Off the Ball (radio series)

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Off the Ball
Running time120 minutes (afternoon show), 90 minutes (evening show)
Country of originScotland
Home stationBBC Radio Scotland
Hosted byStuart Cosgrove & Tam Cowan
Original release1994 – present
Opening theme"Let Me Clear My Throat" by DJ Kool
WebsiteOff the Ball
PodcastOff the Ball podcast

Off the Ball is a radio show broadcast twice on Saturdays from 12:00pm – 2:00pm and around 5:35pm – 7:00pm on BBC Radio Scotland. It takes a satirical and sideways view at football in Scotland, self-styling itself as "The most petty and ill-informed football show on radio!".


The show began in 1994 and is currently presented by Stuart Cosgrove and Tam Cowan and at least two weekly guests; usually one from the world of Scottish football and one from Scottish culture. When the show first began, it was hosted by Cowan, Greg Hemphill and Sanjeev Kohli. Occasionally, other presenters will cover for Cosgrove or Cowan if they are not available, including Jane Lewis and Annie McGuire.

The BBC briefly suspended Cowan from the programme in 2013 following controversy over remarks he made about women's football in his Daily Record newspaper column.[1]


Features of the show include the Team of the Week, where listeners are invited to contribute players for a subject suggested by Cowan. For example, if the subject was "The Female Fashion XI", then players such as Alan Bra-zil and Lionel Dress-i would be in the team. In a long-running joke, former Clyde player Tommy Ring is almost always included in the team.

A song is always chosen to end the programme based on listeners' suggestions on a subject suggested by Cowan, usually related to a news event from that week. In the second show on a Saturday, a team or player of the day is chosen, and a song is also chosen as a tribute to that team or player. In the evening show, five songs are played related to the guest who appears on that show.


A weekly podcast of the show is produced and is available on a Saturday. It does not include any content from the evening programme. The show is also available on the BBC Sounds app for thirty days after the first broadcast.

Theme tune[edit]

The programme's theme tune is "Let Me Clear My Throat" by DJ Kool, followed by a snatch of the theme music from The Odd Couple.


  1. ^ Castle, Jill. "Tam Cowan returns to Off the Ball after BBC lift suspension". The Herald. Glasgow. Retrieved 11 February 2018.

External links[edit]