Who is Derek Thompson?
Derek Thompson, or ‘Tommo’, as he likes to call himself, is a veteran television and radio presenter, commentator and after dinner speaker. Originally from Middlesbrough in North East England, Thompson, who turns 70 in July, 2020, began broadcasting on local radio as a teenager, before joining BBC Radio Sport in 1972 and ITV Sport in 1981. Bizarrely, two years later, in February, 1983, Thompson was involved, along with ITV colleague John Oaksey and Sun journalist Peter Campling, in negotations for the release of the 1981 Derby winner, Shergar, who had been kidnapped from the Ballymany Stud in Co. Kildare.
In 1985, Thompson joined Channel 4 Racing, which had begun broadcasting horse racing coverage in Britain the previous March. He continued to to ply his trade as a presenter and commentator until January, 2013, when he was dropped from the roster, along with the late John McCririck, when IMG Sports Media took over the production of Channel 4 Racing. Later that year, Thompson reported on the Cheltenham Festival for BBC Radio Five Live. Nowadays, he works as a studio presenterer on Sky Sports Racing, formerly At The Races, and makes regular appearances on Talksport radio. On one, especially cringeworthy, occasion, Thompson cut to At The Races colleague Robert Cooper, saying ‘Oh, you’ve been joined by a beautiful lady’, only for a baffled Cooper to reply, ‘It’s a man actually, Derek’.