Chris Kamara will make his TV return next month just weeks after he took a break from reporting after developing apraxia of speech… with the Soccer Saturday star set to commentate on ITV’s new show The Games
- Chris Kamara took a break from Soccer Saturday after developing apraxia
- The neurological condition make speech difficult and cause slurring of words
- But the TV presenter has been announced as a commentator on a new ITV show
- He will form part of the coverage for celebrity sports programme The Games
Chris Kamara will make his return to TV next month just weeks after he announced he was taking a break from live reporting after developing apraxia of speech.
The Soccer Saturday star was inundated with messages in March after after opening up on his diagnosis, with fans, colleagues and sporting figures sending their best wishes to him.
He admitted that ‘live TV might have to take a back seat’ while he adjusts and tries to build up his speech again, but he has now been announced as a commentator on ITV’s new show The Games in May.
The celebrity sports event will be hosted by Holly Willoughby and former cricket star Freddie Flintoff. Twelve celebrities – including Stricly Come Dancing’s Kevin Clifton and Love Island and music star Wes Nelson – will go head to head across a week of different challenges such as diving, swimming, gymnastics and cycling.
Joining Kamara in the live coverage team will be former Arsenal women’s defender Alex Scott, who will be a pitchside reporter.
Fans had been concerned about Kamara’s welfare last month after noticing he was slurring his words on TV, with the presenter later revealing he had been struggling with the neurological condition that makes speech difficult.
Chris Kamara will make his TV return next month, just weeks after announcing he would be taking a break having developed apraxia of speech
The Soccer Saturday star will commentate on ITV’s celebrity sports show The Games
He paid tribute to those who had given him their support and said he had been ‘overwhelmed’ by good wishes.
‘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.’
Fans had grown concerned after hearing Kamara slur his words while reporting for Sky Sports
He tweeted last month confirming presenting duties would ‘take a back seat’ for the time being
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.
During an appearance on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, he expressed his gratitude for the messages he has received while providing an update on his condition:
‘It was incredible,’ he said. ‘Today is a good day. Today I think I’m fine, I don’t know how I sound. But it seems as if I’m OK.
‘But on Saturday I was doing a report for Sky at Rotherham and unbeknown to me, because I’m not really sure about how it comes out, because if I explain my apraxia, we take for granted the fact that when we think and coming through our speech it’s comfortable, it’s easy, it’s natural.
‘My apraxia, because it varies in different people, when it’s bad it stops those signals from that brain going to that mouth, so it slows it down.
‘In fact, at times it slurs the words as well. So people are looking and thinking, ‘Is he alright? Is he drunk?’
Last year Kamara also 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 for two years.
Kamara has become a cult figure with football fans for his excitable commentary and gaffes
Speaking about his condition, he said: ‘I’d never heard of an underactive thyroid.
‘I didn’t realise that a little hormone in your neck the size of a butterfly controlled your brain, your muscles. All sorts of things. Your emotions.’
Kamara, affectionately known as ‘Kammy,’ has worked with Sky for over two decades after a lengthy playing career and manager spells at Bradford and Stoke City.
He is 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.