BBC Radio 5 Live: Fighting Talk

Fighting Talk is a sports panel show broadcast on BBC Radio 5Live during the English football season, chaired by Irish sports presenter Colin  Murray and four guests who are invited to compete for points by expressing their opinions and views on topical events of the past week.images

As it is a mainly sports-based show, ‘Fighting Talk’ would appeal to a very wide range of ages and the listener base would predominantly be male. The show is broadcast on Saturday’s at 11am; This time fits in perfectly with their target audience as these sorts of people would most likely be listening on the way to work, on a lunch break, in their car, or generally in their own home.

According to the BBC Radio 5 live service licence, “The remit of BBC Radio 5 live is to provide live news and sports coverage. It should be BBC Radio’s main outlet for breaking news by bringing its audience major news stories as they happen. It should provide context to its news and sports coverage through wide-ranging analysis and discussion. Programming should be designed to inform, entertain and involve. The service should appeal to news and sports fans of all ages and from all ethnic backgrounds and areas across the UK.” (1)

One suggestion I would have for the show is to lessen the use of sound effects especially while somebody is trying to make a serious point. An example of this is the show I listened to for this blog,  The panellists were giving their opinion on the NFL players kneeling in protest at the US National Anthem, random soundbites of Donald Trump saying “You are Fake News” would be played and it frustrated me, I understand that it is a light-hearted mainly-comedic show but it ruined the point that the Canadian journalist was trying to make, Simon Cross, one of the producers of the show has stated that a sound effect is played when somebody gains a point or loses a point(2).

The show is essentially a game show focused on sports and comedy, elements are included such as a serious news segment, a weather segment,  audience questions/links and very over the top sound effects which play over each guest as they are speaking. However, they also feature topical conversations about the week’s news, with a comedic twist.

Whilst “Fighting Talk” may not be for everyone, it definitely has a loyal following that has stayed with it for a long time, which not many radio shows can do.


(1) BBC Radio 5 live Service Licence, 2016 [ebook] BBC, p.1.

(2) BBC. 2017. BBC Radio 5 live – Fighting Talk – FAQs.


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