Ex-St Kilda coach joins Footy Classified

By David Knox on December 22, 2008 / Filed Under News 8

Former St Kilda coach Grant Thomas will join Nine’s Footy Classified panel alongside Garry Lyon, Craig Hutchison and Caroline Wilson.

Executive Producer of Entertainment Tim Cleary said, “Grant is one of the game’s most forward-thinking commentators. He is a straight shooter, fearless, opinionated and passionate about football.

“Grant has an interesting history with Hutchy and Caroline to say the least. True to the show’s philosophy of ‘no room for the feint-hearted’, I think Grant will thrive in this robust environment and viewers can expect more of the skirmishes that have become the show’s trademark.”

Known for polarizing people with his opinions, Thomas said he welcomed Footy Classified‘s edgy format.

“I respect Caroline and Craig, but I don’t necessarily agree with them. I’m not expecting a Christmas card that’s for sure! We’ve clashed over the years and I don’t expect that to change when the cameras start rolling.

“To say we’ll challenge each other’s views is probably putting it mildly. I won’t be holding back.”

The signing of Thomas completed a revamp of its three key AFL programmes for 2009. The network recently let Trevor Marmalade go after 15 years, re-signed Sam Newman to a new, multi-million dollar contract, boosted on air roles for Billy Brownless and Shane Crawford and installed James Brayshaw as host of The Sunday Footy Show over previous host Tony Jones. Cleary’s finality indicates any talk of Eddie McGuire return to the host chair as all but over.

Attention should now turn to the NRL Footy Show

Press Release:
Grant Thomas will join Footy Classified in 2009. The controversial former St Kilda coach signed with the Nine Network this week to join the panel alongside Garry Lyon, Craig Hutchison and Caroline Wilson on the award-winning program.

Thomas has forged a reputation for his forthright opinions and having a fresh take on football, said Channel Nine’s Executive Producer of Entertainment Tim Cleary.

“Grant is one of the game’s most forward-thinking commentators. He is a straight shooter, fearless, opinionated and passionate about football,” Cleary said.

“Grant has an interesting history with Hutchy and Caroline to say the least. True to the show’s philosophy of ‘no room for the feint-hearted’, I think Grant will thrive in this robust environment and viewers can expect more of the skirmishes that have become the show’s trademark.”

Thomas – who played 72 games for St Kilda between 1978-1983 before moving to North Melbourne and Fitzroy – coached St Kilda from 2001-2006.

Thomas said he was delighted to be joining the show.

“I like the edgy and confrontational format of Footy Classified,” Thomas said. “I understand my style polarises people’s views however I am more interested in getting to the guts of the issue than protecting what people may or may not think about me.”

Thomas has had a chequered history with both the AFL and several football commentators.
Of his testy relationship with Hutchison and Wilson, Thomas was typically forthright.

“I respect Caroline and Craig, but I don’t necessarily agree with them. I’m not expecting a Christmas card that’s for sure! We’ve clashed over the years and I don’t expect that to change when the cameras start rolling.

“To say we’ll challenge each other’s views is probably putting it mildly. I won’t be holding back.”

Thomas’ signing completes an on-air revamp of Nine’s three football programs, The Footy Show, Sunday Footy Show and Footy Classified.

Billy Brownless and Shane Crawford join The Footy Show cast full-time, while James Brayshaw takes the reins on Sunday alongside Brownless, Crawford, Brian Taylor and recruit Nathan Thompson.

“The remodelling of the shows ensures Nine’s footy offerings have every angle covered in season 2009. The Footy Show provides the prime-time entertainment, The Sunday Footy Show the weekend analysis, while Footy Classified will continue with its raw and unique focus on all the issues, the politics of the game and the stories behind the stories,” Cleary said.

8 Comments »

  1. cpandilo January 6, 2009 at 2:36 pm -

    Footy Classified has never aired on regular Nine in Sydney. It has only aired on 9HD and it was shown ‘live from Melbourne’ .

  2. A. Hotmann December 28, 2008 at 10:17 am -

    1. I’d prefer to watch/hear Glenn Archer than the mumbling grumbling Grant *yawn* Thomas… I just wish that here in Syd we could see whatever Channel 7 & 10 are doing with the AFL (anytime before midnight would be nice) as well as Nine’s Sunday AFL show.

    2. if Nine doesn’t show this live to air every week in NSW they can get stuffed! last year it was very much appreciated live on HD, although with absolute zero promotion…

    3. the rugby Footy Show is boring now because it’s all talk talk talk. When it was winning awards etc it was all fun and ‘fur factor’… any footy show which actually shows hairy men in shorts & no shirt, immediately gets them an extra 50,000 viewers… (45000 of them female)

  3. Daniel December 23, 2008 at 2:36 am -

    I don’t know about sydney but in brisbane footy classified aired the same time it does in melbourne except it was only on the 9hd channel. it could be the same for sydney.

  4. Kathy December 22, 2008 at 9:39 pm -

    Daniel : ‘Why no mention of Glenn Archer?’ Because he has been replaced/fired/moved on/ booted etc etc …. by Grant Thomas.

    This will be an even more interesting show now on …. I dislike Craig with a passion, love Caroline Wilson, and Garry “I have a head bigger than Eddie’ Lyon can be OK at times… GT is an arrogant rude PIG.

    newtaste RE: ‘Will Footy Classified ever air in Sydney?” It has already aired, but not live. You had to tape it from around 2.00am Tuesday morning just like you would the AFL footy show, after the NRL footy show.

    Cheers,

    K

  5. newtaste December 22, 2008 at 7:42 pm -

    Will Footy Classified ever air in Sydney?

  6. Daniel December 22, 2008 at 11:28 am -

    Why no mention of Glenn Archer?

  7. sam December 22, 2008 at 9:44 am -

    nrl footyshow is expected to have a major revamp. the tip is it will no longer just cover nrl and will cover all codes of football and potentially other sport

  8. Zambora December 22, 2008 at 7:51 am -

    Nice spin By Nine.
    does not hide fact that Nine made too many mistakes last year and next year is vital.
    Crash and burn for Nine or revitalise.

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