Ian Robertson (rugby commentator)

Ian Robertson (born 17 January 1945)[1] is a Scottish broadcaster, writer and former international rugby player. He is best known as a rugby union commentator for BBC Radio.

Ian Robertson
Birth nameIan Robertson
Date of birth (1945-01-17) 17 January 1945
Place of birthLondon, England
Sports broadcaster
Rugby union career
Position(s) Fly-half
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Cambridge University
London Scottish
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
19681970 Scotland 8 (9)

Early life

Robertson was educated at George Watson's College in Edinburgh, Aberdeen University and Christ's College, Cambridge.[2] He worked for four years as an English teacher at Fettes College, where his most famous pupil was Tony Blair.[3]

Rugby career

Robertson played rugby union for Cambridge University, Watsonians,[4] London Scottish, Aberdeenshire, Scotland (1968–70) and the Barbarians.[5] The most memorable moment of his playing career was Scotland's 1970 Calcutta Cup victory over England. At 25 he suffered a serious knee injury that ended his sporting career.[3]


Robertson joined the BBC in 1972.[6] and since April 1983 he has been the Corporation's official rugby union correspondent,[6] covering the sport not only on radio but also on television. He regards Scotland's 1984 and 1990 Grand Slams and Jonny Wilkinson's winning drop-kick in the final of the 2003 World Cup as his "best on-air moments".[3] Robertson was also a presenter of the English Premiership video review of 1998-99. In February 2018 he announced that he will be retiring at the end of the year and covered his last game, England v Australia, on 24 November 2018.[7]

Robertson is a prolific writer; he has written over 30 books and a number of biographies,[6] including those of Bill Beaumont,[8] Andy Irvine,[8] and actor Richard Burton.[3] His memoir Rugby: Talking a Good Game was published in November 2018 by Hodder & Stoughton.


  1. Ian Robertson rugby profile ESPN Scrum.com
  2. Ian Robertson biography BBC Press Office
  3. BBC's Ian Robertson will not be silenced The Telegraph, 6 September 2007
  4. Six Nations Preview: 5 live Sport BBC Radio 5 Live, 1 February 2012
  5. Lunchtime stories with BBC commentator Ian Robertson The Roar, 16 June 2010
  6. Alumni - Ian Robertson Christ's College, University of Cambridge
  7. Ian Robertson's final Six Nations commentary, BBC Five Live, 17 March 2018
  8. Ian Robertson - BBC Rugby Correspondent Gordon Poole Agency
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