Soccer Saturday: Sky identify ideal replacement for Jeff Stelling

Sky have approached Mark Chapman about replacing Jeff Stelling on Soccer Saturday.

Stelling, 66, is stepping away from the around-the-grounds scores show at the end of the season. He has hosted Soccer Saturday since 1994 and been with Sky for 30 years.

The popular presenter has played a major role in the success of the programme and finding a suitable replacement won’t be easy.

However, Sky believe Chapman is right for the job and is their preferred option.

According to the Daily Mail, talks have taken place but no decision has yet been reached.

Chapman has been with BBC since 1996

Chapman has proven himself to be a versatile broadcaster for the BBC over the years, presenting Match of the Day 2 and coverage of rugby league and the NFL.

He’s been with the BBC since 1996 and started out reading sport bulletins on Radio 1.

Chapman switched to Radio 5 Live in 2010 and he hosts the Saturday football coverage on the station, as well as the weekly Monday Night Club.

Listening figures for the Saturday show are around 1.7m, the highest the BBC has produced for four years.

It’s not hard to understand why Sky want Chapman, then.

Stelling announced departure last year

Stelling announced he was leaving Soccer Saturday in October, receiving a standing ovation from his colleagues.

“It’s been my decision. Sky have been brilliant with me as they always have done,” the Hartlepool fan said.

“I’m not intending to retire, that’s up to people out there.

“It’s time to let somebody else have a go at what is the best job in the world. After all, I wouldn’t want to get to the point I call Wraith Rovers, Roth Wraithers. We wouldn’t want that would we?

“I’m going to be here until May and then leaving the show and the company. That’s about seven months of Saturday afternoon parties so let’s get this party going!”

Some of the names put forward to replace Stelling included Julian Warren, Laura Woods and Josh Denzel.

Warren is the host of Sky’s other live football score show, Soccer Special, but it doesn’t seem like the broadcaster are ready to grant him a step up.

The Mail note that it’s unclear whether Chapman will continue to work for the BBC should he move to Sky.

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