Clive Tyldesley interview: Football’s best known commentator on Scotland’s chances at Euro 2020 and teaming up with Alexa to answer football questions fans will be debating this summer
He’s known as the ‘Voice of Football’ and has more than 35 years of experience on the gantry, sound-tracking some of the beautiful game's most memorable moments.
He has covered 22 Champions League finals, 12 major summer international tournaments and more than 130 England internationals.
Who better, then, to answer the question on a nation’s lips than the font of football knowledge that is Clive Tyldesley?
The 66-year-old Englishman, whose wife is from the Barnton area of Edinburgh, lets out a peal of raucous laughter before regaining his composure and musing over our national team’s chances at its first major competition finals for 23 years.
“One thing about football television commentary is they don’t pay us any more for getting the score right before the game,” he says.
“Then again, they sack us if we get the score wrong – so I don’t do predictions. I’ve seen far too many football matches to ever stick my neck out and predict the outcome of a game.”
After a little prodding, Tyldesley finally answers the question. “Can Scotland win it? Will Scotland win it? Both yes and no.
“I have spent quite a lot of time around Scottish football in the last nine months or so, working for Rangers TV,” he says.
"So I’ve seen all the team in the Scottish Premiership. I know the players well.
“What I would say about both Scotland and Wales is that team spirit will be key. The teamwork and togetherness both squads have will count for a lot. I think that's going to be particularly important in this tournament.
“If [Scotland manager] Steve Clarke can foster that same spirit Wales had five years ago, they could do well.”
Tyldesley isn’t here to talk about Scotland’s chances at the Euros – he’s teamed up with Toshiba TV to help Scotland, England and Wales fans settle football arguments and brush up on their football knowledge, with the help of Amazon’s Alexa.
During Euro 2020, which finally kicks off on Friday in Rome, home nations fans can ask Alexa questions like: ‘What’s Scotland's record against England?’ And ‘Alexa, who is Scotland’s best ever player?’
Instead of Alexa's dulcet tones, it will be commentary-legend Tyldesley who answers.
In total, there are 25 utterances from Tyldesley, meaning fans can ask about specific fixtures this summer as well as facts and stats on players.
After the year we’ve had, Tyldesley feels the Euros is the perfect tonic to months of lockdown.
“There's still a degree of uncertainty as to what the next few weeks and months hold for us in terms of restrictions and our ability to mix with others, but probably what we've missed the most is being with friends and family,” he says. “You know, just the cracking company.
“Football has missed that badly. It’s very much a communal experience – whether you're part of a team in an elite dressing room or a fan with a few mates down the pub. You know, just enjoying the banter, the difference of opinions.
“Hopefully, we're coming out of this now, and the timing of the Euros, an event which brings people together, is absolutely perfect.”
The ‘Alexa Knows The Score’ experience is available on Amazon Alexa devices, including Alexa Built-In Toshiba TVs.