The Fascinating Legacy of Des Lynam: From Athletics to Broadcasting Mastery

Des Lynam, a revered British broadcaster, had an illustrious career spanning four decades. A man of many talents, he earned his stripes as a professional athlete before transitioning into broadcasting, where he became one of the most prominent and respected figures in the industry.

In this post, we delve into the fascinating life of Des Lynam, exploring his sporting achievements, his rise to broadcasting stardom, and his lasting impact on the world of media.

1. Early Life and Sporting Achievements

Des Lynam was born in County Durham, England, in 1942. He showed an early talent for athletics, specializing in the high-jump event. In his early twenties, he competed for the British athletics team, where he was ranked third in the country.

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2. Transition to Broadcasting

After retiring from athletics, Lynam transitioned to broadcasting, starting his career at BBC Radio Brighton in 1972. He soon gained recognition for his skills as a broadcaster, moving up the ranks to present the flagship sports program, Grandstand.

3. Broadcasting Stardom

Lynam’s career skyrocketed in the 1980s when he was chosen to present the BBC’s coverage of the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. His engaging personality and effortless charm won over audiences, cementing his position as one of the leading broadcasters in the country.

4. Move to ITV

In the 1990s, Lynam moved to ITV, where he continued to present various sports programs, including the prestigious FA Cup Final. He also hosted various entertainment shows, showcasing his versatility as a presenter.

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5. Legacy in Broadcasting

Lynam’s legacy in broadcasting is one of the most significant in recent history. He established a style of presenting that was distinguished by its warmth, intelligence, and wit, earning him a legion of fans across the UK and beyond.

6. The Des Lynam Effect

Lynam’s influence on broadcasting extended beyond his own career. He inspired a whole generation of presenters and commentators who admired his style and sought to emulate it in their own careers.

7. Memoriable Quotes from Des Lynam

– “Welcome to the Olympic Stadium, or as it’s now known, the British Library.” – Lynam’s wry humor during the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony.
– “Unbelievable! He’s put that through a gap that didn’t exist!” – Lynam’s reaction to a goal scored during a match between Arsenal and Manchester United.

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Q: What was Lynam’s most significant achievement in broadcasting?
A: Lynam’s hosting of the 1988 Olympic Games in Los Angeles is widely regarded as his most significant achievement.

Q: Did Lynam have any other career besides broadcasting and athletics?
A: Lynam briefly worked as a teacher before starting his career in broadcasting.

Q: What made Lynam so popular among audiences?
A: Lynam’s engaging personality, warmth, intelligence, and humor made him a favorite among viewers.

Q: How did Lynam inspire other presenters?
A: Lynam’s style of presenting, characterized by its warmth, intelligence, and wit, was admired by many broadcasters, who sought to emulate it in their own careers.

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Q: Is Lynam still active in broadcasting?
A: Lynam retired from broadcasting in 2004 but has occasionally made guest appearances on various shows.

Q: Has Lynam won any awards during his career?
A: Lynam has won numerous awards throughout his career, including the prestigious BAFTA award for his contribution to broadcasting.

Q: What is Lynam’s impact on the world of broadcasting?
A: Lynam’s impact on broadcasting is significant. He influenced a generation of broadcasters, establishing a style of presenting that is still admired to this day.


Des Lynam’s legacy in athletics and broadcasting is one of the most fascinating and inspiring stories in modern British history. His achievements in both fields, coupled with his natural charisma and wit, have left an indelible mark on the world of sports and media. Des Lynam’s influence on broadcasting extended beyond his own career. His style of presenting inspired a whole generation of presenters and commentators who admired his talent and sought to emulate it in their own careers. His legacy will be felt for many years to come.

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