Kirby’s Knowledge and Enthusiasm on the Mic is Unparalleled


Among an awful lot of distractions, as Carlton Kirby explains, commentating on cycling is an arduous process. This is why he often cracks jokes and laughs heartily. It is amusing that explaining this  is futile, he remarks.

During a long interview, the legendary veteran commentator of Eurosports shares some of his knowledge about the job. And, one can understand the enthusiasm that has kept him going despite the setbacks and even criticism from people.

Insane Chatter and Terrible Jokes

When Kirby explains the difficult process of commentating on cycling, and the concerns he has, one might want to know how much of that impacts him. To know that, you simply have to do a Google Search and you will know why.

A piece of the petition has gained over 542 signatures demanding the removal of Carlton Kirby from Eurosports, citing ‘Unnecessary Screaming’, ‘Terrible Jokes’ as one of the biggest downsides. The very aspect of commentating that requires filling the gaps spanning hours of no action is the reason.

Cycling is a sport where there are no time limits and there are no constant action-packed sequences to speak about. There are no points for each turn. Hence, talking on something is difficult without matter. But, Kirby has to do that, without fail.

However, a lot of his fans understand this and support him. They support his knowledge and enthusiasm behind the mic, even after so many years. The problem is that social media has allowed anyone and everyone to voice their opinion, regardless of their credibility. It just stays online forever.

Kirby remarks, “It’s not like a written press where you can write something out and finesse it and shave it”. And, he is right about it. The moment you have spoken a word, it is out there on tape and on every news website, forum, and who knows what. It is irretrievable. Such things impact one’s reputation a lot, and there is no way around it. There is no discussion or debate, just chatter, articles, and just that.

Things are no Longer the Same

Without any editing, moderation, or credibility, it is all out in the name of fate. The current situation has made things difficult, where previously they would head over to the channel to cover Tour De France, now they sit in their studios and practice social distancing and looking at monitors.

From the Eurosports studios in London, covering the tour is not the same as waiting at the finish line. Unlike other sports, the practicalities of cycling don’t change, and doing this remotely is not at all a good idea, but the situation makes all helpless.

Being on the site always gives you extra material which makes the commentating so natural and energetic. The atmosphere fills up with buzz from moment to moment that enthusiasm pushes the words out of the heart. But, being in the studio means there is a considerable loss of interaction.

When all the commentators from different nationalities are inside the same studio room, it is no longer the same as before, remarks Kirby, in a monotonous tone.


  1. I agree – listening to the man’s over stressed enthusiasm really gets on my nerves. I just wish we had Liggett and Kelly doing the Grand Tours.

  2. Without wishing to be too disparaging to Mr. Kirby, I don’t have Eurosport or the ability to watch cycling live, so I have to make do with highlights. I realise that commentating on a race involving nearly 200 riders is challenging, but since 1986 I have always been able to follow what is going on thanks to the commentary. But not today in the Vuelta or yesterday, and this is the first time I have heard Kirby commentating. I had almost no idea what was going on or who was where. And his constant “er, er, erms..” all the time were extremely irritating. I am very sorry but he is just nowhere near the standards of messrs. Liggett, Boulting, Miller and Hatch.

  3. Well over a 1000 signatories on that petition now. He is rubbish Eurosport have many other far better options we need a decent commentator not Carlton’s partridge esque musings.

  4. Fully agree Kirby is the most irritable commentator ever. So poor . He spoils everyone’s enjoyment of the race with his silly so called jokes and rubbish talk. We don’t want this man commentating. He has poor knowledge and really just annoys everyone. Get rid. So many other cycling commentators on Eurosport

  5. It’s the constant attempts at humour, then the giggling at his own in-jokes that has me reaching for the mute button.

    There are many great cycling commentators around at the moment, I’m afraid Kirby isn’t one of them.

  6. You have got to be kidding! I would rather have the sound off than listen to his pathetic attempts to link words and phrases together rather than comment on the racing (as opposed to being able to identify riders) about which he knows precious little.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here