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Gower on Ashes duty as Connelly steps in

Gower on Ashes duty as Connelly steps in

 

David Gower has received an Ashes call up to take the place of Michael Vaughan in the BT Sport commentary team and will miss the league dinner.

As he describes the action Down Under between Australia and England, sports impressionist Kevin Connelly who is a popular figure on the after dinner circuit will take his place at The Queens, Leeds on Friday, January 14.

Kevin was one of the stars of BBC2’s and BBC Radio 4’s highly acclaimed Dead Ringers series which won the prestigious Sony Radio Academy Award for Comedy. His impressions of public figures including Andrew Marr, David Dimbleby, Gordon Brown, Fabio Capello and Richie Benaud are uncannily accurate.

Kevin’s many other television credits include Today with Des and Mel, BBC Sports Review of The Year, Des O’Connor’s World Cup Party, The Full Motty, We’re On Our Way To Wembley, The Sports Show, It’s Just Not Cricket With Rory Bremner, Saint & Greavsie, The Pavilion End, The Impressionable Jon Culshaw and Double Take.

He was also given his own show on Tyne Tees TV in 1999. Kevin’s other radio credits include Talk Radio’s World Cup team for France ’98, The Steve Penk Breakfast Show and BBC Radio Five Live’s Christmas Sport Review of 2005, Freddie Flintoff Ate My Ashes.

Kevin is in great demand for corporate events and sportsmen’s dinners and has worked for clients in the UK and Europe including Sanyo, Credit Suisse, The Variety Club, Lloyds TSB, The Institute of Bankers, Sports’ Journalists Association, Norwich City Football Club, The Football Association and the Chamber of Commerce.

He started doing impressions whle at school in Middlesbrough where he mimicked his fellow students and, of course, his teachers.

As his ‘turns’ became more popular, he gained confidence and included a few leading personalities into his repertoire. While working as restaurant manager in his brother-in-law’s hotel near Thirsk, he would entertain his customers at the end of the evening to a small cameo piece, quite unrehearsed, but which certainly delighted the clientele.

It was through this venue that someone asked him to speak at cricket dinners. Engagements rolled in from there and eventually he decided to give up his position in restaurant management to become a professional impressionist.

Connelly's wide range of sporting personalities were a big hit when he last spoke at the Bradford League dinner in 2010.

League secretary Chris Leathley said: "After receiving a letter from David Gower on Saturday telling us he had been signed up by BT Sport for the Ashes  we had to move fast to get a top speaker to replace him and I am pleased that someone of Kevin's calibre was available."

He added: "David Gower has offered to come and speak at a future dinner and I am sure we will be taking him up on the offer."

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