Belfast Telegraph

Billy on the Box: A new look for Richard Keyes as Sky hook up with Ben Shephard

Much has changed since 1992. My flowing locks have been shorn away, fashion and music have moved on and the Premier League is a very different beast nowadays.

So the return of Monday Night Football, first broadcast back when Rhythm Is A Dancer was top of the hit parade, has the feeling of a school reunion about it, although if Richard Keys or Andy Gray were your class-mates then you probably remember why you didn’t keep in touch.

Manchester United were hosting Newcastle United meaning that it was a trawl through the archives, with past MNF highlights, including the now infamous Kevin Keegan ‘I’ll love it, love it’ tirade.

King Kev has long since abdicated, and Richard and Andy have undergone changes too.

Andy has much less hair, while Richard is as hirsute as ever, although his pastel jackets have been released back into the wild.

“It’s all mildly embarrassing,” said a spot-on Richard, before we were taken on a tour of the fancy new studio and Andy’s gadgets, although when the latter turned up with a tray-like gizmo I wondered if PG Tips were filming a new ad.

Keys, all these years later, still has an ability to say the daftest things.

“Is there a more famous jersey than Newcastle’s No.9?”, he pondered.

Yes, how about No.7 at Old Trafford or Anfield, or even, tragically, a No.23 sported by some unwanted England star?

But Richard came through the school of daft questions in his previous incarnation as TV AM anchorman (more burgundy jacket than Ron) but just as fashion comes around there is an all too familiar and spine-chilling repetition of history upon us — Ben Shephard.

Like Fiona Phillips turning up inside a jar of Oil of Olay (it was Ulay back in the day), the ex-GMTV man has suddenly hitched up as the new face of football.

Well, the games Richard can’t be bothered doing.

He was up for Spurs v Man City in the Premier League flag-raiser.

“It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for all summer,” Ben blurted, although I half expected him to continue ‘but first over to Lorraine for a feature about alarmingly wobbly women with sore bits.’

And he was back again the following morning on Goals on Sunday, joining Chris Kamara but I fear that is only a temporary measure as next week I fully expect Ben to be joined on the sofa by Roland Rat.

Belfast Telegraph


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