Saturday 21 October 2017

Helen Chamberlain leaves Soccer AM after 22 years

The long-serving host is being replaced by two men.

Helen Chamberlain is leaving Soccer AM (Ian West/PA)
Helen Chamberlain is leaving Soccer AM (Ian West/PA)

By Katie Archer

Soccer AM presenter Helen Chamberlain is leaving her role on the football show after 22 years.

The 50-year-old Torquay United fan will be replaced by two men: comedian Lloyd Griffith, and former Hull and Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard.

Sky Sports had announced plans for a programme revamp, and the Soccer AM team shared news of Chamberlain’s departure by tweeting “Farewell and thank you” to their long-serving host.

Chamberlain first joined the Saturday morning football talk show in 1995, co-presenting from 1996 with Tim Lovejoy, who can now be seen fronting Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch.

The duo took over from Jane Hoffen, Gary A Stevens and Russ Williams, the team who launched the programme in 1995. Hoffen remains the only other female presenter to have hosted Soccer AM.

More recently, Chamberlain has presented alongside John Fendley, who tweeted that he would be sad to see her go.

Meanwhile, Griffith tweeted his delight at being named one of Chamberlain’s replacements.

He wrote: “Bit of a dream come true, this. Delighted to announce that I’m the new co-host of @SoccerAM. Yes @Fennerssocceram & @jimmybullard!”

Bullard promised that “Saturday mornings won’t be the same again”, but later acknowledged that it would be difficult to replace Chamberlain, saying: “In my excitement forgot to mention (her)”.

Fans shared their sadness at Chamberlain’s departure, with one tweeting: “things ain’t ever gonna be the same again” and another labelling her “Soccer AM personified”.

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