Colin Murray leaves MOTD2 amid claims he irritated guests
Presenter to be replaced by Mark Chapman, seen as a 'safer pair of hands', next season
COLIN MURRAY is to lose his job as presenter of the BBC's Match of the Day 2 at the end of the season and will be replaced by Mark Chapman, amid claims that his "irreverant" style angered pundits.
The Northern Irishman (above) took over the show from Adrian Chiles in the summer of 2010, but has struggled to win over viewers as the show's profile has risen over the past two-and-a-half seasons. With most of the Premier League's big games now taking place on a Sunday MOTD2 was moved from its original home on BBC2 to a regular slot on BBC1 at the start of this season.
But Murray, a former Radio 1 DJ and well-known Liverpool fan, attracted criticism from fans for making his own views known and was frequently accused of bias. His sometimes flippant tone reportedly upset some of the heavyweight analysts who appear on the show.
And, as the programme attempts to adopt a more serious air on BBC1, the corporation has opted to replace the controversial Murray with Chapman, who is considered a safer pair of hands.
"He is regarded as a more suitable host for a programme that increasingly features the most important Premier League matches of the weekend," reported the Daily Mail. "It is understood that the Ulsterman had also irritated a number of BBC football pundits by the way he criticised players."
The Daily Telegraph concurred and noted: "Murray's presentational style has been criticised during his spell on the sofa, and he has been accused of crossing the line between punditry and presenting."
The reaction on Twitter was largely positive, although few football presenters or pundits are popular on the opinionated social networking site. And some even saw his departure as a way of attacking those he leaves behind.
"Not a Colin Murray fan, but sad he's being axed because he'd angered MOTD2 pundits. Ex-players hold too much power in football broadcasting," wrote football journalist Nick Postinger.