ITV replace Clive Tyldesley as lead commentator as Sam Matterface covers England

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Sam Matterface was chosen by ITV to replace Clive Tyldesley as their lead commentator.

The 42-year-old former Sky Sports News presenter currently works for the broadcaster as well as talkSPORT, and was handed their top job in circumstances that left his predecessor baffled.

Tyldesley had held the role for 22 years and has shown no signs of slowing down at the age of 65, but had reportedly been informed that he would have to step back following the recently postponed Euro 2020.

His coverage had been present for England’s recent World Cup semi-final defeat against Croatia which attracted over 24 million viewers, as well as 17 Champions League finals.

He said of the decision earlier this year: "If you haven't seen the announcement I am being replaced as ITV's senior football commentator. I was told about three weeks ago so I have had some time to get my head around the decision but I haven't got my head around it.

"To be clear, this is ITV's decision not mine. I am upset, annoyed and baffled.

"I would have been entrusted with commentating on the Euro 2020 final for them less than 48 hours ago.

"But now I won't be commentating on any of the big England games in the coming year and I'm going to miss them. I love this job and it's gone. Why? I do not know exactly why this decision has been taken.”

Matterface has since spoke about his new position, and admitted that he understands the perils of following in the footsteps of the highly respected former voices at ITV.

In an interview with the Mail, he said: “Clive is a brilliant commentator. He is a commentator who is editorially fantastic. He knows how to hit the mark and how to deliver a line.

“I think it’s right that people had the opportunity to pay tribute to him and to say how great he has been. He is not going anywhere. He is still going to work with ITV and is still going to work with talkSPORT.

“He is still doing a lot of work and quite rightly so.”

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Although no official reason has been given over the decision, the move is similar to steps taken by the BBC to freshen up their shows – with Sue Barker being replaced on A Question of Sport.

Sky Sports have also moved on pundits Phil Thompson, Matt Le Tissier and Charlie Nicholas.

Presenter Jeff Stelling said of Tyldesley’s role change on Twitter: “Oh, I forgot, Clive, you are 65. Ageism alive and well in UK broadcasting.”

  • ITV
  • England Football Team
  • Gareth Southgate
  • BBC

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