606 (radio show)
606 (pronounced six-oh-six) is a weekend early evening football phone-in program, broadcast on BBC Radio Five Live throughout the British football season. It covers topics relating to the current affairs of football in the United Kingdom.
|Running time||114 mins (Sat) / 94 mins (Sun)|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Home station||BBC Radio 5 Live|
previously BBC Radio 5
|Starring||Saturday: Alistair Bruce-Ball with Chris Sutton|
Sunday: Robbie Savage
|Recording studio||Media City UK, Salford / BBC New Broadcasting House, London|
|Original release||1991 – present|
|Audio format||FM, Digital radio,|
Digital TV and online
The programme gets its name from the (approximate) time the show starts on a Saturday evening – six minutes past six – after the Sports Report has finished. The name may also be influenced by the phrase "six of one, half a dozen of the other" in reference to the exchange of contrasting views within the programme.
It currently airs till 8pm Saturdays and 7:30pm Sundays and is produced by Shooting Shark Productions Limited since 2015: it was formerly made by Campbell Davison Media from 2003, then Somethin' Else Productions from 2009. As well as listeners phoning in, a selection of texts and e-mails to the studio are read out.
The programme was inspired by long-running BBC Local radio football phone-ins such as the BBC Radio Sheffield programme "Praise or Grumble".
The original host was Danny Baker in the 1991–1992 season. Baker also hosted the show in the 1996–97 and 2008–09 seasons. David Mellor then presented 6-0-6 from 1992-2001 and was for a long time the regular Wednesday-evening presenter. Other previous hosts have included:
- Richard Littlejohn (1997-2002)
- Adrian Chiles (2001–2006)
- Jonathan Pearce (2002–2003) - Pearce also presented a similar programme Talkback on Sky Sports from 1992–1994
- Tim Lovejoy (2007–2009)
- DJ Spoony and Gabriele Marcotti (2007–09)
- Alan Green (2000-2013)
- Mark Chapman (2009, 2010–2013)
- Darren Fletcher (2010–2016)
- Kelly Cates (2013–2018)
- Jason Mohammad (2016–2019)
- Alistair Bruce-Ball (2018-present)
Under Baker in the 1990s the show favoured bizarre and obscure but hilarious topics, avoiding the matches played and headline football news. On occasions other sports would be included. It also included music in its first years. However, from Mellor onwards, the show became established as a more mainstream phone-in, mainly focusing on Premier League teams.
Between 2007 and 2009 the programme was hosted by DJ Spoony and Gabriele Marcotti. From the 2009-2010 season Alan Green presented on Saturdays, as he typically commentated on an evening match before presenting the Saturday show. Tim Lovejoy joined to present on Wednesdays while Danny Baker continued to present on Tuesdays from 10-11pm.
After TalkSport took the rights to Saturday evening Premier League matches from the 2010-11 season, the Saturday edition returned again to 6:06pm. The hosts became Mark Chapman and Robbie Savage, in his final season as a professional footballer. Savage won the Rising Star in radio Sony Radio Award for his plain speaking. Sunday's show was hosted by Alan Green. The Tuesday and Wednesday shows were dropped, only appearing on international nights.
In 2011-12, as Savage was taking part in Strictly Come Dancing, he was replaced on Saturdays by Jason Roberts. Savage instead joined Green on Sunday. In 2012-13, Savage returned to the Saturday evening program, alongside either Darren Fletcher or Mark Chapman. Green again hosts Sunday on his own.
From the 2013-14 season, there are two teams hosting between the two nights. Darren Fletcher and Robbie Savage will host on Saturdays while Kelly Cates and former footballer Ian Wright will host on Sundays.
From the 2016-17 season, the Saturday team changes, with Jason Mohammad joining Savage, due to Fletcher's BT Sport commentary commitments. Cates and Wright continue to host on a Sunday.
From the 2018-19 season, the Saturday show was hosted by Jason Mohammad with Robbie Savage and the Sunday show with Alistair Bruce-Ball with Chris Sutton.
From the 2019-20 season, Alistair Bruce-Ball with Chris Sutton took over the Saturday evening show with Robbie Savage alongside a guest presenter on the Sunday evening show.
Season 2009/10 saw the launch of the 606 Soapbox outside grounds. Fans can drop into the Soapbox and speak live to presenters Spoony and Gabriele Marcotti in the 5 Live studios. Every three weeks the Soapbox visits a league football ground in various locations around the country.
Sunday's 606 also has a weekly celebrity fan, reporting on the game they have been to that day. Celebrity fans so far have included Ray Winstone (West Ham United), Alan Davies (Arsenal), Beverley Knight (Wolves), Norman Jay (Spurs), Trevor Nelson (Chelsea), Tony Jeffries (Sunderland) and James and Oliver Phelps aka Fred and George Weasley from the Harry Potter films (Birmingham City and Aston Villa).
Now the Saturday show has a feature where 6 callers have 6 seconds to state their name, where they are from and their point.
6-0-6 online forum
In addition to the phone-in programme, there was also an online version of 6-0-6 in the form of an Internet message board, although in June 2006 the site was forced to temporarily close due to the large amount of web traffic and forum threads. Football, cricket, rugby union, rugby league, snooker, motorsport and several other sports had message boards embedded into 606.
Other sports occasionally get the 6-0-6 treatment. These include Tennis, where the show became 6 Love 6 presented by John McEnroe, Cricket's 6-Duck-6 presented by former England captain Michael Vaughan and Formula 1's Slicks-0-6, where Murray Walker presents. Since the 6-0-6 website disabled the ability to add comments and is no longer maintained, there have been a number of websites set up to continue providing this service including Just Another 606, New 606 Sport Forum and 606v2.
- Plunkett, John; "Tim Lovejoy to host 606 phone-in on Five Live" Guardian.co.uk, 26 July 2007, retrieved: 15 August 2009
- "The original football phone-in" BBC South Yorkshire, 26 October 2007, retrieved: 15 August 2009
- Luft, Oliver; "Danny Baker returns to Radio 5 Live weekly phone-in 606 — yet again" Guardian.co.uk, 31 July 2008, retrieved: 15 August 2009
- "BBC - Sport Editors: Changes to BBC Sport Online". www.bbc.co.uk.
- "BBC - Sport Editors: Closure of the 606 website". www.bbc.co.uk.
- "BBC Sport - F1: British Grand Prix as it happened".