Channel 4 presenter Ortis Deley loses athletics anchor role

A litany of live TV gaffes has prompted C4 to scale back the host's duties

Poor Ortis Deley – he really has been out of his depth anchoring Channel 4’s live coverage of the athletics world championships. And after five days of missed cues, mispronounced names and stilted delivery, bosses have finally “scaled back” Deley’s role.


The Gadget Show host and former custodian of the CBBC broom cupboard will make way for Rick Edwards who presents E4’s reality dating show Tool Academy but was until now slated for only the graveyard shift of Channel 4’s coverage of the IAAF World Championships.

Among Deley’s gaffes have been repeated mispronunciations of the names of commentators John Rawling and Rob Walker, a failure to announce ad breaks and a continual need to refer to his notes – all while in the presence of one of athletics’ living legends, four times Olympic gold medallist and eight times World Champion sprinter Michael Johnson.

An interview with Lord Coe was interrupted when Johnson was forced to link to an ad break Deley had failed to spot, while the presenter has produced such self-evident gems as “It’s history in the making as Oscar Pistorius from South Africa makes history”.

A Channel 4 spokesperson said of the decision to relieve Deley of the anchor role: “Channel 4 is committed to developing new presenting talent and this extends to our coverage of sporting events.

“Ortis Deley’s role in Korea covering the world athletics has been scaled back but he will continue to be on air for the duration of the competition.

“In total we have a team of ten commentators covering this event, from Michael Johnson and well-loved British athletes Dean Macey, Katherine Merry and Iwan Thomas to new presenters.”


Watch Ortis in all his glory in the compilation video above