Conor McNamara

Conor McNamara is an Irish sports commentator. He works for BBC Radio 5 Live, Match of the Day, BBC, Amazon Prime Video and Channel 5's live Rugby Union coverage.

Conor McNamara
EducationBA (hons) TV & Radio, Post-graduate diploma in Business Studies
Alma materUniversity of Salford
University College Dublin (UCD)
OccupationSports commentator

McNamara was born in Limerick, in the Republic of Ireland, where he attended the Jesuit Rugby School – Crescent College – whose alumni include Terry Wogan, Richard Harris, Bill Whelan (Riverdance Composer) as well as rugby internationals David Wallace and Peter Clohessy.

McNamara studied at the University of Salford in Salford where he holds a Degree in Television and Radio. He also attended the Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School at University College Dublin where he received a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Studies.

Early career in IrelandEdit

While still at university, McNamara did his first football commentary for Irish national radio station Today FM - the 1997 FA Cup Final.

He joined the Irish TV station TV3 in Dublin at its launch in 1998 as Sports Presenter/Commentator. His first commentary for national television was the Republic of Ireland versus Yugoslavia in 1998. He became TV3's UEFA Champions League commentator in 1999, before joining the BBC in 2002.

Career at the BBCEdit

McNamara regularly commentates for BBC Radio 5 Live and Match of the Day. Away from sport, he voices the character of 'Squawk The Parrot' on CBeebies show "Swashbuckle".[1]

Football commentaryEdit

McNamara's first national radio commentary for BBC Radio 5 Live was Bolton v Tottenham in April 2002. His first Match of the Day commentary for BBC television was Everton versus Aston Villa in October 2004.

McNamara regularly commentates on the Premier League, The FA Cup, the UEFA Champions League and internationals. He has worked at every FIFA World Cup since 1998 and every UEFA European Championship since 2004.[2]

Each year from 2014 to 2019, McNamara was nominated as Football Supporters' Federation Commentator of the Year.[3][4][5]

Rugby commentaryEdit

McNamara commentates on rugby union for BBC television, Amazon Prime Video and Channel 5. He regularly covers Ireland's games for BBC radio. McNamara commentated on all 13 games TV3 Ireland covered for the 2007 Rugby World cup alongside BBC colleague Philip Matthews.[6] McNamara's first live TV commentary game for the BBC was Scotland versus Italy in the Six Nations Championship in 2011 and has commentated on at least one match at every tournament since. McNamara returned to TV3 for the 2015 Rugby World Cup as a presenter and commentator as TV3 had exclusive rights to the tournament and covered all games on TV3 and 3e alongside Keith Wood, Peter Stringer and Stuart Barnes.[7]

McNamara provided world feed commentary for World Rugby from Japan at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.[8]

McNamara was part of the Amazon Prime Video rugby commentary team for the Autumn Nations Cup in 2020.[9]

Golf commentaryEdit

McNamara is part of the BBC's golf commentary team and has worked at every The Open Championship since 2006. He has also regularly worked at The Ryder Cup,[10] The PGA Championship and The Solheim Cup.


McNamara is known to a younger, pre-school audience, as the voice of "Squawk"[11] the parrot on the British Academy of Film and Television Arts winning Cbeebies show Swashbuckle (TV series).[12]

Other BBC appearancesEdit

In 2011, McNamara's commentary featured prominently on the BBC's "Let it Live" campaign to promote digital radio.[13]

In 2012, his commentary was used on a similar campaign entitled "Don't miss a thing this summer".[14]

McNamara appears on Phil Williams’ Team Talk on Wednesday nights on BBC Radio Five Live with fellow BBC Sport broadcaster Dan Walker.[15]


  1. ^ Jarlath Regan (22 March 2015). "Conor McNamara". An Irishman Abroad (Podcast) (79 ed.). SoundCloud. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  2. ^ "McNamara's memorable MOTD moments". BBC Sport.
  3. ^ (11 November 2014). "FSF Awards 2014: Commentator of the Year - Football Supporters' Federation".
  4. ^ (5 November 2015). "The FSF Awards 2015 in association with William Hill - Football Supporters' Federation".
  5. ^ "Vote now: FSA Awards 2019 shortlists announced". 7 November 2019.
  6. ^ "McNamara TV3 RWC 2007". Limerick Leader. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  7. ^ "TV3 announce RWC 2015 Lineup". TV3 Ireland. Archived from the original on 1 April 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  8. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "Who are Amazon Prime's rugby pundits?". 3 November 2020.
  10. ^ "5 live at the Ryder Cup". Behind the mic: The 5 live blog. 24 September 2012.
  11. ^ "Conor McNamara: Swashbuckle's Squawk goes to the World Cup in Brazil". CBeebies Grown-ups. 10 June 2014.
  12. ^ "2015 Children's Entertainment - BAFTA Awards".
  13. ^ REVO (7 December 2011). "Revo Heritage in BBC's 'Let it Live' Digital Radio TV Ad" – via Vimeo.
  14. ^[bare URL]
  15. ^[bare URL]

External linksEdit