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Alan Green's anger as BBC shows him the door after 45 years

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Veteran: Alan Green

Veteran: Alan Green

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Veteran: Alan Green

One of the best known voices in sports broadcasting is leaving the BBC after 45 years.

Belfast-born Alan Green (67), who is regarded as one of the most distinctive commentators in the history of BBC radio, is being phased out and will not have his contract with BBC 5Live renewed when it runs out this summer.

"They have shown me very little respect in how that is ending. I feel a mixture of disappointment and anger. I don't think it's justified," said Mr Green, a former pupil of Methodist College, who began to commentate on televised games in 2014.

He told The Times: "I was basically told: 'You don't fit our profile'. I got a fair idea of what they meant by just listening to the output over the last year or so.

"There isn't an ageist, sexist, racist bone in my body. I only care about 'can somebody do the job?' There are new people in favour. They match the requirements in terms of 'bants' - banter with presenters."

Green, winner of a Sony Award as Sports Broadcaster of the Year, is the latest casualty of the BBC's much-debated changes.

Green said the loss of news-breaking shows on 5Live like the Sunday morning staple Sportsweek, which he described as "a much-respected programme that was discarded", was a major blow.

"It's not the organisation I loved for so many years," he continued.

In a parting shot, he warned that the BBC is losing too many good broadcasters in the pursuit of change.

"I hear about the departure of Mark Pougatch, an absolutely outstanding presenter, and I'm really pleased that he is valued by so many other people that he probably doesn't notice not doing 5Live any more," he said.

"Certain people have been discarded wrongly in pursuit of change.

"That's OK if it is thought through and it works, but I'm not sure it is working."

Belfast Telegraph