Mark Bright: Football Co-Commentator & All-Round Sage

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26 Responses

  1. CTT says:

    You have articulated into a wonderful article exactly what I was thinking watching that game on Saturday.

    He is one of a long line of co-commentators (Trevor Francis, Trevor Brooking, David Pleat) who simply describe what they’re seeing, instead of offering any real insight into a particular set-piece or whatever.

    Unfortunately, as you say, Bright’s star is too high for the beeb to dump him now. he is going to Angola in January for the ACN and, inevitably, South Africa next June.


  2. Alex says:

    Lita missing the header towards Brad Jones? If that was the case, probably best he missed since he’s the middlesbrough keeper…very enjoyable piece though

  3. Lol says:

    I have to agree completely with your observations on both Alan Green and “Brighty”. Both appear at separate ends of the spectrum but have the same cumulative effect on an audience which tends to be incredulity.
    Anyone Who happens to be listening to Radio 5 live when a commentary “Switchover” occurs between, say Colin Murray and Green, will almost certainly feel like a different game has suddenly been substituted mistakenly by the producer (and their heart sink at the same time)as anything you have been lead to believe to that point gets crushed under the weight of a deep and depressive cloud that is Greens’ Northern Irish brogue.
    “Brighty” certainly sounds more cheerful on the face of it but, as your excellent piece indicates, his comments are full of wishful fantasies and self delusions which tend to render his comments as sour grapes rather than the fruits of his wisdom.
    I am sure both are “great guys” but I find myself either irritated or down right depressed by listening to either.
    Thank you for articulating my (and I am sure many other peoples) feelings on these particular commentators though I do use that term loosely.

  4. Paul says:

    For me, he has to keep his mouth shut, for atleast some of the game. If he does, he doesn’t ruin the game for the viewing public.
    Perhaps the powers that be at the BBC might also concider the fact that, although the man with the oxymoron for a surname, can string a lot of sentences together, he very rarely makes sense or is in the least way contributing to the enjoyment of the viewer. Just the reverse in fact.
    Also,did I imagine it or did he actually refer to one player getting ‘TWATTED’ ? You do know what that means Mr Bright, dont you?

  5. Tim Vickerman says:

    I guess, “Well, in ideal conditions he should score from there but the pitch is a little slippery, the bounce wasn’t perfect, he’s under some pressure from the defender and his left foot is his weaker foot so we shouldn’t be too surprised he’s shanked it’ is less economical…

    As for genuine insight, are there any co-commentators who do provide real insight?

  6. magpieranger says:

    Lennie Lawrence – “I fancy Liam O’Brien over the wall”

  7. Paul says:

    Quite honestly Hanson, Lawrencenson, Crooks and Bright are all the same as far as I’m concerned.

  8. Harpo says:

    If you’d got your arse to the game you wouldn’t have had to put up with him.

  9. billy says:

    Guy Mowbray was biased all game (ex-Local Radio commentator for the Unwashed up the Road). Don’t get me started on Mark Bright. The Bloke was an utter garbage Player who missed sitters left right and centre every time I saw the Bloke play. Footy expert my Backside. Get rid of him off the BBC. Or should I say ”For me–He should never be on the Telly”
    You mentioned Jonathon Pearce now for me Top commentator who knows his stuff.

  10. Mark Murphy says:


    “And when I lambaste Bright for poor/no research…”

    Serves me right for going for the cheap laugh at Jones’ expense. I meant Shay Given, of course…er…

  11. mick says:

    Chill out everyone, what’s the point of summarisors and pundits if not to wind us all up?

    As it was in the beginning, so shall it be in the end.

  12. Michael Wood says:

    As a good game down the pub or – at this time of year – around the Christmas tree sit down with a few football watching people and get everyone who agrees that the coverage is awful (and it is) to start trying to reinvent the way that football is covered on TV.

    We did this and came up with some interesting things especially when one considers the new age of narrowcasting we are racing into.

    In the game an option to have the commentators turned off and a FIFA style line at the bottom with the name of the player in possession on it. An option to have not a commentator but a describer (as a blind person would have saying what is occurring, not giving opinion). The ability to watch games from a single fixed view somewhere in the stadium (which works much better in high-def widescreen than it did when Sky did it back in the mid 90s).

    In the studio dispense with Gary and the pundits and have some fans at the stadium interviewed (which I think would be awful, but others like). An interesting one was the idea of having no analysis of the game at all at half time (because club’s don’t provide pundits over the tannoy at games) and just having music so instead of Gary and Alan you get Lady Gaga and Girls Aloud videos. Another is to have a football magazine programme highlighting news stories around the game (what price a piece on the problems at Stockport during the Man U vs Chelsea game?)

    All interesting suggestions and a good way to kill and hour or so as the turkey cooks.

    Merry Christmas all

  13. Rich says:

    Still not as bad as Chris Waddle, with his grayt gowl and powst and gayme, not to mention ‘blatant pelanty’……

  14. ejh says:

    You all want to try watching football on the telly in Spain, where apart from the general habit of screaming ¡golgolgolgolgolgol! when the ball bobbles into the net off a deflection (which is at least amusing when the goal is subsequently disallowed) we have to put up with this utter tool and his mates. The phrase “makes Jonathan Pearce sound like Kenneth Wolstenholme” is about as much as I can manage by way of explanation without excessive recourse to expletives. I usually prefer to watch the same match on a Catalan channel, Catalan being a language which I do not understand.

  15. Jez says:

    I only managed to watch a few minutes of Sunday’s game, but I did see the Lita header, and I commented (to myself) at the time that the ball was a bit behind him, so Bright was being harsh.

    I like Chris Waddle because of his accent and his pelanties, and for the same reason I also like Jim Beglin. But most of them do detract from the spectacle. Having been to a couple of tournaments abroad, I have come to the conclusion that one of the benefits of going to the tournament is that you can’t understand the commentators for those games that you watch on TV, so they can’t annoy you in the same way.

    Similarly, one of my most enjoyable experiences of going to a match was (now I sound like I’m showing off) watching a Milan game at the San Siro, in large part because I couldn’t understand a word of what anyone around me was saying. One of the little-mentioned rules of going to a game is that you usually end up near a loud, opinionated, annoying twerp. If you don’t understand them, all they are is loud, and easier to ignore. This is also a drawback of all-seater stadia, in that when you’re standing on a terrace you’re free to move your position to try to find a twerp-free spot.

  16. Jertzee says:

    MArk Bright is a Franchise sympathiser, and, therefore a complete and utter c*ck

  17. Chef says:

    Good piece Mark.
    Brighty certainly took a bit of a pounding on Twitter during that game

  18. Someone I met once who knew a researcher at the BBC said that “Brighty” has a basic lack of knowledge, doesn’t really do his homework, leaves it all to the researcher and yet gets in a huff if they get even the slightest detail wrong. Of course, I have no idea if this is true – the same person said Lawrenson was a good bloke.

  19. ejh says:

    Well, he was the one time I met him. But you can probably say that of anybody, it doesn’t mean anything.

  20. Rob C says:

    Some of my most enjoyable recent “football on TV” experiences have been watching “The Big Match Revisited”, where they show, unedited, their programme from 30 years ago.

    Many modern football producers would have fits if they saw the coverage. Just a few cameras at the ground to provide the briefest variation in view, scarce use of the replay facility, and – joy of joys! – commentators who briefly and succinctly describe what is happening, rather than telling us their own personal opinion about it.

    And then, afterwards, back to Brian Moore in the studio, a brief, “Well done to Norwich, whose win lifts them to xth place in the table”, and then on to the next game.

    They trust the viewer to be able to make their own judgement, they save valuable air time to show more football, and my blood pressure is considerably eased.

    If only a modern TV producers would be brave enough to scrap the so-called experts and return to that era where the viewer was trusted to be able to decide for themselves.

  21. Martin says:

    Bright’s (presumably cheap) column in the Evening (sub)Standard (or is it the diabolical Metro?) is even worse.

    Whichever of the so-called “big four” has played well or won the day before are now his tip for the title…

  22. Martin says:

    Being on Palace’s staff could be interesting for him over the next few months too…

    On the plus side, he’ll have more time to do his intensive pre-match research.

  23. Ted Blair says:

    Oh thank you – I’ve been saying all this for what seems like years. He is just so irritating – much like Andy Townsend and Robbie Earle and a whole lot more who sponge off the game way after they ceased to be useful to the game.

    Why can’t they go off and run a pub/newsagent/paint shop like the good old pros of yesteryear…

  24. NickDunmore says:

    The thing I always seem to hear Bright saying is “…and that’s a great example for any kids watching”. Whereas conversely he is a terrible example for any kids listening.

  25. Dr Longshanks says:

    My problem is lack of understanding he has for the job of the co-commentator. Others can be annoying but at least they don’t analyse every single move. HE DOESNT STOP TALKING and it is genuinely impossible for me to watch a game in which he is involved in.

  26. ted says:

    this is so funny. watching the Chile game today and text my mate, did this guy even get a cap, you’d think he was Pele. Googled, on Wiki, never one a cap or indeed anything – player of the year for palace – once, and we’ve to listen to him judging world class players – might as well have the fat bird from the pub – at least she wont claim to do better in every situation than the likes of Ronaldo.

    I agree, he just keep whining in that stupid tone – gimme the vuvuzela any day!!!!

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