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Last Updated: Monday, 16 August, 2004, 16:51 GMT 17:51 UK
Lynam 'too old' to front TV sport
Des Lynam on cover of the Radio Times
Des Lynam made the comments in an interview with the Radio Times
Veteran television presenter Des Lynam has said he is turning his back on TV sports presenting because of his age.

The 61-year-old former Match of the Day presenter made his comments to this week's Radio Times magazine.

He said: "I don't think I'm doing the nation a great service by being decrepit in front of their fireplaces."

Lynam bowed out of TV sports presenting at the end of Euro 2004 and is due to return to the BBC with his own sports show on Radio Five Live.

Lynam, who left the BBC five years ago and went on to present The Premiership on ITV, will interview sports personalities on the new show, called Des Meets..., which starts later this month.

It will feature interviews with high-profile sports stars including David Beckham, Martin O'Neill, Frankie Dettori, Tanni Grey Thompson and Colin Montgomerie.

If you're talking about athletic young people, it's inappropriate to get too old doing it
Des Lynam

But despite his return to the BBC, there is no place for him on Match of the Day, with Gary Lineker in the presenter's chair.

Lynam said: "Sport is different from doing an arts programme where you could be 103. If you're talking about athletic young people, it's inappropriate to get too old doing it, in my view."

"It's only my view, nobody else said that to me, that's my view, my view and my decision."

Lynam's slot on Radio Five Live begins on 21 August.

The 24 half-hour programmes - in two series of 12 - on Saturday mornings starts with footballer Paul Gascoigne.


Lynam said: "I'm not going to try to strip people bare. That's not something I'd want to do. You'd have three interviews and then none of the other guests would come on it.

"Take Beckham. I wouldn't want to talk about his private life, but I would say, 'Well, how do you cope with all this nonsense?' I'm going to talk about the kind of people they are, what makes them tick and why they're doing it, and look at some of the decisions they've made along the way.

"It's not going to be hugely critical; these interviews are saying, 'Look, you're fantastic at what you do, let's get inside you and find out what makes you fantastic.' That's the basic idea."

Cowell slated

Lynam added: "I'm a bit apprehensive that we get the right people.

"I'm going to take a lot of responsibility for getting people I know - they're not bosom pals, but I know them and they know me, which is even more important because there'd be some trust involved."

He also slated Pop Idol judge Simon Cowell, famed for putting down young hopefuls auditioning for the TV singing contest.

"I'd like to go and punch that geek," he said.

"I'd like to punch him now. This minute. I would punch him. That's his game... he wants, almost wants, to be punched.

"He's earning millions out of people wanting to punch him, but I'll be one of the first in the queue."

Des Lynam makes BBC radio return
10 Jul 04  |  Entertainment
ITV blocks Lynam's news quiz slot
12 Dec 03  |  Entertainment
Lynam 'would consider BBC role'
08 Dec 03  |  Entertainment



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