Commentator and Interviewer
Starting in 1976, Bell began his long media career by making guest appearances on programs such as John Sterling’s show on WMCA in New York. In 1977, Bell was the host of the Pats Post Game Show on WBZ. In 1978, he became co-host of WBZ’s Calling All Sports with newcomer Bob Lobel. Other shows hosted by Bell included Sports Nightly (1979–1980), Sports Line on WEEI (1980-1984), Sports Beat on WSBK-TV (1989-1996) with Joe Fitzgerald, Bob Ryan and Bob Lobel and later with Dan Shaughnessy, Kevin Paul Dupont and Sean McDonough, Will and Upton Commentary with Boston Globe Columnist Will McDonough on WNEV Channel 7 (1984-1988) and New England Sports Final (1989–2007). Bell has also been a guest commentator on NECN and WBZ-TV’s Sports Final.
During the 1989 and 1990 NFL seasons, Bell served as an interviewer for WBZ-TV during their Patriots pre-game show and newscasts. For the WBZ shows Bell interviewed President George H. W. Bush with a five night series, Mike Tyson, Joe Montana, Pete Rozelle, Bill Parcells, Phil Simms, Bo Schembeckler, Howard Cosell, Don Shula, Deion Sanders, John Hannah, Jim Kelly, Chuck Noll, Don King, Patrick Ewing, and Stephen King, Taylor Branch, Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich, Mayor Andrew Young, Christopher Reeve, and Senator John Kerry.
Bell’s first color commentary experience came at WSMW where he called college football with Bob Fouracre from 1978 to 1982. In 1983, Bell served as the color commentator for the Boston Breakers professional football team on WNEV and ESPN and was the studio host for Sports Channel New England. He was the color commentator for the Boston College Eagles football radio broadcasts with play-by-play announcers Dan Davis in 1985 and Bob Lobel in 1986. Bell was also a fill in-color commentator for Sports Channel New England’s Boston Celtics games as well as host of their nightly talk show.
Nationally, Bell worked on PBS Ivy League football games alongside play-by-play announcer Dick Galiette and sideline reporter Sean McDonough in 1984. Bell also was co-host of the first national television show on the NFL Draft on PBS in 1977.
Bell transitioned from sports talk on radio to general talk in 1988. He succeeded Dave Maynard on WBZ radio in 1990. Since 1988, Bell hosted shows on WHDH (1988-1989), WTAG(1992-1998), WRPT/WMEX (1998-2003). He has interviewed George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Tip O'Neill, Stephen Hawking, Henry Kissinger, Ted Kennedy, Geraldine Ferraro, Norman Mailer, Regis Philbin, Frank McCourt, Jay Leno, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Jackie Mason, Sam Donaldson, Stephen King, Johnnie Cochran and Alan Dershowitz. For three consecutive years, the Upton Bell Show was recognized by The Associated Press for Outstanding Talk Show in New England.
In November 2010, Bell and Bob Lobel reunited briefly with a Sunday morning program on WXKS 1200 Radio in suburban Boston.