|Born||28 April 1950|
Dartford, Kent, England
|Employer||ITV (1980-85; 2006-12)|
Smooth Radio (2014-19)
|Jane Eydmann (1985-present)|
Stephen Rider (born 28 April 1950) is an English sports presenter, and was the anchorman of ITV's football coverage. He anchored ITV's Formula One coverage from 2006 to 2008, and football coverage from 2006 to April 2010. He was the lead presenter for ITV's coverage of the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Born in Dartford, Kent, Rider attended the John Roan Boys' Grammar School on Maze Hill in Blackheath. He began his career working for a newspaper in south-east London, followed by writing for sports news agency Hayters. Early in his career he was a sports reporter for Independent Radio News and also covered motor racing for Anglia Television, later becoming Head of Sport on the regional news programme About Anglia and lived near Halesworth in Suffolk.
Rider worked for both ITV Sport and Independent Television News for several years providing reports for the World of Sport programme, and reporting from the 1980 Summer Olympics. He was also a presenter for some of the golf coverage on Channel 4 and presented some live European football for ITV. In addition, he read the sports news section in ITN's Saturday late bulletins.
Rider joined BBC Sport in July 1985, taking over from Harry Carpenter on the network's Sportsnight programme, which he presented for six years. He became a familiar face on British television, presenting shows such as Grandstand, BBC Sports Personality of the Year and much of the BBC's motorsports, rugby and golf coverage.
He also anchored the channel's coverage of the University Boat Race until 2005, and every Olympic Games between 1988 and 2004. In 1996 ITV attempted to recruit Rider, when it was announced that Formula One coverage would move from the BBC to ITV. However, he chose to remain with the BBC and the ITV F1 frontman role was handed to Jim Rosenthal. His last assignment for the corporation came at the World Rowing Championships in Japan in the autumn of 2005. He was succeeded by Gary Lineker and Hazel Irvine in golf, John Inverdale for the rowing and rugby union and Clare Balding for rugby league.
In September 2005 it was reported that ITV had secured Rider's services and he would replace Jim Rosenthal from 2006 onwards to present coverage of Formula One. He later said that a factor in his decision to move network was the BBC's unwillingness to agree his long-term future. He told The Times: "I went...to the BBC and said 'Look, you know me as a presenter, you know the way I work, the way I want to work, I want to make a long-term commitment to encompass 2012.' They did not feel able to do that and it was easy to make a decision [about my future] from that point on". In March 2006 Rider made his coverage debut on ITV, appearing on a Formula One preview show for the new season. Later that year he was chosen over Gabby Logan to be the main presenter of ITV's coverage of the 2006 World Cup and remained in that role until Adrian Chiles's arrival as the channel's main football anchor in May 2010.
Following ITV's early withdrawal from its F1 contract, handing the coverage back to the BBC, it was announced on 24 November 2008, that Rider would not be offered a contract to return in 2009. The anchorman duties on BBC Sport were given to Jake Humphrey.
Rider left ITV Sport on 12 May 2010, saying, "It was important to get this sorted before such an important few weeks for ITV Sport", in reference to the broadcaster's coverage of the 2010 World Cup. He would, however, continue to present coverage of the British Touring Car Championship which he has done from 2009 to the present day.
Rider previously presented the breakfast show on Smooth Radio and continued on the station with The Great American Songbook on Sunday evenings until 2019. He presents a weekend morning show on speech-based radio station LBC, which he joined in 2016 after broadcasting for 3 years on its London local service.
On his style, he has said "[I'm not] that bothered about the environment that should surround a presenter at the beginning of a programme, of the "if we get you in this location it will look as though you are close to the action" sort of thing. That is meaningless for an audience, it is just a macho thing for a production team. We used to have these discussions: wouldn't it look great if you were standing by the 18th green as Nick Faldo putted out and you would say "No, that would get in the way of everybody's enjoyment of the event".
He has twice won the Royal Television Society's 'Sports Presenter of the Year' award, including in 1994, and won a BAFTA TV award for ITVs coverage of the 2008 F1 Brazilian Grand Prix. His defection to ITV was one of the most high-profile from BBC Sport since Des Lynam.
Rider married Jane Eydmann in November 1985 in Camden. The couple have two children, a son, Jack (born November 1989) and daughter (born September 1992). The family live in Maidenhead, and have a second home in East Portlemouth, Devon. Rider had objected to the building of affordable housing within East Portlemouth, where property prices had soared due to wealthy second home owners, leaving local people unable to afford to live within their own communities. The objections were quashed by South Hams council.
Rider is patron of the South Buckinghamshire charity Headway South Bucks, which raises money for people with head injuries, and also of children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent. He is also Vice-President of United Response, a national charity that supports people with learning disabilities, physical and mental health needs; and president of the North West Kent Addicks, an independent Charlton Athletic supporters group that raises money for local charities.
Rider has also become the patron of Children and Families Across Borders (CFAB), a charity dedicated to reuniting children who have been separated from their families. Since 2008 Rider has been the patron of Exeter Leukaemia Fund. In addition, Rider is Vice-President of the DEBRA Golf Society, which raises funds for individuals and families affected by epidermolysis bullosa (EB) - a painful genetic skin blistering condition which, in the worst cases, can be fatal.