We’re not surprised that thousands of people around the globe have sent messages of support to broadcaster Mike Parry after he quit his popular daily radio show on TalkSport.
Nor are we surprised that many are distinctly underwhelmed at the station’s bosses for not doing more to keep him – and then giving his slot to disgraced Sky Sports presenters Richard Keys and Andy Gray.
The opinionated Parry, a former News columnist who has homes in Portsmouth and Gosport, has played a massive role in the success of TalkSport, which is heard across the world via the internet.
Listeners might not have agreed with his forthright views on sport and life, but they found him hugely entertaining.
So we entirely understand the anger of fans who have seen him leave the station, after apparently resigning over a ‘long-running contractual dispute’.
In the view of some, Parry being replaced by Keys and Gray – fresh from the furore over their views on women in football – has made it even worse.
We believe that the TalkSport management is taking a huge gamble by employing them.
Keys and Gray may be big, if tarnished, names in the world of football. They may have long experience of commenting on the game.
But the man they are replacing on TalkSport’s daily 10am to 1pm slot is a bit of an institution.
Parry had a likeable style. Yes, he could be abrasive and pugnacious, but he echoed the views of many listeners.
He also had a good line in self-deprecation. There are some who would take exception to being given the nickname Porky, but somehow you couldn’t imagine him taking offence. Parry could certainly take it and dish it out.
Keys and Gray may like to think of their outdated and sexist views as humorous, but in reality the snide and insulting comments were far from funny.
It will be interesting to see what TalkSport’s female listeners make of the pair when they begin their new job on Monday.