Andy Gray to return to BT for FA Cup weekend
Published 13/02/2014 | 13:51
Andy Gray is to make his second guest appearance as a co-commentator on BT Sport on Sunday after the broadcaster refused to be cowed by a new video of his sexist behaviour at Sky Sports.
It is understood that the former Sky Sports pundit Gray has been invited back by the network for the FA Cup fifth-round tie between Arsenal and Liverpool following his largely well-received return from the British television wilderness three weeks ago.
The Scot’s stint as a co-commentator for Everton’s fourth-round win at Stevenage was followed days later by the emergence of an off-air recording showing him and Richard Keys singing “get your t*** out for the lads” to Sky Sports colleague Clare Tomlinson.
The footage, from the early 2000s, was the latest video exposing the sexist behaviour of Keys and Gray during their two decades fronting Sky Sports’ football coverage but the first to emerge since Gray was sacked and Keys resigned after similar footage found its way into the public domain three years ago.
The most recent leak appeared an attempt to sabotage BT Sport’s efforts to rehabilitate Gray into British television and embarrass the broadcaster into not using him again.
BT executives are thought to have viewed the historic material as such and were resolved for it to have no bearing on whether Gray was invited back to commentate on matches for Sky’s newest and bitterest rival.
And with lead co-commentator Michael Owen on a family holiday this weekend, the decision was made to turn to Gray again for Sunday’s high-profile clash at the Emirates Stadium.
Bringing back the 58-year-old three years to the day since he was sacked by Sky Sports had not been without risk for the media giant, which had sought to appeal as much to women as to men when it launched back in August and boasts Clare Balding – a passionate advocate of equality in sport – among its star presenters.
Keys and Gray now front Premier League coverage for beIN Sports, formerly Al Jazeera Sport, in Doha, from where they also continue to present a Talksport show.