David Duffield Reader Submissions Part 10 2004 Update

We Love David Duffield 2004

We got so many emails about DD over the summer that it all got a bit overwhelming. Here they all are as a labour of love towards our great friend.

From: Tim Y
Subject: Howdy from the States

Howdy from the States,

Please keep up the good work. I’m a Duffield fan from way back – via – shall we say – begged, borrowed and stolen – Eurosport coverage. As an avid racing cyclist, my friends and I take every opportunity to work Duffield-speak into our vocabulary. My riding friends who don’t know who he is, and what a unique brand of commentary he provides, over the many years, are really missing something.

Thanks from a fan for compiling this homage to him. I’ve listened to many hours of his commentary, and do enjoy it. Even the British-bits which I may not understand. Even my 13-14 trips to the UK over the last 3 years haven’t completely acclimated me to some of his jargon.

Just a note of thanks, He’s way cool. tim

From: Tim Y
Subject: RE: Howdy from the States

Oh, just a follow up –

I thought of a quote I didn’t see on your site – and one interpretation of what I think it means:

When often referring to a veteran or experienced, very strong rider, David will say –

…”He’s see his fair share of hedge-rows….”

I take it to mean either: 1.) he’s logged many miles, in reference to the hedge-rows he must pass which line many British and European roads -or- 2.) he’s ridden many tough miles, including several nasty crashes into hedge-rows

??? Your call may vary???

thanks, Just a quote for your list! tim

From: Julie Italy
Subject: David Duffield

Do u know where he has gone. The Tour just isn’t the same without him?


From: Derek
Subject: from Margaret & Derek – Spain

Please tell us what has happened to David Duffield – he is not commentating on the Tour de France on Eurosport – Thank you. Yours sincerely, Margaret & Derek , Spain

From: RJ
Subject: Duffield

Thank you for your write up on David. Do you know why he is not commenting on the Tour de France this year please? R.J. (who is six years older than David !)

From: Carol
Subject: David Duffield

could someone tell me where is david duffield,why is he not doing the commentry on the tour de france ,we miss him so much , it is not the same without him. please reply if you know where he is. regards carol.

From: Dave C
Subject: David Duffield

Have I missed something? Tour de France has started and no DD. I don’t think he was at the Tour of Italy either. What has happened? Dave C

From: Colin C
Subject: Duffield

I’ve been watching as much of le tour de France as I possibly can but as yet have not heard David. Is he still with Eurosport ?

I do miss his own type of commentary on the tour.



From: Jon
Subject: David Duffield

Why has David Duffield not been commentating on the tour this year? He was instrumental in arousing my interest in the great race and I suspect many others too. I have vented my feelings at Eurosport via email, perhaps your members could do the same and we will get the great man back in his rightful place. The tour is just not the same without his knowledge of all things cycling and his passion for the event, i will remain optimistic for an early return. Many thanks.

John G TDF fan

From: Ken M
Subject: David – The Man – Duffield

Fantastic!!!! I was wondering why David isn’t on Le Tour this year – did a Google – and came up with your great tribute pages. Loving them.

Any idea why David isn’t commentating??? Is he ill?? Heard him on the phone from home today – he sounded ok.

I really miss his comentary


From: Chris
Subject: D.D.

I came a bit late into the listening audience but at about 64-I’m now 72- I decided to watch the Tour on Eurosport and became fascinated by the most unusual commentary I’ve ever heard. I thought the programme was about cycle racing but instead I learnt a lot about churches, castles,local cooking, and how long it took that day to get to the finish point. There was of course an occasional reference to a live race,but overall I was sucked in to the most gripping commentary I’d known and thereafter looked forward to the next year. It was to my great suprise and disapointment to find this year that the commentary had been taken over by a succesor. Good, detailed, and very informative but I guess David’s act was impossible to follow. I, for one, will miss him. I don’t like cycling either! Chris B..

From: Chris A


Please can you tell me why Duffo isn’t doing the TdF this year? Is he ill? Has he retired?

Many thanks,

Chris A

(Camberley Wheelers, 1964-1966)

From: Richard
Subject: Duffield

Why is he not commentating this year? – like yourselves my wife and I look forward to his efforts every day. Richard and Jennie Ross-on-Wye

From: Dennis R
Subject: The Great Man


What has happened to Euro sport No David on the microphone…


From: Patsy
Subject: Tour 2004

my husband and self look forward to the cycling tours, although not now cyclists ourselves. myself in particular surprised when you were not commentating on the great tour itself, have you been usurped by mike smith? why are you not the lead commentator, we really enjoy the comments about the food and wine and all the other anecdotes and your obvious great pleasure and enthusiam. you have done so much to promote the sport itself and wish you well for the future ~~~~ patsy r

From: jane

why is David not commenting Le Tour this year ?

From: Alan
Subject: Where’s David

Can you help please, I watch the Tour on Eurosport and the commentators don`t seem to include David Duffield this year…Sean Kelly, Mike Smith, Christie etc so whats happened to him

Best wishes Alan J (ps- not British Eurosport..)

From: Steve
Subject: Duffield

Do u know what has happened to David Duffield on Eurosport??



From: jackie
Subject: David Duffield

While watching TdF and missing DD I gogled his name and cme up ith your site. Just wondered, do you know why he isn’t on duty – much missed that he is?

thanks for your help


From: Tim D
Subject: Duffield

Great site, but you do need to keep it up to date. Duffers disappearance had been troubling me deeply and as the premier site devoted to his work, you need to keep people up to date. Feel free to use the following. It is taken from a reply I sent to a friend who asked me about the great man’s whereabouts this year.

At first I thought that he might have gone to the great commentary box in the sky – he is now of advanced years. But a search of newspaper obits turned up nothing. So, in desperation, I phoned Eurosport’s press office.

They explained that this year the station had elaborate plans for a studio section to their Tour coverage. Dave was all set up to front this up, leaving the live commentary to Mike ‘the voice of hospital radio’ Smith and Sean ‘Flubber Yubber’ Kelly.

For reasons on which Eurosport declined to elaborate, their plans for a studio went awry shortly before the prologue. This left them with a commentary team already set up and Duffield adrift. They have addressed this now by having a daily commentary from Dave at some point each day and occasional interjections from him during the commentary.

As Duffers had commentated on the Tour since the time of Henri Desgranges, I can’t imagine that he was ever happy with any of these arrangements, but until he speaks himself, we won’t know. Eurosport do assure me that he will be back in the main chair for the Veulta.

And here is an old Dave story you have missed.

In 1978, when Duffers was head of marketing at Halfords’, he received an odd request. The rock band Queen was making a video to promoted their single Fat Bottomed Girls and wanted to borrow a couple of hundred bicycles. Duffers agreed and turned up at an athletics track to find as many naked porn models as he had bicycles. Girls and bikes did a couple of turns around the track in the all together for the cameras in what was surely Freddy Mercury’s most elaborate ruse to persuade fans that he was hetro to his fingertips. Most of the girls, unsurprisingly, complained bitterly about the saddles. And Duffers, in an interview conducted on the day of the stunt, was incapable of stringing a sentence together. It was perhaps as a result of this that he missed the marketing opportunity of a lifetime. The bicycles were simply returned to Halfords’ stock and sold at their recommended retail price with not a word said about their brush with glamour.

In truth we need a campaign for Duffers, and you are the people to lead it. Start bombarding Eurosport with emails now!

Aye yours

Tim D

From: Tony C

I have been an avid fan of the tour de france for approx 42 years,I have been up many of the cols in the alps and pyrenees the race has used, with my wife in the car,and have been in awe at the lenght ,gradient and altitude of them.Having suffered on a cycle and running marathons my admiration of any tour rider is second to none.My admiration is also the same for Mr David Duffield,if he can make watching the tour de france pleasurable for my wife to watch he is amazing.His style is supurb,to keep commentating when there are no breakaways and nothing in general is happening is unique.He can give the viewer plenty of information about the riders,about the region the cyclists are travelling through,what wine and where it came from that he had for lunch the previous evening,in fact nothing he says will start boring the viewer.As for commentary on the race itself it keeps the viewer interested and enthralled,and the emotions surface as well,eg, when the photographer stepped out in front of the leader close to the fnish line.So where is David Duffield,I just could not believe he was not commentating,nothing against Phil Ligget or Paul Sherwen they are very good,but I now have to tape the race and watch it when my wife is out,she has lost interest.Could you please tell me why he was not chosen and if he is over in France watching the race. Many Thanks, Tony C

From: Dave W
Subject: The Missing Duffers

Can you tell me what’s happened to Dear David. With him The Tour is, as regards commentary, a bit boring. Commentators, tho’ well informed/experienced but no enthusiasm. No culture. (food, towns, terrain) No mini Murray-Walkers. (Cock-ups)


Regards and best wheeling wishes. David W Ex Horwich CC. ( Ex by about 45 years, but treasured memories.)

From: Eamon
Subject: David Duffield

Do you know why he isn’t on the TDF this year? Eurosport aren’t saying.

Yours in desperation


From: Julian
Subject: What’s happened to David on Eurosport ?


I’ve just got back from holiday having missed most of this years Tour de France, only to find that all of this years commentary is being done by Mr Snooker Mike Smith !

Do you guys know where David is ?


Julian C

From: Jim
Subject: Duffield, Kelly, Smith.

I just trawled though your excellent Duffield pages hoping to find an accurate version of my favourite Duffism. It’s not there, so until someone can supply a verbatim account you will have to rely on my shaky memory.

In a recent Tour De France (probably 2002) during a mountain stage David was commenting on the vast crowds who turn out to see the riders. He rambled on and on about how it was all for free and how peaceful and friendly the spectators were. He compared the good behaviour of the hundreds of thousands who turn out for cycling with the hooligan antics of football fans who gather in a stadiums of only 40 to 50 thousand. At that moment a spectator in fancy dress started leaping and hopping in the road in front of one of the leading riders almost causing him to fall off. David, instantly forgetting his previous comments, launched into a furious rant along the lines of ” this is disgraceful, we are all sick and tired of this kind of thing, when will somebody take action to stop this sort of behaviour, these people should be locked up etc.” I have often related this tale and would love to hear the original again. It was the same year he did his embarrasing rendition of a psalm from the bible when the Peloton passed by Tom Simpson’s memorial.

Nobody has mentioned David’s constant references to ‘Thumping great climbs’, ‘Thumping great mountains’ ‘ Thumping big meals’ etc.

Wth reference to this years Tour. It was great fun to listen to Mike Smith’s evident anxiety when getting used to the wonderfully dour Sean Kelly as his commentary companion. Mike would ask Sean to comment on a particular aspect and Sean would wait for his customary 30 seconds before answering. Whereas David Duffield was obviously used to this and would answer his own question or patiently wait out the long silence before Sean responded, Mike obviously began to panic and on a number of occasions has prompted Sean with repetitions or rephrasing of the original question. However, things have settled down now and Sean is able to take his time to answer as is his way. I read somewhere that Sean Kelly once responded to a question in a radio interview by simply nodding. My friend Anthony (a recent Tour convert) has noticed how Sean can not bring himself to say Peloton, always referring to “d’ bonnch” (the bunch).

see you


From: Jon R
Subject: where was david on this years tour

I tuned in every day to The Tour but NO DAVID!!! All I got was mike smith who knows about as much on the tour as I do about climbing L,alp duez. Was he on eurosport europe rather than eurosport uk. Missed THE MAN terribly. It was’nt the same Tour. Where is he. Is he coming back to the uk broadcasts?

jon r

From: Bryan L
Subject: David Duffield

Hullo there.

I found your site this morning, while trying to find out the situation with David Duffield. It wasn’t until he was eased out of the Tour that I realised who it was who made watching the cycling so interesting. He has not been treated well by Eurosport. I will still try and watch the Vuelta when I’m off work, but it won’t be the same. Cheers.

Bryan L

From: Alan W
Subject: The Great Man


Where is David Duffield? The Tour de France wasn’t the same without him. Is he ill? Has he been Sacked?

Please reply if you have any information.


A Fan.

From: Alan N
Subject: The Great Man

Hi is the great man o.k? he seems a bit “under the weather” at the moment has he been ill?? not being nosey just concern from an OLD blrc (tootingb.c.) man — used to ride alongside the likes of alfie angers and co. — mass starts at crystal palace!!! give my regards to the lad and wish him well! alan n.

From: Elaine
Subject: Emailing: London Sept 04 024


Thought you might like this picture of me with the great Mr Duffield – a personal hero! It was taken on 5th September this year. He had just finished commentating on the final stage of the Tour of Britain and was about to rush off to catch a flight to Spain to cover La Vuelta.

Elaine 🙂

Check out the whole collection of Duffield pages here and enjoy one of the all time great commentators.

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