Keys & Gray part of the TalkSport family…and what a family!
So Richard Keys and Andy Gray are back after Talksport announced their new headline presenters. It’s almost as if Keys and Gray have never been away. Which in a sense they haven’t, as it’s barely two weeks since they departed Sky in disgrace.
I know the modern media creates a heightened sense that events are unfolding in fast forward, but bloody hell. You normally have to wait a bit longer before you’re no longer considered a toxic brand. It’s not so much a comeback as a rebound.
Still if there was any beach in the media landscape that Keys and Gray could wash up it was Talksport. This is the radio station for men who like to ‘match debate’. One which fortunately doesn’t employ any female presenters. An environment where they can both be confident they won’t have to explain the offside rule to anyone.
Let’s not forget that Talksport has previously been a home for, how shall we put it, unreconstructed views. Shock jock Jon Gaunt was sacked after sailing to close to the wind too many times and finally went after calling a London councillor a Nazi. Presenter Rod Lucas also left after leaked BNP membership roles identified him as a member of the party. And Garry Bushell left shortly after making derogatory comments about homosexuals.
Still it’s odd in other ways. Talksport after all was where Richard Keys doused himself in petrol and sent his media career up in flames with a disastrous interview where he sought to defuse the row. As job interviews go, it was certainly unusual.
It’s doubtful any other broadcaster would have gone near the pair so soon. Can you imagine BBC Radio 5 taking them on as presenters?
What the sudden reemployment of the pair reveals is the divide in social attitudes in the country. There’s clearly a chunk of the population who sympathise with the price that Keys and Gray paid for their behaviour. Some of the media reaction was clearly little more than lip service to principles of equality.
Talksport knows its audience and what their opinions are. While other media outlets have steered clear for fear of tainting their brand, Talksport clearly saw them as a perfect match. All they need to do now is take on Ron Atkinson as a match day summariser.