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Richard Keys open to RTÉ switch as Al Jazeera line up sacked Sky Sports duo

Wife of former Sky Sports presenter says that sexist remarks were just ‘banter’.

Julia Keys, wife of former Sky Sports presenter Richard Keys, brings a tray of tea to the media waiting outside her Surrey home.
Julia Keys, wife of former Sky Sports presenter Richard Keys, brings a tray of tea to the media waiting outside her Surrey home.
Image: Chris Ison/PA Wire/Press Association Images

RTÉ SAY THEY don’t need shamed Sky Sports football presenter Richard Keys – because they have the best around in Bill O’Herlihy.

Keys resigned from the high-profile position he held for two decades as he and colleague Andy Gray were embroiled in a sexism row.

This morning, the Irish Sun reports that Keys’s agent said the broadcaster would be open to a move to Montrose should an offer be made. He said:

“We would look at any offers forthcoming – Richard has a large Irish fan base.”

This so-called come-and-get-me plea, a tactic so often employed by the Premier League’s footballers, will fall on deaf ears in Donnybrook however.

One source told the newspaper: ”Despite being a top presenter, Keys is persona non gratis and we can’t risk offending our women viewers. Besides, we already have the best around in Bill O’Herlihy.”

The Irish Daily Mirror, meanwhile, reports that Keys and Gray are being lined up for a lucrative new role with Arab station Al Jazeera.

Keys is said to be in the Middle East today to meet station executives. If he wangles a new job, he will insist on bringing his former work-mate Gray.

The pair would be expected to spend periods of time in Qatar but would also broadcast from London.

Al Jazeera recently sealed a deal to show the next three World Cups across the Middle East and Africa.

Wife statement

Yesterday evening, Keys’s wife, Julia, broke her silence on the sexism row that cost her husband his £500,000-per year job. And she didn’t spare the football metaphors.

“With men there are little bits of you that never grow up,” she said as she served tea to journalists outside her home.

‘It’s banter from the boys. What other people do not understand is the dynamics that go on in the studio.’

“He [Richard] is very aware of the tensions that there are and it not being as relaxed as it would be unless there were playful shenanigans.

“They contributed so much, putting Sky on the map. Whether you like them personally or not, professionally there’s very few who would knock them.

“I feel the wrong two guys were given the red card,” she added.

Listen to the entire Talk Sport interview| Sky presenter on the brink | Take a bow son, Andy Gray sacked by station

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