Bradley Walsh opened up on distressing time after getting sacked before The Chase

The Chase: Bradley Walsh slams player's 'inexplicable' answer

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Bradley Walsh is best known for acting and presenting but before this, he also had a flourishing football career. The Chase presenter is also known for his roles on Coronation Street as Danny Baldwin, and Graham O’Brien, on Doctor Who as well as appearing on stage too in many pantomimes include Chasing Dreams in 2016 and When You’re Smiling in 2017.

The BAFTA-winning quiz show host has enjoyed a varied career as an actor, a comedian, a singer and even as a professional footballer.

It was only after injury cut short his football career at Brentford FC that he turned to entertainment, working first at a holiday camp and then becoming a stand-up comedian.

The 62-year-old spoke candidly to BBC’s Desert Island Discs in 2016 where he opened up on his life and career.

Addressing his time at Brentford FC, the on-screen star had suffered a multitude of injuries.

A new manager called Fred Callaghan came to Brentford with the ambition of promotion.

“He said,” recalled Bradley, “‘I’m letting you go,’ and he fired me. I was devastated.”

“But strangely enough,” he continued, “Fast forward about 37 years and I am at a charity dinner… and I get a phone call from a friend and he says ‘I’ve got someone sitting next to me.’”

Bradley went on: “He said ‘It’s Fred Callaghan.’ It’s the manager who sacked me all those years ago and I went ‘Hello Fred.’”

“So he said ‘Who’s that?’ I said, ‘It’s Bradley Walsh.’ He laughed his head off and he went, ‘I’ll bet you’re glad I sacked you now!’”

“I just laughed. I said, ‘Thanks very much, Fred, you did me a proper turn.’”

Bradley was a footballer with a promising career and he started out in Wormley Rovers for his youth football, and at the age of 18 Bradley signed for Brentford.

He didn’t manage to make the first team but was a regular reserve, and played for Barnet on loan.


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Bradley also made the Southern Football League and played for Tring Town, Boreham Wood and Chalfont St Peter.

After a career-ending injury in the form of ankle fractures, the sportsman was forced to seek out an alternative career in showbiz which he has enjoyed for the past 40 years.

Bradley bagged a stint presenting the National Lottery on BBC One in 1994 as his first TV job.

This then kicked off his run of presenting game shows – with him taking over as the host of the popular Wheel Of Fortune in 1997.

Besides his two-year stint on Coronation Street from 2004 to 2006, his acting credits include Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures and ITV’s crime drama Law & Order: UK.

But in July 2021, Bradley revealed he is considering retiring.

The host told The Sun: “You know what, in a couple of years time I won’t have to do any of it, I’ll be retired and that’ll be it.”

The Chase airs weekdays at 5pm.

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