Unbelievable Jeff! Chris Kamara will launch a BBC football podcast this summer alongside former Goals on Sunday co-host Ben Shephard in his first role since leaving Sky Sports following speech apraxia diagnosis
- Former Sky Sports presenter Chris Kamara is set to launch a football podcast
- Kamara left the broadcaster after developing apraxia of the speech in April
- He has now signed with BBC Sounds and will star alongside Ben Shephard
Former Sky Sports presenter Chris Kamara is set to launch a football podcast on the BBC in his first role since leaving the broadcaster last month after developing apraxia of the speech.
Fans were left worried when the 64-year-old began slurring his words during a live reporting shift on Soccer Saturday and later revealed he had developed the neurological disorder, which makes it difficult to speak.
Kamara announced he would leave Sky at the end of April following 24 years, admitting his profession may have to ‘take a back seat’ while he grapples with his diagnosis – as he received an outpouring of support on social media.
Chris Kamara will launch a football podcast on the BBC this summer after leaving Sky Sports
The presenter spent 24 years with Sky before leaving after developing apraxia of the speech
But Kamara has been making strides to return to his work and was part of the commentary team on ITV’s new celebrity sports show The Games.
Now he has revealed he is signing for BBC Sounds to kick off a new podcast alongside his former Goals on Sunday co-host Ben Shephard, as announced at The Podcast Show 2022.
The podcast will be called ‘Unbelievable’ – named after his iconic catchphrase on Soccer Saturday – and is launching this summer.
Kamara will host the show alongside former Goals on Sunday host Ben Shephard (left)
WHAT IS APRAXIA OF SPEECH?
Apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder that makes it difficult to speak.
This disorder can make saying the right sounds and words very difficult and can be observed as slurring.
It is caused by damage to the parts of the brain that control how muscles move, leading to apraxia of speech.
‘This is a dream transfer and I can’t wait to tell you more about my new BBC podcast later this summer,’ he said. ‘Expect top guests, unbelievable stories and plenty of laughs as Ben and I delve into the footballing world.’
The show will fill the void of That Peter Crouch Podcast, with the former Liverpool and Tottenham signing a deal with BBC Sounds’ rival Acast.
Kamara has been dealing with health issues for the last two years, and in 2021 he revealed he had been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, also known as Underactive Thyroid Disease, a condition when the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough hormones to meet the body’s needs.
As a result he suffered from ‘brain fog’ and slurred speech but kept his health concerns quiet.
And this year he began to develop apraxia of the speech, and paid tribute to those who had wished him well and said he had been ‘overwhelmed’ by messages.
‘Thank you so much to everyone for your best wishes,’ he wrote. ‘Twitter can be a wonderful platform.
‘The response about my Apraxia has been overwhelming. Unfortunately for you viewers this is not the end of me but “Live TV” might have to take a back seat at the moment. Thank you.’
Kamara has been struggling with health issues for the last two years and has received an outpouring of support from fans
He later announced he would be leaving Sky Sports, saying he had ‘the time of his life’ and that the job never felt like work.
‘My long career at Sky Sports has never felt like work. I’ve spent 24 terrific years at Sky, and leave with the best of memories,’ Kamara said in a statement.
‘My time on Soccer AM, Goals on Sunday and, of course, on Soccer Saturday with Jeff has been – to coin a phrase – unbelievable.
‘I’ve had the time of my life, and look forward to tuning in every Saturday as a fan.’
He was known for his excitable nature when delivering reports from stadiums as part of Soccer Saturday, as well as his unusual sayings and gaffes – including not realising that Anthony Vanden Borre had been sent off in a clash with Portsmouth and Blackburn in 2010.