Ed Chamberlin on horse racing, career change and cancer

ITV Racing presenter Ed Chamberlin

The ITV racing commentator tells Catherine Scott why he is coming to Yorkshire to support Macmillan’s Carol Concert in Ripon.

Sports presenter Ed Chamberlin believes he is a lucky man.

The 43-year-old father-of-two is not only doing his dream job presenting ITV’s racing coverage, but he is lucky to be alive.

Nearly ten years ago he was diagnosed with stomach cancer and despite initially having being diagnosed with, among other things, a stomach ulcer he survived.

But the experience, says the former Sky Sports football presenter, changed him.

“I have always been rather conservative and risk-averse. But having cancer at 34 and surviving it changes you. I decided that I would seize opportunities and so when the job came to present ITV’s racing coverage I went for it although it meant leaving what many think is one of the best jobs in sports journalism.”

Chamberlin had always been a racing fanatic thanks to his grandfather.

It was racing that got him through his gruelling nine weeks of intensive chemotherapy.

“I would have the chemo at 8pm and then when I woke up in the morning the one thing that got me up was trying to get myself out of bed to go down to WH Smith in the hospital foyer and buy the Racing Post. It was the goal I set myself no matter how ill I felt.”

His passion for racing went so far that be managed to convince doctors to let him have a television in intensive care at Southampton General Hospital to watch the Cheltenham Festival.

The only person who wasn’t thrilled with his decision to leave football for racing was his son, Sam.

“He said ‘Dad what have you done’? I don’t think he has forgiven me yet although he is starting to enjoy coming to race meetings. My daughter is thrilled though, as I now work for the same company as Ant and Dec.”

On December 11 Chamberlin will be in Ripon, although not at the racecourse.

He is doing a reading and talking a bit about his life and about racing at the Macmillan Carol Concert at Ripon Cathedral.

“I have always been a great supporter of Macmillan and the work they do. My aunt is quite high up in the charity and even before I was ill I ran the London marathon for Macmillan,” says Chamberlin, who is also a supporter of the children’s cancer charity Well Child.

“When you see a children’s cancer ward it is heart breaking. Even though I was extremely poorly, 
there was always someone worse off than me.

“The work that these charities do with children is fabulous and I will do what I can to help them.”

Ed still has an annual check up every January, something he doesn’t want to stop anytime soon.

“Although it is an anxious time I like the fact that I get a full MOT every year,” he says.

“I wouldn’t want my oncologist to sign me off. I have had the best medical care and it just makes you grateful for everything.”

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