Billy Birmingham quits The Back Page

By David Knox on December 20, 2012 / Filed Under Pay TV 12

2012-12-20_0036Billy “The 12th Man” Birmingham has quit FOX Sports The Back Page, just a week after Mike Gibson retired from the show.

But Birmingham, who has been with the show for 15 years, exits in a blaze of glory after tweeting:

Just resigned from Back Page after being demoted to part time panellist next year. Matt Shirvington taking over my job as co-anchor. F### eh!

So pissed off I wasn’t told last week about being demoted. Unlike Gibbo, I was denied the chance to say goodbye to viewers after 15 years.

Tony Squires hosting Back Page with Matt Shirvington co-host is what I’m told. I’ve politely declined to do every few weeks on the panel.

Many thanks to everyone for their kind words. Chilling out over some chinese food now, working on ideas for a 12th Man live show#Marvellous!

A FOX Sports spokesperson told the Daily Telegraph: “It is disappointing Billy decided to resign before our plans for the show have been finalised.”


  1. Jerry March 14, 2013 at 12:29 am -

    Cannot believe Squires is host & Shirvo co-host. I know Gibbo retired, but why take such a new show in such a poor direction. did anyone check Squires track record. The Fat axed after 3 years, went to & similar show axed after 1 year, various other TV roles – not successful.
    The Back page was my favourite show of the week, with Gibbo host, comedy 7 sports passion of Billy, arrogance of Kent, cricket mad Craddock, marto, few Vic boys etc etc.
    Well done Billy for 15 years, as Richie would say “Top effort that, ha ha ha”
    P.S – these fools will not last

  2. lyndyloo March 12, 2013 at 8:47 pm -

    Oh Dear Lord! Soooooo sad. Tuned into Fox to watch the back page just now, unaware of the goings on and can’t believe what I was presented with! I too am a casual female sports viewer with a mad keen sports friend in the house who introduced me to the show….it was a hit every Tuesday night in the household. Now….sorry fox but the “series link” record has just been deleted. Loved Billy, Mike x 2 @ Paul…..The chemistry and witt between those men made the show even if you weren’t a sports follower. Now it’s just another sports show. The fellas got to watch their sports and the chickies had a giggle too. Fox…. you had a unique show and now it’s just the same as the rest. Enough rant from me “That’ll do me!”

  3. Bob December 23, 2012 at 12:22 pm -

    Now the show will be unwatchable.

  4. Grazmann December 20, 2012 at 8:47 pm -

    er Tony that is (not fMatt)

  5. Grazmann December 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm -

    What is going on!!! How can Backpage make such a dumb move after being so good for so long. Is there a management change??? If so, you guys suck! Much respect Billy. I had an open mind about Matt, maybe too much pretty boy not enough cred…. but Shirvington?! Should have tried him every few weeks first.

  6. TBone23 December 20, 2012 at 11:57 am -

    WTF Tony Squires as host & now Shirvington as co-host no Thanks

  7. Aaron December 20, 2012 at 10:44 am -

    What the hell are Fox Sports doing? Matt Shirvington??? Seriously?!!?

    Good on you Billy – hope you pop up somewhere else. First Gibbo leaves (maybe he sensed changes ahead), and now Billy – its like Top Gear (UK) trying to change their hosts.

  8. Chris December 20, 2012 at 10:36 am -

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the five or six regular guests all don’t return as well now. I sure as hell won’t be returning as a viewer with Billy gone and these two replacing him and Gibbo.

  9. Ruddeger December 20, 2012 at 9:03 am -

    Bumping Billy to a part timer was a stupid move.
    Good on him for telling them to shove it.

  10. Craig December 20, 2012 at 8:58 am -

    A new direction not likely to be a popular one if true. Can’t see either of these twoy providing light relief. Shirvo was serviceable on SkyNews but his padding skills at the Olympics were not great – and that was live! Not a huge fan of Squires but I know he has done sports before on 7 and I think ABC also. Not well, mind. Hopefully the producers have a re-think all round… Or at least change the show’s name to provide the ‘new direction’ with a fresh ID.

  11. shelltvfan December 20, 2012 at 8:41 am -

    tihsamikah December 20, 2012 at 5:25 am –
    I have to agree with you, as a female casual sports fan I enjoyed the back page and that was mainly due to Billy. When Mike retired I thought he would be hard to replace but Tony Squires I don’t think so.

  12. tihsamikah December 20, 2012 at 5:25 am -

    gee… cut one of the awesome parts of the back page for Shirvington?

    Billy was colour in the Back Page!

    and I know Gibbo would be hard to replace…. but Tony Squires????

    what was that dump of a show he hosted on 7?

    looks like after 10 or so years of watching, I may not return if he is hosting…

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