Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Arsenal legend Ian Wright quits 'nightmare' TV job

Former England soccer star Ian Wright insisted today that he quit his role on Channel Five's evening discussion show - and said working on it was "a nightmare".



The presenter - who was absent for last night's edition of Live From Studio Five - said there had been a fortnight of rows since the station was taken over.

Station bosses said Wright's contract had not been renewed but the outgoing host told Absolute Radio he had walked away.

He said he was unhappy about changes in format and a shorter running time since the company was taken over by Northern & Shell in a £103.5 million deal.

The station's chief executive, Dawn Airey, and other senior figures are to leave in the next few months following the acquisition by publisher Richard Desmond.

Wright said today: "It's just been arguments for the last couple of weeks, and I said to the people up there 'I'm not feeling good about the future'.

"We came to the decision yesterday that it's not going to go any further, instead of renewing I just said 'well let's just leave it'."

He told Absolute's Christian O'Connell: "They've just literally cut the show in half, there's no banter, there's no talk, and for the last couple of weeks where they've been trying it out I've been saying 'This is pointless, this is not what I'm doing it for'."

He added: "The people upstairs have never backed the show so it was always swimming against the tide. It was a nightmare really, it was a nightmare."

A Channel Five spokesman said: "Ian Wright's contract on Live From Studio Five was coming to an end and the decision was taken not to renew it.

"The show will continue with just current presenters, Kate Walsh and Jayne Middlemiss, in a new half hour format."

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