Jeff Stelling is currently hosting Soccer Saturday on Sky Sports.
Stelling was brought up in the North-East town of Hartlepool, and is a supporter of local Football League team Hartlepool United.
After an apprenticeship on the local newspaper his first broadcasting position was as a reporter on Middlesbrough F.C. on Radio Tees before moving to BBC Radio 2’s weekend sports programme Sport On 2, covering the Los Angeles and Seoul Olympic games.
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 1994 Stelling became presenter of Sports Saturday, which became 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 George Best, Frank McLintock, Chris Kamara and Rodney Marsh, the former England striker whose argumentative nature led to entertaining viewing until his dismissal from Sky Sports in early 2005.
Much of the programme’s popularity is put down to Stelling, The Guardian praising him for “exceptional professionalism and elan” and When Saturday Comes describing him as “perhaps the best sports presenter on British TV”.
Stelling rarely appears on terrestrial television, despite known offers to become the face of ITV Sport, although in 2003 he won a sports presenter special edition of The Weakest Link.
At the start of the 2005-06 Premiership football season, Stelling replaced Ian Payne as the host of Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football programme.