Saturday mornings on Sky were dominated by the hit show that was jam-packed with laughs, sketches and challenges. But since its recent rebranding, the show has fallen from the giddy heights it once held and genuinely scars everyone who is unfortunate to have seen it. Viewing figures have plummeted and hosts have been unnecessarily and controversially changed and the show has been shortened to under half the time it once filled in its heyday. So why was it popular in the first place and what has contributed to its sorry downfall? Helen Chamberlain was the stalwart of Soccer AM for 22 years, co-hosting the show with various other co-hosts but she has since been relieved of her role to make way for the likes of Jimmy Bullard and Lloyd Griffith.
The Friday night chippy tea; Match of the Day on a quiet Saturday night in; moaning about a hangover on Sunday mornings.
And no matter what we may care to admit now, watching Soccer AM on a Saturday morning was just another thing most of us used to do. In its heyday the show was genuinely influential; brimming with funny skits, mesmerising tricks in Skill Skool, off-piste interviews, fan interaction, side-tickling clips caught on Third Eye, and every seat on the sofa taken up a big star guest.
Regular features like Crossbar Challenge, Team-mates, Taxi! But now most of them are gone — and, somewhere along the line some time ago, the majority of viewers went with them.
The Christmas special got just 61, viewers.
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Between and it lasted a whopping four hours, and was then cut down to three for the next nine years until Today it barely nudges the minute mark. The slow, painful death of a Saturday morning staple Well, that and the still-excellent Helen Chamberlain — a redeeming veteran of the show since , and whose on-screen relationship with Tim Lovejoy was a genuine draw for 12 years.
So why did we all stop watching? Thanks to the emergence of services like Twitter, Facebook and Vine, not even poor blokes in obscure Eastern European confines can escape worldwide ignominy before they even make it back to the dressing room.
The audience came for the clips but stayed for the sketches; iconic characters like Sheephead, Robbie Knox, Tubes, Rocket and Frankie Fryer, whose ragged revues would humorously pastiche the real world that chugged on around them.
But some of these characters haven't aged well, becoming self-aware caricatures, the gags long grown old and imbecilic. Next-gen reality.