McCririck in 2006
John Michael McCririck
17 April 1940
|Died||5 July 2019 79) (aged|
|Occupation||Horse racing pundit, journalist, presenter|
(m. 1971;his death 2019)
John Michael McCririck(17 April 1940 – 5 July 2019) was an English television horse racing pundit and journalist.
Horse racing is an equestrian performance sport, typically involving two or more horses ridden by jockeys over a set distance for competition. It is one of the most ancient of all sports, as its basic premise – to identify which of two or more horses is the fastest over a set course or distance – has been unchanged since at least classical antiquity.
A pundit is a person who offers to mass media their opinion or commentary on a particular subject area on which they are knowledgeable, or considered a scholar in said area. The term has been increasingly applied to popular media personalities. In certain cases, it may be used in a derogatory manner as well, as the political equivalent of ideologue.
McCririck began his career at The Sporting Life , where he twice won at the British Press Awards for his campaigning journalism, but he was sacked in 1984. In 1981, he joined ITV Sport's horse racing coverage which moved, during 1984 and 1985, to Channel 4 as Channel 4 Racing . In October 2012, the channel announced that he would be dropped from its team, which McCririck blamed on ageism. McCririck took the matter to an employment tribunal, but he lost.
The Sporting Life was a British newspaper published from 1859 until 1998, best known for its coverage of horse racing and greyhound racing. Latterly it has continued as a multi-sports website.
The Press Awards, formerly the British Press Awards, is an annual ceremony that celebrates the best of British journalism.
ITV Sport is a sport producer for ITV. It was formed following the merger between Granada Sport and Central Sport.
From the 1980s, he made numerous appearances on British television, including as a contestant on Celebrity Big Brother , The Weakest Link , Wife Swap and After Dark .
Celebrity Big Brother is a British television reality game show based on the Dutch show Big Brother, created by producer John de Mol in 1997, which aired from 2001 to 2018. The show followed a number of celebrity contestants, known as housemates, who were isolated from the outside world for an extended period of time in a custom built House. Each week, one of the housemates is evicted by a public vote, with the last housemate named the winner. The series takes its name from the character in George Orwell's 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.
The Weakest Link is a British television quiz show, mainly broadcast on BBC Two as well as BBC One. It was devised by Fintan Coyle and Cathy Dunning, and developed for television by the BBC Entertainment Department. The game begins with a team of nine contestants, who take turns answering general knowledge questions within a time limit to create chains of nine correct answers in a row. At the end of each round, the players then vote one contestant, "the weakest link", out of the game. After two players are left, they play in a head-to-head penalty shootout format, with five questions asked to each contestant in turn, to determine the winner.
Wife Swap is a British reality television programme produced by independent television production company RDF Media and created by Stephen Lambert for Channel 4, first broadcast in 2003 and ran for 7 years before being axed. The show returned for a one off special episode on 15 June 2017.
Born in Surbiton, Surrey, McCririck was educated at Elizabeth College, Guernsey,Victoria College, Jersey, and Harrow School, where his fellow pupils included Julian Wilson, later a fellow racing journalist. He left with three O-Levels, having also run the book on cross country races.
Surbiton is a suburban neighbourhood of south-west London, within the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames (RBK). It is situated next to the River Thames, 11 miles (18 km) southwest of Charing Cross. It is part of the traditional county of Surrey, but for administrative purposes has been part of Greater London since 1965, following the passing of the London Government Act 1963. Surbiton comprises four of the RBK's wards: Alexandra, Berrylands, St. Mark's, and Surbiton Hill.
The Royal College of Elizabeth, formerly the Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School and better known as Elizabeth College, is an independent day school for boys in Saint Peter Port, Guernsey. One of the earliest members of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC), it is a public school in the British sense of the term. Founded on 25 May 1563 by royal charter from Queen Elizabeth I, the school is one of the oldest public schools in the British Isles, and the oldest in the Channel Islands. Upper Canada College, in Toronto, Ontario, was founded in 1829 by Sir John Colborne, based on the school.
Victoria College is a selective, fee-paying, state school for boys in St Helier, Jersey. Despite being a state school, the college is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC) which is one of the traditional definitions of a public school. Its castellated neo-gothic architecture is a landmark overlooking the town. Victoria College Preparatory School for boys aged 7-11 is located at the bottom of the College Lawn and shares some facilities as well as the House Traditions and a similar uniform.
After failing to get into the diplomatic service, McCririck was briefly a waiter at The Dorchester hotel.During the era when off-course betting was illegal in the UK, he worked for an illegal bookmaker, before becoming a bookmaker himself, at which he admitted to having failed. He then became a tic-tac man.
Diplomatic service is the body of diplomats and foreign policy officers maintained by the government of a country to communicate with the governments of other countries. Diplomatic personnel enjoy diplomatic immunity when they are accredited to other countries. Diplomatic services are often part of the larger civil service and sometimes a constituent part of the foreign ministry.
The Dorchester is a Brunei-owned five-star luxury hotel on Park Lane and Deanery Street in London, to the east of Hyde Park. It is one of the world's most prestigious and expensive hotels. The Dorchester opened on 18 April 1931, and it still retains its 1930s furnishings and ambiance despite being modernised.
A bookmaker, bookie, or turf accountant is an organization or a person that accepts and pays off bets on sporting and other events at agreed-upon odds.
He began his career in journalism at The Sporting Life , where he twice won at the British Press Awards for his campaigning journalism; he was sacked in 1984.He joined the Daily Star , but was later sacked by the newspaper after allegations emerged that he was in debt to his bookmaker; he later successfully sued the paper at an employment tribunal.
The Daily Star is a daily tabloid newspaper published from Monday to Saturday in the United Kingdom since 2 November 1978. On 15 September 2002 a sister Sunday edition, was launched with a separate staff. On 31 October 2009, the Daily Star published its 10,000th issue.
Employment tribunals are tribunal public bodies in England and Wales and Scotland which have statutory jurisdiction to hear many kinds of disputes between employers and employees. The most common disputes are concerned with unfair dismissal, redundancy payments and employment discrimination. The tribunals are part of the UK tribunals system, administered by the Tribunals Service and regulated and supervised by the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council.
Having previously become a results sub-editor on the BBC's Grandstand , from 1981 he joined ITV Sport's horse racing coverage; he had previously appeared in a debate about fox hunting on the ITV children's programme Saturday Banana in 1978. During 1984 and 1985, horse racing moved from ITV to Channel 4 as Channel 4 Racing , where his role was expanded and he reported from the betting ring.His signature flamboyant attire of a large deerstalker hat, sideburns, and brightly coloured matching suits and trousers, coupled with huge cigars, became a recognisable personal style.
In 1988, on the evening after the Grand National, he made an extended appearance on the After Dark topical discussion programme on Channel 4, alongside Barney Curley and the Duchess of Argyle, in an episode entitled "Horse Racing, Sport Of Kings?"
In October 2012, Channel 4 announced that McCririck would not be included in the team presenting racing from January 2013,which McCririck blamed on ageism, taking Channel 4 to an employment tribunal. On 13 November, the tribunal ruled against McCririck saying, "All the evidence is that Mr McCririck's pantomime persona, as demonstrated on the celebrity television appearances, and his persona when appearing on Channel 4 Racing, together with his self-described bigoted and male chauvinist views were clearly unpalatable to a wider audience." The panel was told by witnesses from the television station and IMG (the production company) that he was dropped because he was "offensive" and "disgusting".
In December 2018, McCririck joined the editorial team at The Racing Paper as a weekly columnist.
McCririck appeared on the 1991 Bullseye Christmas Special, winning the top prize for his chosen charity, the Sue Ryder Foundation.He also appeared in the Celebrity Poker Club television series, reaching the Grand Finale of series one, won by Sir Clive Sinclair. McCririck also appeared during ITV's snooker coverage in a betting capacity.
In 1997, McCririck was tricked by two separate episodes of spoof TV show Brass Eye , once in an item about artificial inseminationand another in an item about Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe appearing as himself in a musical, while on day-release from prison.
In January 2005, he was a contestant in the third series of Celebrity Big Brother .He competed on The Weakest Link, rating his appearance on the Celebrity Duos Special, with his wife Jenny, as "the most embarrassing thing he had ever done for money". In April 2005, McCririck appeared on an episode of Hell's Kitchen (season 3, episode 8) in which Head Chef Marco Pierre White refused to serve him after McCririck told him that his consommé was 'greasy', in spite of being informed that it contained foie gras and truffle oil. White commented after the sequence, "I know John. He's awkward, he's got no taste. All you have to do is look at how he dresses."
In 2006, he appeared in the episode Drama on the show Still Game , playing himself on Channel 4 Racing telling Winston Ingram which horse to back.McCririck was a housemate in Ultimate Big Brother in August 2010.
In 2011, he was featured in the fourth episode of the British version of Celebrity Ghost Stories recounting his experiences of a haunted passageway at Harrow School.
On 26 June 2015, on the sixteenth series of Big Brother , it was announced that McCririck would be returning to Big Brother, taking part in Big Brother's Hotel from Hell the following week, where he would be staying in the house and other ex-housemates would join him on Monday 29 June.
McCririck married Jennifer Barnes in 1970 and referred to her as "The Booby". He was accused of frequent misogyny.In 2006, the couple took part in Wife Swap alongside Edwina Currie and her husband. McCririck was also a well-known supporter of Newcastle United F.C.
In early 2018, McCririck contracted influenza which resulted in a chest infection. The illness caused him to suffer dramatic weight loss.
McCririck died at a London hospital on 5 July 2019, after a short illness with lung cancer;he was aged 79.
Writing in The Guardian on the day McCririck died, racing correspondent Chris Cook said: "He was outrageous, in both speech and appearance, because what he wanted most of all was a reaction and so he enlivened many a broadcast or social occasion that might otherwise have fallen rather flat... While McCririck thrived on the attention his persona brought him, the buffoon act sold him short. He was a skilled journalist whose investigations uncovered a couple of betting-related scandals in the 70s. The producers of Channel 4 Racing almost invariably turned to McCririck when there was a serious interview to be done."On 12 July McCririck was featured in the BBC Radio 4 obituary programme Last Word.
Horse racing is the second largest spectator sport in Great Britain, and one of the longest established, with a history dating back many centuries. It generates over £3.7 billion for the British economy, and the major horse racing events such as Royal Ascot and Cheltenham Festival are important dates in the British and international sporting and society calendar.
Davina Lucy Pascale McCall is an English television presenter and model. She was the presenter of Big Brother during its run on Channel 4 between 2000 and 2010. She has also hosted Channel 4's The Million Pound Drop, Five Minutes to a Fortune and The Jump as well as ITV's Long Lost Family and This Time Next Year.
Vanessa Jane Feltz is an English television personality, freelance broadcaster and journalist. She currently presents an early morning radio show on BBC Radio 2 and the Breakfast show on BBC Radio London.
Eva Ulrika Jonsson is a UK-based Swedish television presenter and model. She became known as a TV-am weather presenter, moved on to present Gladiators, and became a team captain of the show Shooting Stars.
Patricia Jude Francis Kensit is an English actress, singer, model, and former child star. She was lead singer of the band Eighth Wonder from 1983 to 1989. Between 2004 and 2006, Kensit played the role of Sadie King in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale. Following this, she played Faye Byrne in the BBC One medical drama Holby City from 2007 until 2010 and for an episode in 2019. Kensit has been married to musicians Dan Donovan, Jim Kerr, Liam Gallagher, and Jeremy Healy.
Lionel Blair is a British actor, choreographer, tap dancer and television presenter.
Patrick Joseph "Paddy" McGuinness is a British comedian, comedy actor, television personality and presenter of Irish descent, best known for his roles within Channel 4, ITV and BBC presenting game shows such as Take Me Out as well as, since 2019, making up one third of BBC‘s Top Gear trio of hosts.
Sky Sports Racing is a British pay television channel devoted to horse racing. A joint venture between Sky and Arena Racing Company, it broadcasts coverage of domestic, European and international horse racing events.
Leigh Francis is an English stand-up comedian, actor, director, producer, writer, voice artist and former caricaturist, best known for creating Channel 4's Bo' Selecta! and portraying Keith Lemon in several ITV and ITV2 shows including Celebrity Juice, Keith Lemon's LemonAid, Through the Keyhole and The Keith Lemon Sketch Show.
Brian Patrick Robert Dowling is an Irish television presenter. He rose to fame after winning the second series of reality series Big Brother, and went on to win Ultimate Big Brother in 2010. In 2007, he came third in Hell's Kitchen and in 2008, he was runner-up in the Irish reality television series Fáilte Towers. Dowling then guest-presented Live from Studio Five alongside Kate Walsh from 2010 until its cancellation in February 2011.
Paul Danan is an English actor who played Sol Patrick in the UK teen soap opera Hollyoaks between 1997 and 2001. In 2005, Danan appeared as a contestant on the first series of ITV's Celebrity Love Island, and returned for the second series in 2006.
Calum Milan Best is a British American television personality. He is the son of footballer George Best.
Eamonn Holmes is a journalist and broadcaster from Northern Ireland, best known for presenting Sky News Sunrise and This Morning. Holmes currently presents his show (4–7pm) weekdays on Talkradio, and is the lead relief anchor for Good Morning Britain.
Jayne Claire King is an English actress. She is best known for playing the role of Kim Tate in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale and Karen Betts in Bad Girls. She has appeared in the fourth series of Strictly Come Dancing in 2006, Safari School in 2007, and Celebrity Big Brother 14 in 2014. She played Erica Holroyd in Coronation Street from 2014 until 2017.
Channel 4 Racing is the name given to the horse racing coverage on the British television stations Channel 4 and More4.
Celebrity Big Brother 2005, also known as Celebrity Big Brother 3, was the third series of the British reality television series Celebrity Big Brother. It launched on 6 January 2005 and ended on 23 January 2005, airing on Channel 4. Davina McCall returned as host of the main show. The series continued with Big Brother 5's 'evil' theme. It was won by dancer Mark "Bez" Berry.
Emma Louise Willis is an English television presenter and former model, best known for her television and radio work with Channel 5, BBC, ITV and Heart FM.
Derek Thompson is a presenter and commentator of horse racing on Radio Five Live and At the Races in Britain.
Patrick Doherty is an Irish former bare-knuckle boxer. He is best known as one of the stars of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and as one of Danny Dyer's Deadliest Men. He won Celebrity Big Brother 8. He appeared in When Paddy Met Sally in January 2012 and on Celebrity Bainisteoir later that year.
Ellie Laine is a comedian best known for her sexually explicit stand-up comedy and her appearances on panel shows in the 1980s.