Tony Gubba has been one of the faces and voices of British television sport for over 35 years.
In one of the longest careers in sports broadcasting he’s presented prime-time BBC programmes like ‘Grandstand’ and ‘Sportsnight’ and now commentates on Premiership football for ‘Match of the Day’ and also describes the celebrity skating in ITV’s top-rated show ‘Dancing on Ice’
Tony’s voice is familiar to millions of Saturday night armchair sports fans.
He was born in Manchester and worked as a national newspaper journalist before joining Southern Television in Southampton as a reporter/newscaster. In l969 he became the BBC’s North of England correspondent, based in Liverpool.
In 1972 he was chosen to replace David Coleman as the presenter of ‘Sportsnight’ and later went on to introduce ‘Grandstand’ with Frank Bough and also ‘Match of the Day’ – one of only a handful of TV personalities to have fronted that trio of major BBC programmes.
Tony has worked on every football World Cup since Germany in l974 – ten in all –and completed the circle when he provided a nightly commentary on games from the 2010 tournament in South Africa that was shown on the in-flight entertainment channels of many of the world’s leading airlines. He’s also attended almost all the Olympic Games - summer and winter - since Munich in 1972.
In his time, Tony has commentated on ice-skating, hockey, table-tennis, bobsleigh, ski-jumping, speed skating, cycling, rowing, judo, golf and tennis, as well as being a regular voice on ‘Match of the Day’ for almost three decades.
When Olympic and World ice dance champions Jane Torville and Christopher Dean were invited by ITV to train ten celebrities in an ice dancing competition, they asked that Tony Gubba should be the commentator. His amusing appraisals of celebrity skaters learning to ice dance have become a popular part of the programme which attracts audiences of 12 million and which returned for a sixth series in January 2011.
Of Ulrika Jonsson he said: “She says she’s fitter now than when she was 21. Most blokes think you’ve always been fit Ulrika!”
About playboy ex-footballer Lee Sharpe: “He’s not normally this active before midnight”
On rugby star Kyran Bracken: “He skates like Benny Hill chasing a chorus girl!”
Tony is an accomplished after-dinner speaker and a relaxed communicator who can work off-the-cuff in front of a live audience or front-up an important product launch to senior executives.
On a personal level, he was educated at Blackpool Grammar School and now lives near Henley, in Berkshire, with his partner Jenny.
He was once an amateur footballer and his hobbies now are golf and salmon fishing. He is well known as a writer of articles about fly-fishing and travel.
Not so well known is that Tony was once a student at a Northern music college with thoughts of becoming an operatic tenor!
He has been known to provide the vocal entertainment at the annual ‘Match of the Day’ Xmas party and serenade his colleagues with songs from West End shows.