After almost three decades on our screens, Soccer AM will air for the final time today (May 27). The show has enjoyed a long and largely successful run, and for a long time, was a staple of all football fans’ Saturday morning ritual.
Now fronted by Jimmy Bullard and John Fendley (Fenners) the show’s final instalment will see them joined by UK grime artist Stormzy, Stephen Graham and Jack Whitehall. Tubes meets Ilkay Gundogan & Serge Pizzorno will host a special edition of YKTD live.
Soccer AM was regarded as a product of its time. With many of its segments including the popular-at-the-time soccerette, now axed. In a bid to remain relevant, the show has tried to readapt to attract a younger audience but has seemingly failed.
The controversial soccerette segment would feature a young woman, usually late teens to mid 20s, making an appearance. When asked if they were single, answering ‘yes’ would usually be met with a huge cheer while giving a younger age (18, 19, 20) would garner the response ‘good age’. The segment was axed in 2015.
Speaking to The Athletic in 2020, former host Tim Lovejoy said: “I wanted to make a football show that you could enjoy without liking football. It was people having fun, and I’ve always thought that’s what TV should be.
“There were a couple of people who worked on the show who really, really loved football and took it really seriously but my thinking was ‘hold on, football’s about entertainment and having a good time’. The more political side of it all, to me, wasn’t something I was interested in.”
Lovejoy also hinted at why Soccer AM was so successful, stating that during its early days, the mantra in the industry was ‘push to boundaries as much as you can’ whereas nowadays its ‘keep within the boundaries’, leading to many of its segments consigned to history.
It has tried to keep up with trying to tempt younger viewers to watch the show, but will make way for Soccer Social, which features popular YouTubers who attract younger audiences such as Thogden and Rory Jennings.
In Soccer AM’s glory days, they had enough sway to attract major public figures on the show such as Gordon Brown, who displayed his great knowledge of Scottish football and Raith Rovers. Other stars such as Noel Gallagher have previously featured too.