Soccer AM hosts address 'the elephant in the room' in hilarious gag

Soccer AM hosts John ‘Fenners’ Fendley and Jimmy Bullard address ‘the elephant in the room’ in hilarious gag in first show since news broke of Sky’s plans to AXE the programme in widespread shake-ups

  • In the gag on Saturday Soccer AM’s hosts references their uncertain future 
  • Saturday saw the first broadcast since news broke of Sky’s plans to axe the show 
  • Fendley told fans on Instagram the show is going into a ‘consultation process’

Soccer AM presenters John ‘Fenners’ Fendley and Jimmy Bullard poked fun at the ongoing uncertainty over the future of the programme in a hilarious sketch featuring ‘the elephant in the room’. 

The two lead presenters of the light-hearted show were quick to address the speculation surrounding the programme’s future, with Sky Sports undergoing a widespread shake-up. 

The news that Soccer AM’s days on air were numbered broke earlier in the week, with the legendary Saturday morning football programme set to be axed after 30 years. 

And in typical fashion, the story was dealt with humour, with Fendley announcing that he needed to ‘address the elephant in the room’, before the cameras cut to a member of staff wearing a mascot-style elephant hat. 

It was the first edition of the programme to air since the news broke, although neither presenter appeared deterred on Saturday’s live broadcast. 

Soccer AM hosts John Fendley (R) and Jimmy Bullard (L) hosted Saturday’s show in the week that saw the programme’s future thrown into uncertainty

The pair addressed ‘the elephant in the room’ – a member of the show dressed in an elephant costume

‘Right, before we go any further further, I need to address the elephant in the room,’ Fendley began, in a mock-serious tone.

‘Oi, Dumbo!’ he then shouted, with the cameras quickly cutting to a shot of the figure dressed as an elephant, who held their arms out in mock surprise. 

Fendley then berates ‘Dumbo’ for not doing a ‘brew run’, before he and Bullard feign surprise that an elephant could forget, given the animal’s famous reputation for their memory. 

The hilarious bit then ends with Bullard claiming: ‘He ain’t going to last long, is he!’

To which Fendley responded: ‘No, I know the feeling!’

The elephant gag is one that previous host Max Rushden – who Fendley replaced in 2015 – wanted to run after Richard Keys and Andy Gray departed Sky. 

In Rushden’s reported version of the joke the elephant in the room is left with a non-speaking role, but the joke ‘didn’t get through’ to the live show. 

Soccer AM is reportedly to be taken off air at the end of the season as part of a Sky shake-up

‘There were jokes that didn’t make it.,’ Rushden writes in the Guardian. ‘The week that Richard Keys and Andy Gray went we were expressly told not to mention it. 

‘I suggested a lifesize stuffed elephant in the studio that we didn’t mention for the whole show. It didn’t get through.’

Soccer AM is not the only reported casualty of the shake-up at the broadcasting giants, with long-serving pitch side reporter Geoff Shreeves also facing the axe, as well as some of the channel’s long-serving and popular football reporters. 

Fendley took to Instagram on Thursday to announce that the show would be going into a ‘consultation process’ with Sky, with the programme set to be shelved at the end of the season. 

‘There’s been a lot of coverage in the past few days about Soccer AM so I wanted to clarify the situation,’ Fendley wrote. 

Fendley took to Instagram to inform fans that ‘no decisions’ have been made over Soccer AM

‘Sky has made a proposal about next season and we will go into a consultation process. No decisions have been made at this stage and no one has been made redundant.’ 

A Sky spokesperson confirmed that the channel’s coverage of football would be ‘evolving’ in line with changes to the ways that viewers consume content. 

As a result, they claimed that the new proposal could see new roles created, while other positions may be closed. 

It is only two years since the last round of job cuts inside the Sky Sports football department, which followed financial problems caused by the Covid pandemic. 

‘Our coverage of football is evolving to reflect the changing habits of our viewers and ensures we continue to deliver the best experience for customers,’ said a Sky spokesperson.


Russ Williams (1995–96)

Helen Chamberlain (1995–2017)

Tim Lovejoy (1996–2007)

Andy Goldstein (2007–08)

Max Rushden (2008–2015)

Lloyd Griffith (2017–2019)

John Fendley (2015–present)

Jimmy Bullard (2017–present)

‘Our proposal would mean the creation of new roles, and the closing of some existing roles, and we are currently in a consultation period with our people.’

Sportsmail was also informed that existing reporters had been asked to reapply for their roles at the broadcaster, although Sky has refuted this claim, instead insisting the shake-up is in pursuit of greater evolution and diversity. 

It is only two years since the last round of job cuts inside the Sky Sports football department, which followed financial problems caused by the Covid pandemic.

Saturday Social, which previously aired before Soccer AM, is reportedly going to fill the vacant slot from next season with an aim of targeting younger viewers. 


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