Channel 4 Ends the Ortis Deley Experiment

If you remember from a post I wrote no more than two days ago, Channel 4 in the UK gave this guy the role as the primary 2011 IAAF World Athletics Championships host. Ortis Deley had a hapless three days of hosting an event filled with sports he clearly knows nothing about. Well it looks like Channel 4 have decided Deley can’t get the job done and he’s off the network’s coverage.

According to Charles Sale from the Daily Mail:

The lead presenter of Channel 4’s World Athletics Championships coverage has been axed less than halfway through the event following a catalogue of gaffes that made his anchor role untenable.

Ortis Deley, best known for hosting The Gadget Show, proved to be hopelessly out of his depth on a major live sports broadcast and held little knowledge of track and field.

C4 sports editor Jamie Aitchison made the decision following Deley’s third successive hapless performance on Monday, having consulted the station’s top brass, David Abraham, Jay Hunt and Stuart Cosgrove.

The botched choice of Deley, who was replaced on the live athletics programme by the equally inexperienced Rick Edwards, a music presenter who had been hosting the highlights package, doesn’t say much for C4’s sports expertise ahead of the 2012 Paralympics, during which they will be under a greater spotlight.


You know you suck when they poach a former stand-up comedian with equally minimal experience hosting athletics as the replacement. Deley’s absolutely abysmal performance rivals Bryant Gumbel’s play-by-play stint on the NFL Network as the worst individual effort put in by a broadcaster on a major sporting event. At least with the Boom Goes the Dynamite guy it was a Ball State local TV broadcast that just went viral. Mr. Ortis here is in front of an entire nation and is worse than comical to the point where it’s cringeworthy.

I’m not an expert on UK TV, but perhaps Channel 4 shoulder really consider hiring experienced sportscasters with knowledge of athletics as their primary hosts from now on. The rest of their coverage can be as brilliant as possible but when the host sucks to high heavens and is all over Youtube, guess what will get more attention.

Good luck to Mr. Deley on his other ventures but I think even he would admit that this whole thing has been a complete disaster.


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