In September of that year, he joined Channel 5 to front their Europa League football coverage.[8] Rosenthal said: "I've covered many different sports throughout my career, but football has always been my first love. It's tremendous to be back covering the game at the highest level."[9] His first appearance was on 16 September 2010 covering the game between Liverpool and Steaua Bucharest from Anfield.[citation needed]

In 2011, Rosenthal became the lead presenter on the boxing channel BoxNation.[citation needed]

He is currently the lead presenter of matchday coverage on Manchester United's in-house channel MUTV and is one of the presenters of Amazon Prime's Premier League coverage.


Rosenthal has tried his hand at acting in Renford Rejects and Footballers' Wives.[10]


He has twice been named as the Royal Television Society's Sports Presenter of the Year. He was the main anchor of ITV's BAFTA winning coverage of the 2003 Rugby World Cup, which took him to Australia for the final.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Rosenthal has always been a loyal supporter of his childhood home team of Oxford United. He famously wore an Oxford United hat whilst hosting the ITV coverage of the 1986 Football League Cup Final from Wembley Stadium.[12] On 15 June 2010, Rosenthal was announced as a member of the Oxford United board of directors.[13] He resigned on 11 September 2012.[14]

His son, Tom, is a comedian who has starred in Friday Night Dinner on Channel 4 and Plebs on ITV2. Jim Rosenthal made a guest appearance as a commentator on a chariot race at the start of Plebs series 2.[15]


  1. ^ a b "Jim Rosenthal chats with Glynn Evans". BoxNation. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  2. ^ Long links with city life, blankgenealogy.com; accessed 6 November 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Jim Rosenthal on His Career, Progress of BoxNation". Boxingscene.com. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  4. ^ "Debrett's People of Today, Jim Rosenthal, Esq Profile". Debretts.com. 6 November 1947. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Jim Rosenthal – One of the most familiar faces in television sport". Performingartistes.co.uk. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Rider opts for some driver practice" The Times, 4 March 2006; Retrieved 2 April 2006
  7. ^ "ITV's World Cup 2010 Plans – News". TV Newsroom. 27 May 2010. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  8. ^ Plunkett, John (15 September 2010). "Jim Rosenthal to front Channel 5 football coverage". The Guardian. London, UK.
  9. ^ "Jim Rosenthal to helm Channel 5 football". Digital Spy. 15 September 2010. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  10. ^ "Jim Rosenthal – Ask A Silly Question – Interviews". FourFourTwo. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  11. ^ "Jim Rosenthal – Sporting TV Presenter". Speakerscorner.co.uk. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  12. ^ Pritchard, David (11 September 2012). "Rosenthal quits in Oxford United bombshell". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  13. ^ "'Fans Forum'". Oxford United FC. 15 July 2010. Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
  14. ^ "Jim Rosenthal quits as Oxford United director". BBC Sport. 11 September 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  15. ^ "Jim Rosenthal goes back in time to commentate on son Tom's comedy Plebs". RadioTimes. 5 September 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
RTS Television Sport Awards
Best Sports Presenter

Succeeded by
Des Lynam
Preceded by
Des Lynam
RTS Television Sport Awards
Best Sports Presenter

Succeeded by
Mark Nicholas