Ian Darke

Ian is a lead commentator for BT Sport's coverage of Premier League, Champions League and Europa League football. He also covers US national team fixtures and international tournaments for ESPN USA.

Ian began his career at BBC Radio working on athletics, boxing and football. He presented Sports Report for a year and gained his first boxing experience behind the microphone covering one of Muhammad Ali's last fights, against Larry Holmes. Another highlight of Ian's radio career was commentating on Ben Johnson's now infamous 100m victory at the Seoul Olympics.

In 1992 Ian moved to Sky Sports to commentate on the newly-formed FA Premier League as number two commentator to Martin Tyler. He was the main commentator, with Andy Gray as pundit, on the innovative and award-winning Monday Night Football and went on to become a household name as part of Sky Sport’s “Big Four” football commentary team.

In 1995, as Sky's boxing coverage expanded, Ian became the channel's "voice of boxing" on Big Fight Night. Over the next 10 years he interviewed all the leading fighters, including Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Frank Bruno, Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe and covered their title fights. When Sky reduced its boxing output, Ian seized the opportunity to return to live football where he commentated on Champions League, Premier League and Football League matches.

In 2010 Ian covered the World Cup for ESPN USA which led to him joining the channel as lead commentator on Premier League football, USA internationals and major tournaments. He worked on the 2012 European Championships and the 2014 World Cup and was voted, together with Taylor Twellman, Sports Illustrated's Broadcast Team of the Year in December 2014.

When he is not working, Ian coaches and plays cricket for his village team – he has scored three centuries – and tries to improve his somewhat less impressive golf! He also writes a weekly column – The Darke Side – for the Portsmouth newspaper.

 

April 2024