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Six weeks of Savage on 606

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Hasit Shah | 14:50 UK time, Saturday, 25 September 2010

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Jo Tongue, the producer of 606, writes:

Six weeks into the season and the new 606 partnership between Mark Chapman and Robbie Savage is settling down nicely - even if the ribbing between them is not. I think the current chart on one-upmanship lies in Chappers' favour but with Robbie's competitive spirit, be in no doubt that he'll soon be back on level terms.

It's been a hectic start to the season, not just on the pitch and on the phones, but also sorting out the logistics for the programme. So far Robbie has presented from Pride Park, Elland Road, BBC Radio Manchester and BBC Radio Sheffield - that's on top of captaining Derby until 5pm every Saturday.

Mark also has 5 live Sport and Football Focus commitments so getting the two of them, and Darren Fletcher who is always at our 5.30 game - together on the right lines by 6.06pm means my stress levels at 6.05pm are probably a little like Arsene Wenger's were in the 95th minute last Saturday. I do try not to shove the production team about though...

Last Saturday Robbie was playing away at Barnsley (I say "playing" - he was actually on the bench). There was a lot of traffic between the ground and BBC Radio Sheffield. Cue Robbie abandoning his car and running through the streets of Sheffield to the radio studio to get on air by 6.06. He needed the exercise anyway.

Robbie always warms down and has a debrief with his teammates after games, then changes and heads to the studio. His attire has ranged from club tracksuit to crisp white shirt, trousers, shoes and a jacket. It's only radio but he likes to make the effort.

Robbie Savage

Sav on 606

Once we're into the show, it's two hours of madness as the calls start piling in and Robbie and Mark take listeners - and each other - to task. Mark and Robbie have brought a different edge to the show this season. They're both sharp and quick-witted, so the gallery is always an entertaining place to be. Hopefully, it's the same in cars and houses around the country.


  • Comment number 1.

    I am glad you are so pleased with 606 and Robbie Savage but the question I would love to ask you is: Why him? There are so many entertaining current footballers you could have chosen, if that was what you wanted, who may not have the polish or articulacy that maybe some feel would be nice to hear, but who at least have a bit more insight and breadth of vision of the game. He is a disaster waiting to happen. He doesn't get booed at for nothing.

  • Comment number 2.

    Dont ask me why but whenever i hear Savage on 5live, it always reminds me of an incident described in Graham Polls book, where Savage entered Polls dressing room during half time because he wanted to use the toilet desperately, what happened next beggars belief.

    After emptying his bladder in the refs toilet, he gets out with a big smile on his face and instead of washing his hands,he wipes them on Graham Polls back, and runs out the dressing room with a cheeky grin.

    I think it sez it all about Savages chracter.........vile!!!

  • Comment number 3.

    This is the same guy who admitted recently that, although he had just signed a new contract with birmingham, he put in a transfer request, and after nothing happened, he decided that he would go on 'strike' in his next game. Personally, i think its a joke that this guy is on 5live !

  • Comment number 4.

    Tongue always keen to dribble "the brand" as she puts it - and presumably, trying to construct something phoney around a mediocre player and a bloke from Radio 1 who inisists everyone call him Chappers

  • Comment number 5.

    Savage is a prime example of the BBC's preoccupation with celebrity. He has nothing to contribute because he's not the sharpest tack in the box. He's a classic motormouth straight out of the TalkSport mould. He is also massively unpopular wherever he plays - the BBC wouldn't suss that out would they?

    I agree also with the observations about Chapman. He's a very close shout radio candidate.

  • Comment number 6.

    If 5live wants to end up in the gutter then employing obnoxious characters like Savage is the way to go.

  • Comment number 7.

    "....and the partnership is settling down nicely..."

    Yes - if you like vaudeville instead of a football themed show.

    I can just imagine AV-K ticking the boxes as this banality is broadcast..

    "Edgy: Ticked

    Personality led/driven: Ticked

    Aggressive/shouty - BOUND to attract the age group wot I am desperate to: Ticked

    etc -

    Savage is just a ridiculous caricature; the concept is so shallow it's laughable. "Employ someone 'edgy' and they will come"

    But will they?

    Savage might have amused a handful of people with his comments during one game of the World Cup - but what Tristan then thought that that would be transerrable to a weekly two-hour slot?

    I've used the analogy before - but this smacks of 'embarrassing Dad on the dancefloor'. It's excruciating; it's puerile; it's pathetic.

    Re: comment no. 2 - Fedster - Mark Chapman actually brought that incident up last night and referred to it as "when you did a poo in Graham Poll's toilet".

    The whole concept comes across as contrived; shallow and desperate. If I want to hear/watch someone being aggressive and stupid (egged on via the earpiece by the 'person-behind-the-glass) then I would watch re-runs of Big Brother. Stop trying to chase ratings.

    The Saturday Preview prog that followed was a good listen AND a 10 minute book review (although not a weekly occurrence I understand) was welcome.

  • Comment number 8.

    What a contrast the Ryder Cup coverage promises to be. I'm really looking forward to that (except for the bit that involves Colin Murray).

  • Comment number 9.

    Add to lunchtime's list Nicky Campbell who yet again has blagged himself an 'access all areas' pass to a sporting event he knows absolutely nothing about but as the 'premier' breakfast presenter insists he just has to be there.

    I would love the fly on the wall listen-in if they had asked him to do the same job at the Commonwealth Games? Ummmmmm

    PS Nicky - tried eating out in Newport recently?

  • Comment number 10.

    Sunday's 606 is not worth listening to unless you're a mad-keen 'Pool fan. Yawn. Should be re-named 'Anfield Aficionados' or the 'Liverpool Love-in'.

  • Comment number 11.

    Yes, dare to criticise darling Stevie G and you'll be instantly told you're talking tosh and cut off. Before Green there was Spoony and of course there's also Colin Murray elsewhere. About time we had someone who was neutral or could at least keep his allegiance under control.
    Just heard that Logan is also going to be at Celtic Manor. Why do we need anyone other than the 5live golf team?

  • Comment number 12.

    Exactly which one of BBC's latest choices in terms of personnel has been correct that people expect this one to be?

    Robbie Savage has nothing to offer other than cliches and more cliches. He is slightly a better choice than Colin Murrya but that's saying very very little.

  • Comment number 13.

    I think it hasnt been too bad although I think i prefer Alan Green. I liked Savage's contribtuions as a summariser at gamnes mainly due to the humour between him and the commentator.

    However on 606 over the last 2 weeks what annoys me is his general ignorance of league football outside the Championshiop and Premier League. For me his anti-Scottish stance is a bit too far as when a Scottish caller calls in about a point it usually becomes void as the conversation gets diverted by Savage/chapman to talking about the quality of the league. Its basically saying that 606 is there only for the English leagues and any Scottish club talking point is not important. Whereas Mr Green at least gave Scottish football the light of day. Also Savage does have the tendency to overreact and jump to conclusions far too much about caller's points often butting in before the full point is made. It would help if he waits slighhtly longer before shouting over everyone. Apart from that it is good.

  • Comment number 14.


    Couldn't agree more.

    Bring back Alan Green! I am fed up with the constant shouting and bawling from Savage. And I don't pay my license fee to have the SPL ridiculed by someone who probably has never even watched an SPL match. The English would not tolerate having their football subject such abuse by a Welshman so why should we in Scotland?

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    Lunchtime, you're having a bad run.

  • Comment number 17.

    Sometimes they stick, sometimes they don't.

  • Comment number 18.

    For me 606 is supposed to be a fans forum so I don't think ex or current pros should be part of the show.

    It should just be the fans and a presenter and an email/text assistant. People called them but for me the likes of Richard Littlejohn, Adrian Chiles and even David Mellor presented good shows.

    I do like Robbie Savage as a summeriser but I do think the BBC are in danger of over-exposing him although I hear ESPN have signed him up so he might not be on Five Live as often.

  • Comment number 19.

    I think Robbie Savage should be moved off 5Live and put exclusively on MOTD2 with Colin Murray. They deserve each other.

  • Comment number 20.

    I have no particular axe to grind about Robbie Savage and have listened to his observations. I thought that as an ex-pro he might have some insight, I didn't fully realise he was still palying at that point.

    In one of the games I was listening too the commentator asked him for a view on the tactics employed to which Robbie replied, "You should ask Chris Waddle he is good at that sort of thing...." Apart from the fact that ringing Chris Waddle who was presumably at home and disturbing him might be considered rude we got an insight into Robbie's tactical understanding i.e none.

    So 5live why was he employed at all?

  • Comment number 21.

    Cars, houses, dogs, Twitter, players' hairstyles - yes.
    Tactics - no.

  • Comment number 22.

    RobbieSavage8 tweets "he's not bad is he not as good as me though nor is his hair !!" regarding Simon Jordan.
    Tells you everything. Even adds his IQ after his name.

  • Comment number 23.

    A birthday card to Robbie from the 606 team.
    How nice.
    They're so far up his **** it'll take the Phoenix2 capsule to extricate them.

  • Comment number 24.

    I keep seeing the headline "6 weeks of Savage on 606" on the topical posts section ... I'm wondering when the 6 weeks is up and we get back to proper presenters? Anybody have a clue?

  • Comment number 25.

    Unless he chokes on his ego it looks like he's here to stay.


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