Jeff Stelling is an English sports journalist and sport television presenter. He currently presents Gillette Soccer Saturday for Sky Sports and their coverage of the Champions League. He also presented Channel 4 quiz show Countdown between 2009 – 2011. After leaving school his first job was as a journalist at the Hartlepool Mail for four years, before moving into Broadcast TV.
He later spent time as a sports newsreader at TV-am, Channel 4, Eurosport and British Satellite Broadcasting before moving to Sky in 1992 to present coverage of horse racing, snooker and darts. In 2003 Jeff won a sports presenter special edition of The Weakest Link.
In 1994, Jeff became presenter of Sports Saturday, which became Gillette Soccer Saturday in 1998, hosting a programme lasting up to six hours of football discussion and live reports on the afternoon’s games with a panel of pundits including Frank McLintock, Chris Kamara, Rodney Marsh and the late George Best. Since then the panel has changed but not Jeff. Much of the programme’s popularity is put down to his amazing presenting skills, humour with the panel and drive in keeping the fast paced show moving, with The Guardian praising him for “exceptional professionalism and élan”. Having hosted a new version (2005-06) Sky Sports’ Ford Monday Night Football programme, he went on to replace the departed Richard Keys as the main presenter of Sky’s live Champions League coverage in 2011.
In January 2009 Jeff took over as the new host of the Channel 4 game show Countdown following the departure of Des O’Connor. He enjoyed over three years year’s in the role, before stepping down as presenter of Countdown at the end of 2011, to concentrate on football, including his new Champions League role.
Other work & honours
He appeared in an advert for Sky Broadband in 2013 which spoofed a previous Sky Broadband advert which starred Bruce Willis. In 2013, Jeff joined twentyfour7 Football Magazine and wrote columns for the magazine’s Dream Team.
In 2007 Jeff was awarded an honorary Doctor of Professional Studies by the University of Teesside. He was further named as Sports Broadcaster of the Year for five successive years by the Sports Journalists’ Association, based on a poll of its members. Jeff has so far been the only broadcaster to win the award.
He is a well-known supporter of his local club, Hartlepool United F.C., in which during the 2008–09 season, he would use a singing toy figure of the singer James Brown singing “I Feel Good” every time the player of the same name scored.
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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