Martin Kelner

Martin Barry Kelner (28 May 1949[1] in Prestwich, Lancashire) is a British journalist, author, comedian, singer, actor and radio presenter.

Martin Kelner
Martin Kelner at Radio Aire in 1982
Martin Barry Kelner

28 May 1949 (age 69)
CountryUnited Kingdom

Education and early career

Kelner studied Arts and Social Studies at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, but dropped out. He was employed as a reporter on the Western Daily Press in Bristol and for the Oxford Mail. He then joined the Central Office of Information, for whom he worked in Bristol, Lambeth, South London and in Birmingham.

Martin Kelner moved to Radio Hallam in Sheffield to begin his career in radio. He started reading the breakfast show news before moving on to his own late night show. He spent a brief spell at London's LBC and Manchester's Piccadilly Radio, before moving to Leeds in 1981 and the fledgling Radio Aire.

He left Radio Aire in late 1982, and worked for Yorkshire TV for a time on a programme called Calendar It's The Weekend. He was also a co-presenter on BBC Breakfast. Other television excursions for Kelner include Brainwave, a daytime quiz show and Pick of the Week.

Personal life

His daughter, Martha, won the 2013 Young Sportswriter Award, and is a regular pundit on BBC Radio 5 Live's Fighting Talk. His younger brother is the journalist and editor Simon Kelner.


In 1984 Kelner joined the BBC. He initially presented the weekday early show on BBC Radio 2 in September and October 1984, and then presented his own Saturday night show on the same station from 6 July 1985 until 24 March 1990, also returning to the early show for two stints during 1985. He fronted his own Saturday afternoon show on Radio 2 from 1 October 1994 to 23 March 1996. He also did many stand-ins for regular presenters on the network, peaking in the mid-1990s when he regularly deputised for Sarah Kennedy on the weekday early show (both when she sat in for Terry Wogan and when she was on holiday herself) and also sat in for Ken Bruce and John Dunn. He also presented editions of the Radio 2 Arts Programme from the north of England, and a programme called Let It Be... Please! featuring bad or embarrassing cover versions of the Beatles' songs. He then fell out of favour at the national station, presenting his last Radio 2 show sitting in for Sarah Kennedy on 29 November 1996.

At the same time as he was on Radio 2, he was also presenting a local radio late night show broadcast from the Radio Leeds studios and broadcast across the BBC Night Network in the north, on which he first gave airtime to radio comedy sketches from Caroline Aherne. She portrayed the Mrs Merton character on his radio show ad-libbing conversations with Kelner for around eight years. He also introduced Aherne into network broadcasting on Radio Two and the original BBC Radio Five, where he presented the programme Five Aside for the station's opening months in 1990.

He returned to Manchester to present the breakfast show on 100.4 Jazz FM, where he introduced another great comic talent to the public in the shape of Jake Yapp's Dora Dale, with whom Martin produced the hit BBC7 comedy show, Pleased To Meet You. This show was nominated for a Sony National Radio Award on 28 March 2007 in the category of Best Comedy Programme.

Until October 2006, Kelner presented the Friday and Saturday late show at the weekends on BBC Radio Humberside, BBC Radio York, BBC Radio Leeds and BBC Radio Sheffield.

Other stations he has worked for include BBC Thames Valley FM, BBC Radio Cleveland, Pennine Radio, BBC Radio 5 Live, TalkSport, BBC7, BBC Radio Manchester, Real Radio Yorkshire and Mansfield 103.2 FM.

From 2006 until 2010 he presented his own podcast, the Piss Poor Podcast, accompanied for the most part by Edouard Lapaglie. He also appears on BBC Radio 5 Live as a regular panellist on Fighting Talk (twice finishing as series runner up and winning the series championship in 2013), and has contributed to Chart The Week on Richard Bacon's programme. His most regular radio slot had been the BBC Radio Leeds Breakfast Show which he co-presented Monday to Thursday from 6:30am to 9:00am, but he was reassigned to the lunchtime slot in November 2012.

Due to a change in direction of the station, Kelner left Radio Leeds again, presenting his last show on 18 March 2016.[2]

In 2 February 2018, Kelner joined the national speech station talkRADIO to host weekend morning from 1am to 5am.

Writing and journalism

Kelner's journalism includes a weekly column for The Guardian, "Screen Break", which took a lighthearted look at the world of sport on TV, and a fortnightly column about radio. "Screen Break" finished on 31 December 2012.[3] He writes occasional travel pieces for The Mail on Sunday, and has written for The Independent, of which his brother Simon Kelner was executive editor. Kelner began writing for the Racing Post at the beginning of 2013.

Other publications he has written for include GQ, Men's Health, Later (now defunct), RCME, The Observer, Landrover Owner magazine, You magazine, and Public Servant, the local and national government journal. He also has contributed to the YouGov website, and wrote television previews for the Daily Mail around 1994/95. He has posted humorous product reviews on Amazon.[4]

His first book, about the outer suburbs of show business, was called When Will I Be Famous?. His second book, Sit Down and Cheer, looked at the history of sport on British television.[5]

Health problems

in the summer of 2013, Kelner was diagnosed with fibromatosis; he later had surgery to remove a sarcoma from his abdomen and was cared for at St James Hospital, Leeds. He was later treated at the hospital's intensive treatment unit for a week, and returned to his home in Wakefield for further recovery. In his blog, Kelner noted that it would be early 2014 until he could fully "return to professional life".[6] He resumed his column in The Racing Post (at first on a semi-regular basis) and BBC Radio 5 Live later announced his return to Fighting Talk on 2 November. By mid-January he had resumed his lunchtime programme on BBC Radio Leeds.


  1. ^ Profile,; accessed 27 December 2017.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "After 16 years in front of the TV, it's time for me to pull the plug | Martin Kelner | Sport | The Guardian". Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  4. ^ Kelner, Martin. "Martin Kelner Amazon Reviews". Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Sit Down And Cheer, by Martin Kelner". Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  6. ^ Kelner, Martin (30 August 2013). "Carry On Up The Nurse". Retrieved 31 October 2013.

External links

Preceded by
Steve Bunce
BBC Radio Five Live
Fighting Talk Champion of Champions

Succeeded by
Justin Moorhouse
BBC Night Network

The BBC Night Network (sometimes referred to on-air as BBC North FM and originally Radio North East) was an all-evening radio network which linked up the North East England, Yorkshire and the Humber, and later the North West England regions of BBC Local Radio. Each station would share the same programming.

BBC Radio Leeds

BBC Radio Leeds is the BBC Local Radio service for the English metropolitan county of West Yorkshire. The station broadcasts from studios based in St Peter's Square in Leeds.

BBC Thames Valley FM

BBC Thames Valley FM was a BBC Local Radio station covering the English counties of Oxfordshire and Berkshire, broadcasting between 1996 and 2000.

Bob Mills (comedian)

Robert Edward Mills (born 30 June 1957) is an English comedian, who has appeared in the television series In Bed with Medinner and The Show.

Edouard Lapaglie

Tony Quinn (Stockton on Tees, 1956) is a UK radio personality who is best known from his comic Frenchman character Édouard Lapaglie, who provides sidekick comedy input on programmes presented by Martin Kelner. Kelner often refers to him as "everyone's favourite bogarse Frenchman". Edouard has been the Alter ego of broadcaster Tony Quinn for over thirty years.

Born in Stockton on Tees, Tony studied at Roundhay Grammar School for Boys in Leeds and went on to Leeds College of Art where he left in 1973. During the mid-1970s he earned a living as a street musician in Paris and Fréjus when, following an attack by two French locals with a baseball bat, he returned to the UK arriving in Leeds in 1977.

The character Edouard Lapaglie was 'born' on Radio Aire in 1981, appearing on the Martin Kelner Breakfast Show, then the Late Night and Tea-Time shows broadcasting the long-running Soap Opera "Monsieur Haricot prends ses Vacances". Edouard has subsequently appeared alongside Martin Kelner on Shows and Stations as varied as Jazz FM, Radio Napa and Pennine Radio of Forster Square, Bradford, now known as The Pulse of West Yorkshire.

Edouard featured on "Martin Kelner's Late Thing", originally broadcast Friday and Saturday, on the BBC Night Network across the North of England. In recent years the programme was 'networked' just to West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire, this programme took place every Saturday evening between 10:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. from the studios of BBC Radio Leeds until April 2007.

From June 2007, Edouard, Simon Jose and Elaine Lipworth began appearing on Martin Kelner's show on GMG radio station Real Radio. The programme was aired from their studios in Tingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire from 11:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m for a period, before Kelner returned to Radio Leeds.

Edouard could then be found on Martin Kelner and Edouards' 'Piss Poor Podcast' [1], an outlet for Kelner & Lapaglie's comedic material. Freed from the constraints of traditional broadcast media, this weekly transmission gained a growing cult following until 27 August 2010, when the 226th edition marked the end of these broadcasts for a while. In April 2016 The podcast was reborn, as Edouard and Kelner joined forces once more and issue 227 heralded the resurgence of a weekly edition, available for paid subscribers only.

As well as appearing on the radio in the early 1990s, Edouard (a member of the Performing Right Society) has also released a series of self penned musical works including "The Ballad of Edouard", "Touchez pas mon Doner Kebab" and "Bob le Dog".

Fighting Talk

Fighting Talk is a topical sports show broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Live during the English football season.

Its first series was broadcast in October 2003, presented by Johnny Vaughan. The second series was presented by Christian O'Connell. The current and longest-serving presenter has been Colin Murray, who took charge between 2006 and 2013 and returned to the show for the 2016/17 season after his departure from talkSPORT. The show is broadcast on Saturday mornings for an hour between 1100 and 1200.

The show has twice won Gold Sony Radio Academy Awards in the sports programme category; in 2006 and 2011. For the latter, judges described the show as "like a modern version of old-fashioned Music Hall".


Frinton-on-Sea is a small seaside town in the Tendring district of Essex, England. It is part of the parish of Frinton and Walton.

Hallam FM

Hallam FM is an independent local radio station serving South Yorkshire from studios in Sheffield. The station is owned and operated by Bauer Radio and forms part of the Hits Radio Network.

Heart Yorkshire

Heart Yorkshire (previously Real Radio Yorkshire) is a regional radio station owned by Communicorp and operated by Global Radio as part of the Heart network. It broadcasts to South and West Yorkshire from studios in Leeds.

Justin Moorhouse

Justin Moorhouse (born 15 May 1970) is an English stand-up comedian, radio DJ and actor from Manchester. He appeared in Phoenix Nights, Looking for Eric and Guess The Attendance.

Moorhouse has also appeared as a guest the Dave TV series As Yet Untitled with Alan Davies.


Kelner is a surname, and may refer to:

Martin Kelner

Simon Kelner

Toni Kelner

Margarita Pracatan

Margarita Pracatan is a Cuban novelty singer, who found success in the 1990s when Clive James had her perform live on his TV show on numerous occasions. Radio DJ Martin Kelner also played her frequently on his BBC Night Network and BBC Radio 2 programmes.

Pracatan's father was a union leader in Cuba. She began singing at home when she was three years old. She worked in a store selling men's underwear while singing at night. She is divorced with one daughter.James showed clips of her heavily Hispanic-inflected performances of pop hits (including Lionel Richie's Hello and New York, New York) on his BBC series Saturday Night Clive. According to her website, Clive James discovered her Manhattan public-access television cable TV program in 1994 and invited her to the UK to appear on his show. He sweet-talked her into believing he was serious, and she signed up. Not once on the show did he make it overt that he knew what he was doing, but his introductions to her end-of-show performances contained teasing irony. James said of Pracatan, "She never lets the words or melody get in her way. She is us, without the fear of failure."Pracatan has toured in the United Kingdom and Australia, appearing as part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival, during the mid-1990s.

Martha Kelner

Martha Kelner is an award-winning British sports journalist. She is currently the Sports Correspondent for Sky News. Kelner has broken a number of high-profile stories, including allegations of a culture of bullying in British Cycling and Chris Froome's failed doping test.

Pennine Radio (radio station)

Pennine Radio was the original name for what is now Pulse 1 in Bradford, the independent local radio station for West Yorkshire, England. It was launched on 16 September 1975.

Radio Aire

Radio Aire is an Independent Local Radio station serving Leeds and West Yorkshire. It is owned & operated by Bauer Radio and forms part of the Hits Radio Network.

Simon Kelner

Simon Kelner (born 9 December 1957) is a British journalist and newspaper editor.

Kelner studied at Bury Grammar School. His older brother is the journalist and broadcaster Martin Kelner. He is Jewish. He started work at Neath Guardian in 1976. In 1980 he moved on to the Kent Evening Post. He became assistant sports editor of The Observer in 1983. He became deputy sports editor of The Independent in 1986. In 1989 he worked on the Observer magazine and then became Daily Mail magazine editor. Kelner was editor-in-chief of The Independent and Independent on Sunday newspapers from May 1998 to 2008, succeeding Andrew Marr and Rosie Boycott. After a stint as Managing Director of The Independent titles he was re-appointed editor in April 2010 by the new owner Alexander Lebedev. Kelner won several awards during his employment at The Independent, including Editor of the Year in 2004 and 2010.

Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce (born 3 December 1962 in Camden Town, London), nicknamed "Buncey", is a British freelance television and radio sport pundit and newspaper columnist. He has regularly appeared as a pundit on the BBC sports programme Inside Sport and on BBC Radio Five Live's Fighting Talk. Bunce was the face of boxing on Setanta Sports and headlined his own show, Steve Bunce's Boxing Hour, until June 2009 when the organisation ceased broadcasting in Britain. Despite calls for the popular boxing show to reappear, it failed to materialise until the introduction of Britain's first dedicated boxing channel BoxNation. Once again Bunce became the face of boxing on BoxNation, and the long awaited return of Bunce's Boxing Hour started broadcasting 17 October 2011.

He has a regular column in the magazine Boxing Monthly.

In 2010, he published his debut work of fiction The Fixer.He currently presents the ESPN UK version of the American sports talk show Pardon the Interruption.


Talkradio (styled as talkRADIO) is a national talk radio station in the United Kingdom, which was relaunched on 21 March 2016. Owned by Wireless Group, it is the sister station of national stations TalkSport (itself originally known as Talk Radio), TalkSport 2 and Virgin Radio UK.


United! is a British television series which was produced by the BBC between 1965 and 1967, and was broadcast twice-weekly on BBC1.

The series followed the fortunes of a fictional second division football team, Brentwich United. The football scenes were filmed on the grounds of Stoke City with Jimmy Hill acting as a technical advisor, and the efforts to achieve authenticity saw the show being criticised by the then management of Wolverhampton Wanderers, who complained that the series was based on their team.

United! was not a success, and was cancelled after two series. The programme was generally considered to be too soft to appeal to male viewers, and too male-oriented for the female soap opera audience. As was common television practice of the time, the series' videotapes were wiped for reuse. As a result, none of its 147 episodes are believed to have survived.Created by Anthony Cornish, other writers on the programme included Gerry Davis, Brian Hayles, Malcolm Hulke and John Lucarotti. The directors included Innes Lloyd and Derek Martinus. Aside from Cornish, all of these individuals also worked on Doctor Who concurrent with their involvement in United!.

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