Clive Tyldesley 'cannot fathom' the drive for younger commentators

Clive Tyldesley ‘cannot fathom’ the drive for younger commentators as he admits it will be ‘strange’ not working on England games at the Euros… but insists he can accept being replaced as ITV’s No 1 by Sam Matterface

  • Sam Matterface replaced Clive Tyldesley who had been in top job for 22 years 
  • Tyldesley posted emotional clip outlining his shock to the decision last July 
  • Veteran commentator will still be working for ITV this summer at Euro 2020
  • He will not be used for England games and admits ‘that will be slightly strange’
  • Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here.

Clive Tyldesley, for so long the familiar voice adding colour to England’s triumphs, and more frequently, heartbreaks, has admitted it will be strange to be detached from the Three Lions this summer. 

Last year, the 67-year-old commentator was demoted by ITV in favour of 42-year-old Sam Matterface, who will be in the chair for England’s European Championship games. 

It had looked as though Tyldesley would walk away, so hurt was he by the demotion that he shared an emotional video about it online, saying he was ‘upset, annoyed and baffled’.

Clive Tyldesley will still be commentating for ITV, just not on England games this summer 

The veteran commentator admits it will be ‘strange’ not to work the England games

But he has decided to stay on and told the Telegraph: ‘I could have stormed out, but I thought, no I quite fancy commentating on France versus Italy.

‘No more England, so it will be a slightly strange thing. Once the decision has been taken you have to absorb it, realise it’s not the end of the world. It’s nice if you’re missed a little bit.’

Tyldesley holds no ill feeling towards his replacement, Matterface, but cannot understand the general trend from broadcasters to replace their experienced operators with young blood. 

‘I don’t think ITV replaced me with a younger man for the sake of that, I think they replaced me with a different kind of commentator,’ he added.

‘And even though I was shocked by the decision and didn’t agree with it, I can accept it, because Sam commentates in a different way.’

‘But when I hear that somebody as capable as Mark Pougatch has been replaced on the BBC by somebody who has got a younger voice, but broadcasts in the same way, only not as well, I can’t fathom that out at all.

‘The fact is the population’s growing older. My mum still counts as a viewer. She needs to be included in the conversation. As do my children, who are all in their twenties. And the best way to do that is to have a broadcaster with an experience.’

Matterface was thrown into the heart of the storm with Tyldesley’s video and subsequent debate surrounding the changing of the guard. 

Tyldesley wanted to stay on to commentate on the likes of Kylian Mbappe in other big games

But the new No 1 commentator has been effusive in his praise of his predecessor, previously telling the Mail on Sunday: ‘Clive is a brilliant commentator. He is a commentator who is editorially fantastic. He knows how to hit the mark and how to deliver a line. 

‘I think it’s right that people had the opportunity to pay tribute to him and to say how great he has been. 

‘He is not going anywhere. He is still going to work with ITV and is still going to work with talkSPORT. He is still doing a lot of work and quite rightly so

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