Des's Irish parents moved to the South of England to find work in the health service. Then, his father joined the army (this being the 1940s) and his mother (being pregnant with Des) moved back to her family in County Clare, Ireland. Thus was Des Lynam born in County Clare, Ireland, in 1942. During the war he and his mother moved back to Brighton (England). At school he was shy; his strong Irish accent making him stand out. (He has lost the accent, but can still do it on request). After the war, he and his parents moved to Sussex.

He left school without attending University, and found work as a banker before settling into a career in insurance. His hobby though, was working on local radio.

This became a career in Television and Des was eventually to be the best-known sports presenter on the BBC. His main roles were in Match of the Day and Sportsnight, but also commentated on Wimbledon and the Olympic Games. He also ventured out into non-sports programs, such How Do They Do That? and appearances on The Holiday Programme.

Most of all though, Des Lynam is known for being cool. Yes he has grey hair, yes he has a moustache, but he is cool. This image got him work in Right Guard (deodorant) adverts which used his as the apotheosis of the slogan "Cool and Dry".
He was brave enough to be interviewed by Mrs Merton who described him as a "Tom Cruise for the Menopausal woman."

After 30 years in the BBC, Des famously resigned and moved to ITV for a better wage (reportedly £5 million for a four-year-contract) and better work. Des now commentates on live football (rather then the edited highlights he was more used to working on at the BBC) as anchorman for coverage of both ITV's UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup.

Sources (other than my own knowledge):

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