Narrator of key moments in cycling since the mid-70s, Liggett’s story includes his controversial support of Lance Armstrong Here is a documentary of pretty niche interest, it has to be said: the life and times of Tour de France commentator Phil Liggett, who was a ubiquitous fixture on TV coverage of the event in English-speaking countries for years. Well, Liggett appears to be an interesting character, if John Craven looked a bit like Terence Stamp and held forth with a touch of Alan Partridge, but with a runtime of a shade under two hours, this is pushing it a bit. Born on the Wirral, and currently residing with his wife Trish in a game reserve in South Africa where he helps with efforts to protect rhinos from poachers, Liggett is one of those old-school sports broadcasters – like John Motson or Clive Everton – whose natural communication skills and unswerving celebration of their discipline have inserted themselves into the minds of generations of TV audiences though sheer familiarity. This profile is at its most entertaining when describing Liggett’s early journey from highly rated amateur racer into sports journalism, and then to TV commentary in the mid-70s – Liggett says he was so unnerved by a phone call from legendary silver-fox World of Sport presenter Dickie Davies that he forgot to start commenting on his first live transmission.
Read full story