Pundits on Fighting Talk

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Pundits are generally British sports journalists, sportspeople or stand-up comics. However, some non-UK pundits have made appearances, notably Greg Brady (who participates regularly by ISDN from Toronto, Canada). On 27 October 2007, Greg made an appearance in the studio due to being in London for the first NFL regular season game to be played outside the USA. He has made appearances in the UK every year since then, including the 24 October 2009 broadcast which came live from Hull.

Other non-UK contestants include Australian comedians Charlie Pickering and Jim Jeffries, English-born New Zealand comedian Al Pitcher and German comedian Henning Wehn. American comic Doug Stanhope made an appearance on the 13 September 2008 episode, as he was touring Britain at the time. Adam Richman, host of Man vs. Food, appeared on 17 November 2012, but did so on ISDN rather than in studio.

Nicknames in Fighting Talk[edit]

Certain pundits who have appeared on the show have been allocated nicknames. These tend to be allocated to regular pundits or those who have made previous notable appearances.

Real Name Nickname
Kriss Akabusi Ak, Ak, Ak, Ak
Dougie Anderson 11 Answers, The Husky Voiced Scotsman, And while we're at it, "3 Answers", Ando
Roger Black Roger Pretty Boy
John Bishop "We'll have no Bashing of the Bishop"
Greg Brady Sleepy Eyes, The Beast, "Our American-Canadian" , Morning Glory
Mark Bright Under-rated, Mr. Brightside
Will Buckley Son of Psycho, The Mild-Mannered Man of Fighting Talk, The Meek
Steve Bunce The Aubergine, The Shirt, The 4th BeeGee, The Seagull, Birdman, Buncey
Steve Cram Lights Out
David Croft David "I'm Going For The Obvious" Croft
Andy Goldstein The New Martin Kelner
Stuart Hall Crayzee Talker!!
Ian Holloway The Lunchbox Legend
Hazel Irvine The Female Martin Kelner
Iyare Igiehon Ninja
Jim Jeffries The Foreigner
Des Kelly The Fonz, The Bristol Fonzerelli, The Fleet Street Fonzerelli, The Fruit Machine
Martin Kelner King of the One-liners, The Thinking Man's Martin Kelner, King of the Bad-Gags
Steve Lamacq Lammo
Katharine Merry Two Sandwiches
Bob Mills The spokesman for lower league football
Sue Mott Her with the teeth
Eleanor Oldroyd The First Lady of Fighting Talk
Gavin Peacock Fu Manchu
Richard Park The Name-Dropper
Jeff Probyn The Lion
John Rawling Psycho, J.R., The Boy Rawlings, Sir John of Rawling
Ian Stone Ian "Heart Of" Stone, The Cypriot Warrior, Stand Easy for Ian Stone, The Officer of Comedy
Tom Watt "An Annoyance", "Crow-face", "The Interrupter"
Mark Watson "100% Mark Watson" "Metrosexual"
Henning Wehn In it to win it, Schnell Schnell Jawohl

Pundit themes[edit]

Recurring and even guest pundits on Fighting Talk are and have sometimes been given their own themes, which are played during their introduction at the beginning of the show. Most make some kind of comedic reference to the relevant pundit.

Pundit Theme
England Kriss Akabusi When You're Smiling by Bing Crosby
England Terry Alderton Theme from Terry and June
England Brian Alexander Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Eric Idle (from Monty Python's Life of Brian)
Wales Keith Allen
JamaicaEngland John Barnes
World in Motion by New Order
(England's 1990 World Cup song, which was written by Allen; Barnes was introduced with the portion of the song which includes his rap)
Scotland Dougie Anderson Holding Out for a Hero by Bonnie Tyler (later Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler)
A new theme was offered during Series 8, but is no longer used: Who Let the Dogs Out? by Baha Men
England Charlie Baker Theme from Fawlty Towers
Spain Guillem Balagué Macarena by Los Del Río
England Clare Balding
England Cornelius Lysaght
Galloping Home theme from The Adventures of Black Beauty
England Martin Bayfield Theme from Police Academy
England John Bishop Theme from Bread
England Roger Black Pretty Fly (for a White Guy) by The Offspring
CanadaUnited States Greg Brady Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit by Fedde le Grand[a].
A new theme was offered for Series 6: The Hockey Song by Stompin' Tom Connors.
Scotland Kevin Bridges Bridge over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel (previously an instrumental version of same)
England Mark Bright Mr. Brightside by The Killers
England Phil Brown Golden Brown by The Stranglers
England Will Buckley Country House by Blur
Stacy's Mom by Fountains of Wayne or Not Fair by Lily Allen
I Fought the Law by The Clash
Theme from L.A. Law
England Steve Bunce theme from Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em
Closing theme from Only Fools and Horses (preceded by him saying "Put it out, right out")[b]
England Tim Clark Theme from Mastermind
England Gideon Coe Theme from Why Don't You?
Scotland Mike Costello The Intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticana by Pietro Mascagni (theme from Raging Bull)
England John Crace Vertigo by U2
England David Croft
England Jake Humphrey
The bridge of The Chain by Fleetwood Mac (as used in BBC's Formula One coverage)
England Tom Davies East Bound and Down by Jerry Reed
England Matt Dawson Theme from A Question of Sport
I Don't Want to Wait by Paula Cole (Theme from Dawson's Creek)
England Simon Day Beautiful Day by U2
Debutant pundits Funeral march[c]
Republic of Ireland Neil Delamere "NEIL DELAMERE!" voiceover à la The X Factor (no music)
England Mick Dennis Theme from The A-Team
AustraliaEngland Tony Dorigo Soul Glo jingle from Coming to America
Scotland Jill Douglas Chocolate Girl by Deacon Blue
England Dion Dublin Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty
England Andy Dunn Mirror Man by The Human League
England Gail Emms Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves by Eurythmics and Aretha Franklin
A new theme was offered for Series 6: Crying by Roy Orbison
England Barry Fantoni (or  Italian contestants) Italian National Anthem
England Les Ferdinand Theme from Airwolf
England Darren Fletcher Jive Talkin' by Bee Gees
Holding Out for a Hero by Bonnie Tyler
Brimful of Asha by Cornershop
England Kevin Garside Viva Las Vegas by Elvis Presley
England Bobby Gould Crazy by Patsy Cline
Gold by Spandau Ballet
England Jennie Gow Jenny Was a Friend of Mine by The Killers
England Perry Groves We All Live in a Perry Groves World by Arsenal Fans (to tune of "Yellow Submarine" by The Beatles) [1]
England Stuart Hall Bean Bag by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, well known as the theme from It's A Knockout, which Hall used to present on BBC TV
Germany Dietmar Hamann The Song of the Diddy Men by Ken Dodd
England Austin Healey Tiny Dancer by Elton John
Isle of Man Rob Heeney Light and Tuneful by Keith Mansfield (opening theme of the BBC's Wimbledon coverage)
Just a Song About Ping Pong by Operator Please
EnglandGibraltar Danny Higginbotham Rock of Gibraltar by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
England Dean Holdsworth Theme from The Littlest Hobo
England Dominic Holland No Limit by 2 Unlimited
England Matt Holland Tulips from Amsterdam by Max Bygraves
Theme from One Foot in the Grave
A new theme was offered for Series 8: Wot? by Captain Sensible
England Ian Holloway Theme from Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere
England Iyare Igiehon Volare by Dean Martin (with Colin singing "Iyare" over the chorus)
England Matt Jackson Jackson by Johnny Cash and June Carter
Australia Jim Jeffries Theme from Home and Away
Down Under by Men at Work
ZaireDemocratic Republic of the CongoEngland Eddie Kadi I'm Alright by Kenny Loggins
England Danny Kelly Theme from ITV's World of Sport
EnglandRepublic of Ireland Des Kelly Theme from Happy Days
Theme from Desmond's
sound of a fruit machine
England Martin Kelner A drumroll-cymbal rimshot - also regularly used when he cracks a one-liner
Hammer to Fall by Queen (used on the Series 9 Football League special on 6 August 2011)
A new theme was offered for Series 11 after Kelner's recovery from sarcoma removal surgery: Survivor by Destiny's Child
England Steve Lamacq Mack the Knife by Bobby Darin
Return of the Mack by Mark Morrison
Jersey Graeme Le Saux Theme from Bergerac
England Former Liverpool F.C. players Ferry Cross the Mersey by Gerry and the Pacemakers
You'll Never Walk Alone by Gerry and the Pacemakers
Scotland Kenny Logan Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins
Northern Ireland Paul McVeigh Mellow Yellow by Donovan
England Chris Martin Jump by Kris Kross
England Katherine Merry Christmas music
The Lady in Red by Chris de Burgh
Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush
England Bob Mills Theme from Steptoe & Son
Closing theme from Only Fools and Horses
A new theme was offered for Series 6: Tijuana Taxi by Herb Alpert, the song Leyton Orient run out to.
England Danny Mills[d] Theme from Casualty
Danny Boy as sung by Johnny Cash
England Ian Moore More More More by The Andrea True Connection
A live version was used of this theme, but the studio recording was used for Series 11
England Sue Mott All Woman by Lisa Stansfield
You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate
A new series was offered for Series 6: All the Young Dudes by Mott the Hoople
Scotland Pat Nevin Sunshine on Leith by The Proclaimers
England Brian Noble Heartbeat by Buddy Holly
England Eleanor Oldroyd The Lady in Red by Chris de Burgh (later given to Katherine Merry)
She's a Lady by Tom Jones
A new theme was suggested for Series 6: Hail to the Chief
Folding Stars by Biffy Clyro
EnglandUnited States John Oliver Living in America by James Brown
New York, New York by Frank Sinatra
England Gary O'Reilly The Liberty Bell March by John Philip Sousa (as heard on Monty Python's Flying Circus)
"Let's hear it for Gary O'Reilly!" by The Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders
(The clip fades out as O'Reilly exclaims "Oh, ladies!", to which Colin has been known to often make reference)
England Richard Osman Billericay Dickie by Ian Dury
Scotland Richard Park (or Scottish contestants) Bagpipes
England Mike Parry Theme from Z-Cars (Everton anthem)
England Andy Parsons You're the Voice by John Farnham
Shipbuilding by Elvis Costello
A new theme was offered for Series 8: Mandy by Barry Manilow
Scotland Colin Paterson Hooray for Hollywood instrumental
England Gavin Peacock Opening guitar riff of Turning Japanese by The Vapors
Australia Charlie Pickering Theme from Neighbours
New Zealand Al Pitcher Haka of the All Blacks
England Tayo Popoola Boom Boom Boom by The Outhere Brothers
Colin sang 'Tayo' over the 'Way-o — Way-oooo' section of the track, which rather fell flat on its face
England Jeff Probyn Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lion roar
England John Rawling O Fortuna
Theme from Psycho
Theme from Dallas[d]
England Brian Reade Always Look on the Bright Side of Life from Monty Python's Life of Brian
Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson
England Jon Richardson Oompa Loompa, Doompa-Dee-Do theme from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory[f]
Short People by Randy Newman
EnglandKate Richardson-Walsh Kate by Ben Folds Five
England Leroy Rosenior Theme from The X-Files
Fame by Irene Cara
Northern Ireland Lawrie Sanchez Mexican Hat Dance (though he's Ecuadorian on his father's side of the family)
Wales Robbie Savage Suicide Blonde by INXS
England Paul Sinha Music featured in Blue Oyster Club scenes from Police Academy films
Sinnerman by Nina Simone
England Jim Smallman Afternoon Delight
England Alec Stewart and other cricketers Dreadlock Holiday by 10cc
(especially the line "I don't like cricket; I love it".)
England Ian Stone Hava Nagila
Theme from Curb Your Enthusiasm
Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits
England Matthew Syed Boris Johnson quote from after the 2008 Olympic Games: "And I say to the Chinese, and I say to the world: ping-pong is coming home."
Wales Iwan Thomas Theme from Chariots of Fire by Vangelis
England Michael Vaughan Michael, Row the Boat Ashore
England Ian Walker Walk On By by Dionne Warwick
England Mark Watson When the Red Red Robin Comes Bob-Bob Bobbin' Along by Al Jolson
England Tom Watt Crowd chanting "You Wot?"[g]
Themes from British soap operas[h]
Theme from Escape to Victory by Bill Conti
GermanyEngland Henning Wehn Theme from Dad's Army
England Jack Whitehall Theme from To the Manor Born
England Josh Widdicombe Infinity by Guru Josh Project
England Jim White White Lines by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
(Usually played with Colin saying "Bass!" during the intro)
  • a The theme referenced Brady's previous job working for WDFN radio in Detroit. The first use of the theme coincided with Brady experiencing the worst slump of his FT career, 5 defeats in a row. The run of bad form was attributed to the Detroit theme so it was changed to "It's Raining Men" for one show. The change did not help and Brady lost. For the next show he was returned to the Detroit theme. He won that show thus breaking the curse in a manner not unlike the New York Rangers winning the Stanley Cup in 1994. Despite Greg Brady's saying, he actually won his first show with this theme tune, although this was with guest host, Gabby Logan. For Brady's first appearance following his return to his native Canada in 2008, the theme tune was changed to Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On; later appearances featured other Canadian references including "Weird Al" Yankovic's Canadian Idiot.
  • b During the early part of Colin Murray's tenure as host, Bunce and Bob Mills alternated between the two themes, given their roots in London's East End. Sometimes Bunce would be introduced by the theme from Some Mothers Do 'Ave Them, and Mills the closing theme from Only Fools and Horses.
  • c This is due to a 'rule' introduced by Murray that no new pundits are allowed to win their first show. By contrast, several pundits have won their first show with Colin in the chair — notably Henning Wehn — although fewer debutantes have won on their first outing under Colin than the previous presenters.
  • d No relation to Bob Mills
  • e This is an assumed reference to Rawling's patriarchal character on the show and his initials, "JR" bearing similarities with J. R. Ewing, one of the principal characters from the former television series Dallas.
  • f This was due to Richardson's presumed status as the shortest Fighting Talk contestant, although as was confirmed in the next episode that Steve Lamacq was in fact shorter.
  • g The version previously used was recorded at a football ground; as of Watt's first appearance of Series 9, the chant recorded during the 2011 Champions Final is now played.
  • h These theme tunes are ironic as Tom Watt appeared in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. This is further compounded when he is introduced as Colin Murray purposely mistakes the famous soap character Tom Watt portrayed. Examples include Hayley Cropper and Mandy Dingle. However, from 15 March 2008, the introductory tune was replaced with an audio clip of a crowd chanting "You wot? You wot?".