Desmond "Des" Kelly (born 19 February 1965) is a British journalist and broadcaster.
Kelly is the lead reporter and interviewer for British broadcaster, BT Sport. He is part of the live broadcast team for the channel's Champions League, Premier League, Europa League and FA Cup coverage. He has been nominated as SJA Broadcast Journalist of the Year for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 - and highly commended in 2017 and 2018.
Kelly previously presented over 150 editions of a live, late-night sport/entertainment show on BT Sport called Follow the Football with Des Kelly previously known as Life's A Pitch with Des Kelly. He was also executive producer of the programme, which originally launched on 5 August 2013 and was nominated for SJA Television Show of the Year in 2013. Kelly simultaneously presented SportsHUB, BT Sport's sports news programme, from Monday to Thursday, until the show closed in 2015.
Kelly was a long-standing presenter on talkSPORT, the commercial national radio station which broadcasts from London across the United Kingdom. He is the former host of The Press Pass, a show introduced on the first weekend of the Premier League season in August 2011. It was twice nominated as SJA Sports Radio Programme of the Year. He quit in August 2014 to concentrate on his BT commitments, but is still an occasional presenter and contributor.
A past winner of the SJA Sports Columnist of the Year award, Kelly was nominated as UK Press Gazette Sports Writer of the Year and commended on four separate occasions by the Sports Journalists' Association for his articles.
In 2012 Kelly was named among the top 10 most influential sportswriters in Britain by the trade publication, UK Press Gazette.
Kelly was a sports columnist on the Daily Mail for nearly a decade, having joined the paper in 2004.
Previously, Kelly was the Acting Editor and Deputy Editor of the Daily Mirror. Kelly replaced Piers Morgan after he was sacked for publishing faked photos of Iraqi prisoners being "tortured" by British troops and edited the paper in the wake of that controversy. Kelly was also 'forced out' of the Mirror later in 2004 when Richard Wallace was handed the position.
A contributor to Sky News and BBC Breakfast, he is also a regular member of the BBC Radio Five Live Fighting Talk panel show and has appeared on Sportsweek and the BBC Radio 4 Today programme. He is a former Assistant Editor and Head of Sport of the Daily Express, football editor of the Sunday Express, and the Chief Sports Reporter of the now defunct Today newspaper. He was previously a columnist for The Sunday Times and had a column in the London Evening Standard. He has also has written for GQ, German newspaper Bild and L'Équipe in France.
Kelly was part of the BBC1's Inside Sport presenting team, which was hosted by Gabby Logan between 2007 and 2009. His contributions included interviews with Michael Schumacher, Arsène Wenger, Petr Čech and a piece on GB Blind Football.
Des has made television appearances on the BBC's Match of the Day 2 and was the first journalist to appear as a pundit on either show. He has also guested on Channel 4's Clive Anderson's Sports Talk Show, Sky Sports' Hold the Back Page show and one of his first assignments was to provide live reports for Sky News from England's 3–0 win over Poland in 1989. He has been a contributor to a number of programmes, including BBC's The Noughties... Was That It? and Britain's Most Annoying People as well as GMTV and others.
Kelly is patron of the Great Britain Blind Football team and opened the new Royal National College for the Blind Paralympic Centre in Hereford. He is also a member of the Jaguar Sports Academy and is on the judging panel for the Laureus World Sports Awards.
Kelly has also been an Executive Consultant for the PR agency Hill & Knowlton and director of the internet company Fast Web Media. At Hill and Knowlton he was Master of Ceremonies at various corporate nights involving supermodels Jerry Hall and Petra Nemcova, football manager Arsène Wenger, the BBC Match of the Day team, Cilla Black, chef Antony Worrall Thompson, the cricketers Nasser Hussein and Jeff Thomson and footballer Marcel Desailly.
He has completed two London Marathons, the Network Q Rally of Great Britain twice, the Arctic Rally, the Belgium Bianchi Rally and others. He took part in the world's first two-seater F1 race with Fernando Alonso at Donington Park. He completed in the 2007 Isle of Wight Round The Island race on board an Extreme 40 sailing boat, made a parachute jump for MENCAP, has run with the bulls in Pamplona and climbed Kilimanjaro as part of a Football League team raising funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care in the summer of 2011.
Kelly lives in Bristol. Born in London of an Irish family, he was educated at Wimbledon College and has a University of Surrey BA (Hons) in English and History from Froebel College in Roehampton, London. He is married to dress designer Paulina. Their engagement was announced in The Times on 26 December 2014. They married on 17 June 2015 at the Bristol Planetarium. TV presenter Carol Vorderman is a former girlfriend. They lived together in central London from early 2001 and split in December 2006. They rekindled the relationship in October 2007 but split again in 2010.
- "Media release: Winners at the British Sports Journalism awards". Sports Journalists' Association. 26 February 2019. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
- "Des Kelly presents Life's a Pitch".
- In 2012 Samuel was named top in a UK Press Gazette poll of Britain's best sports journalists.
- Editor sacked over 'hoax' photos BBC News 14 May 2004
- "Des Kelly: My Life In Media". The Independent. 12 December 2005.
- "Inside Sport: Michael Schumacher". BBC Sport.
- "Inside Sport: Arsene Wenger interview". BBC Sport.
- "Inside Sport: Petr Cech". BBC Sport.
- "Inside Sport: Des Kelly tries blind football". BBC Sport.
- "State-of-the-art facility makes an impressive bow".
- "BBC personality Des Kelly launches thePoint4".
- "Network Q Rally of Great Britain 2000 Entry List".
- "AIM25 collection description".