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ITV replace Adrian Chiles with Mark Pougatch as football frontman; Former BBC presenter Chiles' four-year contract was due to expire this year.

Byline: Dan Kay

ITV has announced Mark Pougatch as a new football presenter in a move which sees the BBC broadcaster apparently replace Adrian Chiles.

Pougatch's first match for ITV will be presenting coverage of the live Champions League game between Paris St Germain and Chelsea on February 17.

Chiles' four-year contract with ITV expires this year but the broadcaster has refused to comment on whether he is leaving, though a report in the Daily Mail says that is the case.

Chiles was the subject of a Facebook campaign to have him removed from ITV's football coverage after last year's World Cup, and last summer it was announced he was being given a much bigger role on BBC Radio Five Live as a presenter.

Pougatch will also continue to work for BBC Radio Five Live - but not on football.

A statement from ITV said: "Mark will appear alongside ITV's panel of pundits, commentary and reporting team for the live England international and European football programmes from February."

ITV will not have Champions League football next season but the move presents an intriguing prospect of Pougatch possibly hosting a Premier League Saturday evening highlights show from the 2016-17 season should ITV outbid the BBC's Match of the Day for the rights.

ITV director of sport Niall Sloane said: "Mark is a highly-respected sports journalist and an outstanding broadcaster. We're delighted to welcome Mark to the ITV Sport team."

Pougatch himself added: "I am absolutely delighted to be joining ITV and to be given this great opportunity. I'm looking forward to working with ITV's talented pool of commentators and pundits on some of the very best football there is."

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Publication:The Chronicle (Newscastle upon Tyne, England)
Date:Jan 23, 2015
Words:277
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