Colin Murray will return to Channel 5 as the new face of its EFL football highlights shows for the 2017/18 season.
Murray will front Football on 5 every Saturday night on Channel 5 at 9pm, which will continue to feature all the best action from the Sky Bet Championship, as well as League One and League Two, in addition to regular highlights of the Carabao Cup and the Checkatrade Trophy Final.
Renowned for his entertaining and opinionated style of broadcasting, Murray is best known as a regular radio presenter on BBC 5 live and talkSPORT for the past decade, as well as hosting football, darts, snooker and NFL coverage for the BBC, Channel 4 and Eurosport.
He also fronted Channel 5’s football coverage from 2006 to 2010, where he hosted UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League matches.
Murray replaces previous Football on 5 hosts George Riley and Lynsey Hipgrave, who according to the Daily Mirror were told by Channel 5 a fortnight ago that break clauses in their contracts were being activated, a decision which paved the way for Channel 5 to rehire Murray.
Channel 5’s EFL highlights programmes will continue to be produced by Sunset+Vine with the format of the show set to undergo another refresh ahead of the new season.
— Channel 5 Sport (@Channel5Sport) July 24, 2017
Commenting on his return to Channel 5, Murray said:
“These clubs are the lifeblood of English football, and my radio shows have always focused on football outside of the top flight, both on and off the pitch.
“Football on 5 is going to be more about the action and the fans than ever before, focusing on what matters… goals on the pitch and community off it. It’ll be great to be a small part of that.
“I have a soft spot for a few EFL teams, but I don’t support any so there are no conflicts of interest!
“However, I do make sure I visit a few EFL grounds every season, because the experiences are so varied and different, plus the connection to the fans is often more special.
“I’m as excited to front a show that brings you the goals from The New Lawn as I am from Villa Park.”
The EFL was reportedly upset not to have been consulted about Channel 5’s decision to replace George Riley and Lynsey Hipgrave and last week wrote to member clubs explaining it was nothing to do with them.
Riley presented Channel 5’s Football League highlights show for the first two seasons, with Kelly Cates co-presenting with him during the 2015/16 season. She moved to front Sky Sports’ Saturday EFL coverage last season and Lynsey Hipgrave, a regular presenter of BT Sport’s European football coverage, replaced Cates on the show, which was rebranded Football on 5.
Channel 5 has one more season left to run on its current deal to show EFL highlights and the bidding process for the next set of free-to-air rights has just started.
Commenting on his departure from Channel 5, in a Tweet entitled “Time for a change”, George Riley said:
“After two fantastic years on the terrestrial EFL coverage, I want to say thank you to Sunset+Vine for being consistently brilliant to worth with.
“What they and the crew produced for that show every Saturday night was incredible. In Lynsey and Kelly I feel very fortunate to have worked with two exceptional broadcasters.
“And to every at the EFL who have been absolutely amazing from day one. I very much look forward to working with you again. Thanks as well to the viewers and fans – your interaction on a Saturday night made my week!”
The new EFL season kicks off on the weekend of 4-6 August with 127 live games on Sky Sports throughout the campaign, while Channel 5 will showcase free-to-air highlights every Saturday night at 9pm.