Elton Welsby

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Roger Elton Welsby (born 28 May 1951 in St Helens, Lancashire) is an English television sports presenter who works under the name Elton Welsby.

The ITV years[edit]

Welsby began his broadcasting career on Liverpool radio station Radio City as a sports reporter and commentator.[1] In January 1978 he joined Granada Television, working on its football programme The Kick Off Match and presented its 1980s successors Match Night (if shown on a Saturday) and Match Time (if broadcast on a Sunday) until their demise in 1983. Welsby was primarily a presenter, but did occasionally deputise as commentator.

When Granada revived Kick Off in 1989 after a six-year absence, Welsby returned as presenter despite by then presenting networked shows, he was one of the anchors of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the last Olympic Games to be covered by the network, and also presented the Saturday afternoon Results Service from 1985 onwards.

Welsby occasionally presented live matches for ITV in 1986, becoming the regular host in 1987-88. At the start of the 1988-89 season, ITV began broadcasting exclusive live coverage of the Football League, it was the task of Greg Dyke to oversee the coverage and he entrusted Welsby as presenter of The Match, anchoring numerous dramatic matches over the next four years-most notably Arsenal's 2-0 win against Liverpool in the last game of the season which saw the Gunners snatch a last minute winner at Anfield.

The loss of top flight football to Sky Sports in 1992 hit ITV Sport hard, and Welsby's final work as ITV's lead football presenter was at the 1992 European Championship. After this, he ceased working for ITV Sport and returned to Granada full-time.

Welsby continued to present regional programming for Granada, including Granada Goals Extra, The Granada Match, the station's crown green bowls coverage, and the midweek sports programming until May 2000 when the station decided not to renew his contract. In an interview in 2015 Welsby was critical of Soccer Sunday, the last programme he presented, branding it a "poor show with poor content and poor journalistic standards".[2]

Welsby occasionally returned as a guest on the Granada Soccer Night programme, and in 2001 he went back to radio to present Elton Welsby's Soccer Saturday for North-West regional station Century FM - a role he held for three years.

Other work[edit]

Welsby was the final presenter of British gameshow Busman's Holiday following on from Julian Pettifer and Sarah Kennedy,[3][4] he is regularly involved in corporate and charity work, and is known for his close association with the Zoe's Place children's hospice.[5]

In 2011, Welsby made a brief appearance on Michael Bublé: Home for Christmas, a Christmas programme presented by Canadian singer Michael Bublé.

Welsby is nowadays rarely involved in sports presenting, although in the mid-2000s he was seen presenting Crown Green Bowls for Sky Sports.[6] Welsby toured the country with Ricky Tomlinson in the theatre tour, An Evening with Ricky Tomlinson, where he interviewed Tomlinson in character as Jim Royle.[citation needed]

Cultural references[edit]

Welsby is name-checked by the Birkenhead band Half Man Half Biscuit in the song "A Country Practice", found on their 1998 album Four Lads Who Shook the Wirral.[7]

Welsby is referred to in Episode 4 of the BBC Radio 4 show Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge, where fictional impressionist Steve Thompson mockingly calls presenter Alan Partridge "the non-thinking man's Elton Welsby".[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Barham, Kathy (2006) 194 Radio City - The Heart of Liverpool, Lulu.com, ISBN 978-1-4116-8814-8, p. 99
  2. ^ Padman, Tony (2015) "Elton Welsby interview"
  3. ^ Plunkett, John (2002) "University Challenge turns pro", The Guardian (London), 21 November 2002, retrieved 1 January 2011
  4. ^ "Busman's Holiday". IMDB.com. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  5. ^ "Elton goes into the red". The Free Library By Farlex. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  6. ^ "World famous green woos back cameras", Blackpool Gazette, 17 September 2005, retrieved 1 January 2011
  7. ^ "Half Man Half Biscuit - A Country Practice Lyrics". SongLyrics. Retrieved 17 August 2012.