Yorkshire in spotlight as Mowbray kicks off

Chris Waters talks to Guy Mowbray about a new regional football programme which hits the screens tonight.

HE is an avid York City supporter, was the youngest broadcaster to commentate on a World Cup final on UK television and is a regular commentator on Match of the Day.

Now Guy Mowbray is to front a new Monday night football league show that promises to give fans across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire unparalleled access to their favourite teams.

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Late Kick Off, which starts at 11.15pm today on BBC One, will feature in-depth coverage of the teams, players, managers and behind-the-scenes stories from all 12 non-Premiership clubs from the Look North region – Barnsley, Bradford City, Chesterfield, Doncaster Rovers, Grimsby Town, Huddersfield Town, Leeds United, Lincoln City, Rotherham United, Scunthorpe United, Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United.

The half-hour show is designed to be more than just a highlights programme and pledges to get right to the heart of local football with a mixture of discussion, opinion, interviews and analysis.

Mowbray, 37, who lives in York and has worked on Match of the Day since 2004, believes such a programme is long overdue.

He will be joined each week by different guests and pundits from the footballing world to talk about the weekend's biggest games. "Football League clubs often get overlooked in this Premiership-obsessed era so I think a show like this is long overdue," said Mowbray, who will be part of the BBC team at this summer's World Cup in South Africa.

"We've got 12 league clubs in our region and other regions don't have that luxury, so we can certainly keep the show varied.

"In actual fact, it would be nice to be able to reduce the number of clubs we're covering by having more clubs playing in the Premier League.

"We'll give mentions to other clubs now and then – such as Hull City, for example – but essentially it's a programme about our Football League teams."

Mowbray, pictured, who made history by covering the 1998 World Cup final at the age of 26 before joining ITV, believes now is the perfect time to be launching Late Kick Off.

"I think Yorkshire football is on the up again after a difficult couple of years," he added.

"I think Leeds United are very much on the up, for instance, and then you've got clubs like Scunthorpe United and Doncaster Rovers who are punching above their weight in the Championship.

"The show will also dip back into the archives on a regular basis and I'm sure that will be an interesting feature.

"People will be able to look at all the old haircuts, for example, and there'll be plenty of things to keep everyone entertained."

Mowbray, who spent five years with ITV after starting his career at Eurosport, will, of course, try to give York City a mention at every opportunity.

"I was born and bred in York and I've been watching them since I was four years old," he said.

"I don't often get the opportunity to see them because I'm out covering Premiership matches, but I can proudly state I've been to every York game I could have got to in the last three years.

"Hull have obviously done fantastically well to get themselves into the Premiership in recent times and it pains me to say that as a York fan because Hull and York have always been great rivals.

"Hopefully, York can go on to win promotion from the Blue Square this season and then we'll be able to cover them even more."

Late Kick Off will also be available on BBC iPlayer at www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer