ESPN’s announcement of its three 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil hosts on Monday included a name that may be unfamiliar to the U.S. audience.
But for footie fans in the United Kingdom, Lynsey Hipgrave had begun to impress in her upward climb as one of England’s emerging sports presenters since joining the London-based channel BT Sport in August 2013.
Before BT Sport, she’d garnered critical acclaim for her work as a presenter on Al Jazeera Sports’ coverage of the UEFA Champions League, working alongside legendary English footballer and television pundit Gary Lineker.
“Lynsey is a proven soccer host, coming from BT Sport in the UK,” said ESPN Senior VP and Executive Producer Jed Drake, who identified and recruited the budding anchor. “Her knowledge of soccer is at the highest level, as are her skills as a host. She’s very smart, engaging and dynamic – a perfect addition to our team.”
This summer, Hipgrave will make her U.S. debut hosting soccer’s marquee global event – sharing hosting duties with Mike Tirico and Bob Ley, two of ESPN’s most decorated and critically acclaimed sportscasters. They return after the 2010 event in South Africa.
“I’m incredibly excited to be part of the ESPN team for the World Cup in Brazil,” Hipgrave said. “Support for soccer is growing significantly in the United States and I’m looking forward to broadcasting to fans who already follow the sport, and to many new fans who will hopefully fall in love with the beautiful game on its biggest stage.
“While many might consider England the home of football, Brazil has football in its heart and I can’t wait to witness that passion and vibrancy firsthand,” she said. “And with the host country playing the world’s most creative and thrilling style of football, this has the potential to be the greatest ever World Cup.”
The versatile Hipgrave is equally adept at moderating the opinions of insightful analysts in a formal television studio setting, or engaging in unscripted repartee of a sports entertainment show as she has done co-hosting BBC Radio 5 Live’s Saturday morning show alongside Danny Baker since 2010.